Tag Archive | "sag harbor village planning board"

Meeting on Harbor Heights Proposal Rescheduled

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The date for the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board’s highly anticipated public forum on a proposal to expand the Harbor Heights Service Station on Route 114 has been re-scheduled. This came after the village discovered the board would not have a quorum for all applications slated for the Tuesday, January 24 meeting.

The planning board has instead moved the meeting to Tuesday, February 7, where it will convene with a work session at 5:30 p.m. and enter its regular meeting at 6 p.m.

The planning board has asked the public to weigh in on its environmental review of John Leonard’s proposal to re-develop the dilapidated gas station and service station, creating new curb cuts, relocating gas pumps deeper into the property and creating a new convenience store on the site. The forum, noted Sag Harbor Village Environmental Planning Consultant Rich Warren at last month’s planning board meeting, is not meant to bring people to the podium to discuss whether or not they like the project, but rather to make sure the planning board is addressing all potential issues.

Questions Raised Over Harbor Heights Project

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By Kathryn G. Menu

John Leonard’s plans for a new Harbor Heights Gas Station was met with interest by members of the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board last week, but a number of outstanding questions remain before the project can be formally reviewed by village boards.

On Tuesday, December 28, Leonard’s attorney Dennis Downes gave the planning board its first glimpse at the proposed project, which aims to demolish the existing 1,874 square foot gas station on Route 114 and replace it with a new 1,842 square foot building. Within the gas station, Leonard proposes a 600 square-foot “country market.” The project would also expand the Sag Harbor Service Station, a business owned by Gregory Miller, from 1,245 square feet to 1,595 square feet.

The architecture, by James Laspesa, resembles a home rather than a gas station, said Downes, and will incorporate landscaping into a now shrub-free parcel.

The project will also create a safer entry and exit to the station through a New York State Department of Transportation approved curb cut, said Downes, giving the gas station a formal entry and exit for the first time in its existence.

Gas pumps would be moved off the street to the north side of the property and covered with a standard gas station canopy. If approved the station would have six pumps, as opposed to its current four, however, Downes noted one of the new pumps would take the place of an above ground diesel fuel tank.

One issue that has already arisen is the addition of the canopy. Currently, the station doesn’t have one — meaning attendant Pam Kern must brave the elements to do her job on days of inclement weather.

Downes said Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt has decided to treat the canopy as an accessory structure, while Downes said it is a part of the principal, gas station use.

The canopy, in part, he added, is also designed to allow self-service at the station and Downes said he would request another opinion from Platt.
The project will need a number of variances from the village zoning board of appeals, including one to keep its setback from New York State 114, also known as Hampton Road. Downes will also ask the zoning board if egress to the bathroom, which is through the convenience store, should be included in gross floor area calculations. If so, the market is just slightly larger than the 600 square feet the village code allows.

The village code also limits the height of a convenience store to a maximum of 20 feet, whereas Laspesa’s drawings show the building 25.5 feet in height.
“The problem with this is it makes the building look squat,” said Downes of the 20 foot height.

Once he receives Platt’s determinations, Downes said he will ask for permission to go to the village’s historic preservation and architectural review boards before he comes back to the planning board.

Board member Greg Ferraris noted the gas station use is permitted and pre-existing, and under the new code is allowed to have accessory uses for a repair shop and convenience store.

“Basically we put that in with parameters that ensured this was the only place that could happen,” said Ferraris.

“It’s interesting from a planning perspective because I think it would relieve some of the attention downtown because there would be less people trying to get into the 7-Eleven parking lot,” said board member Neil Slevin.

“This is an essential service building,” added board member Larry Perrine. “There are only two gas stations in the village and both are in appropriate places, exiting the village without too much of an impact on residential neighborhoods.”

Consolidating Retail: Proposal to Modify Former Headley Studio

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By Kathryn G. Menu

The new owner of 40 Madison Street, next to the former United Methodist Church in Sag Harbor, hopes to consolidate two existing retail spaces at the site into one and expand into the building’s current second floor, reducing the number of apartments on the parcel from two to one, according to plans filed with the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board last month.

According to the plans, presented at a village planning board meeting on Tuesday, November 23 by property owner Natasha Esch’s attorney Miles Anderson, Esch hopes to take two existing retail spaces and a one-bedroom first floor apartment to create one 1,990 square-foot shop. In addition to marrying the two first floor stores, the plan also calls for the creation of a mezzanine for the retail space carved out of the second floor of the building.

A second-story apartment, currently boasting two-bedrooms, would be reduced to a 497-square-foot efficiency apartment in the plans, drafted by architect Mark Sosa of Arcologica.

Last Tuesday, Anderson presented the board with a breakdown of parking calculations, which shows under the proposed expansion, the property would actually require one less parking space than it already has.

At an October planning board work session, when the project was first presented, the planning board asked for an interpretation of the village code from building inspector Tim Platt, to determine whether or not an existing attached deck could be included in calculating the existing square footage of the building.

Anderson said as of the November planning board meeting, he has yet to receive an answer from Platt.

The question is critical, because as the plan stands, expansion of the building into that deck area may not be considered an expansion of the building’s square footage, if, as in the past, the building inspector deems the deck space is equivalent to existing building space.

If Platt agrees with that interpretation, as the project would not increase floor area, does not require more parking, or an increase in sanitary flow, and is under 3,000 square feet, it would be exempt from site plan approval under the new village code.

The board agreed, pending Platt’s determination and a detailed landscaping plan, to approve the project exempt from review.

In other planning board news, this Monday, December 6 the board will host a work session to go over public comments it received last week regarding the expansion of the John Jermain Memorial Library on Main Street.

At a public hearing last week, a handful of residents supported the library’s plans to almost double the size of its current facility with a modern, glass and steel addition planned at the rear of their property.

Parking, namely the lack of on-site parking, was debated with one resident charging the village would be setting a precedent for future commercial development if it allows the library to use street parking in its calculations for how it will ensure there is enough parking in the area to accommodate the larger library.

Other residents argued, along with the library’s environmental consultant David Emilita, that there is more than enough parking in the area for the expanded library, including planning board member and former library board president Gregory Ferraris, who admitted he was once opposed to the concept but now sees it as an economic advantage for the village business district.

Monday’s work session will be held at 3 p.m.