Tag Archive | "sag harbor village"

Chicken Law Revised

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According to the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees, resident Mare Dianora should be comfortable keeping all of her eggs in one basket and have faith that the Village of Sag Harbor will make it possible to hatch chickens on her Grand Street property.

A new “chicken law” was unveiled at the village board’s Tuesday night meeting meant to clarify a code that Dianora helped craft with trustees last year to legalize the keeping of chickens in Sag Harbor.

The move comes after an interpretation of that code by Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt. He ruled Dianora would need to go to the village zoning board of appeals (ZBA) because she did not have half an acre of property. Under Platt’s view, that is what is required at a minimum to have chickens in Sag Harbor under the new law.

The original law read that “the number of chickens and bantams shall not exceed six per 20,000 square-feet of lot area and in no event more than 18 on any parcel.”

While Platt has interpreted that section of the code to mean 20,000 square-feet, or a half acre, is necessary to keep chickens at all — a rarity in a village where most parcels are far smaller than that — Sag Harbor Village Board members said last month it was not their intention when they drafted the legislation.

To rectify the situation, on Tuesday night the village board introduced a new law changing the legislation to deem chickens legal, provided only “one per 3,500 square feet of lot area” is allowed on any parcel. This now paves the way for the three chickens Dianora hopes to keep on her 13,000 square-feet, Grand Street property.

Like the previous law, roosters will be expressly prohibited as will the sale of eggs or poultry produced on a residential site.

The new law will be up for public hearing at the board’s July 10 meeting at 6 p.m.

The revised “chicken law” was not the only new legislation introduced Tuesday night. Trustees have also proposed to change the language in the law governing the scope of the Sag Harbor Village Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB).

While the board has often viewed applications outside of the village’s historic district, its code is proposed to be modified giving the ARB the right to impose the requirement of a certificate of appropriateness for all changes that occur within the historic district, but additionally any development that requires site plan review by the village planning board.

That proposal will also be up for public hearing on July 10.

Lastly, following a number of complaints in recent years, trustees will also hold a public hearing on a local law that prohibits residents from discharging water from a swimming pool into village streets and therefore into its drainage systems that lead to the bay.

Sag Harbor CAC Attendance Wanes

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Claire Walla

If you haven’t been to a Sag Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting recently, you’re not alone. Attendance at the community meetings has waned in recent months, last Sunday playing host to just two attendees — one of whom was the co-chair leading the meeting.

The duo briefly discussed issues affecting Southampton Town, as is a CAC’s purview, like the amount of nitrogen seeping into local waterways and a new proposal from Councilman Chris Nuzzi to create a committee to expedite the permitting process for builders and small business owners.

But with such a small audience, the meeting was mostly just informative.

“I’d like to grow,” Judah Mahay said of CAC attendance.

According to Mahay, co-chair of the CAC, the group technically has five active members. However, since February the meetings have only garnered two or three members (including the two co-chairs). The most populous meeting — in April — attracted a crowd of seven, and featured a speaker from the Quiet Skies Coalition who discussed the issue of helicopter noise.

At this point, he added, his main issue is building a core group of members. “We’re being proactive for community involvement,” he said.

Part of the CAC slow-down has to do with the fact that the organization is in a redevelopment process, explained co-chair John Linder.

“Clearly, we’re in a period of transition,” said Linder, who is prepping Mahay to take on the role in its entirety in 2013. Linder and Mahay officially became co-chairs this past February. “At this point, we’re just taking it month-to-month.”

The mission of all local CACs is to keep abreast and weigh in on issues affecting those areas that lie outside village jurisdiction, but within Southampton Town’s. At last Sunday’s meeting, Mahay explained to his one guest that the Sag Harbor CAC’s main priority at the moment is “being proactive to gain community involvement.”

Mahay himself is taking steps to give the CAC much more of a presence in the community, which includes giving the organization an online presence.

“We’ve thought about ways to bring people to the CAC, to not only show up, but to participate in the community,” Mahay continued. He mentioned setting up an information booth outside the library to explain what the organization is all about, in addition to creating an interactive website for the CAC.

Mahay said the website will include all the minutes from CAC meetings, as well as all letters drafted on behalf of CAC members that are sent to the town board or local publications. He expects the website to be up and running before the organization’s next meeting, July 8.

While Linder explained that a couple active CAC members are actually summer residents who have not yet arrived, some wonder whether the low attendance has to do with the current time slot: Sunday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.

CAC member Eric Cohen regularly attended meetings until they were switched from Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. to their current Sunday time slot.

“That’s the entire reason for me,” Cohen said, explaining why he no longer attends meetings. Plus, he said the issues in the greater Sag Harbor community are not as crucial as they were a few years ago.

CACs were established about 15 years ago so that areas in Southampton Town without a localized government could have a much stronger connection to the town board. The Bridgehampton CAC, for example, has a relatively high attendance rate because the hamlet has a significant population with issues that cannot be addressed locally.

Because Sag Harbor is an incorporated village, the Sag Harbor CAC is technically responsible for the areas of the greater Sag Harbor community on the Southampton side of town that do not fall within village jurisdiction. This includes Ligonee Creek to the south, and part of the Long Pond Greenbelt.

The most significant issue the CAC has dealt with in recent years was the push for a Sag Harbor Gateway Study along the Sag Harbor/Bridgehampton Turnpike, which essentially limits development in that area.

“The area we’re representing is small and there isn’t a lot of controversy right now,” said Cohen. “We used to have a much larger membership, with people who really knew how to speak up [for Sag Harbor issues in town board meetings]. But, with membership shrinking, there are fewer of us to get out there.”

For Linder, the greater Sag Harbor area will continue to see issues, whether it’s water quality or traffic on Noyac Road (Noyac, by the way, has its own CAC). But, the longevity of the Sag Harbor CAC will be left to the will of the people.

“If people see the value in it, some will come forward and participate,” he said. “If not, it will go by the wayside.” But, he continued, “the issues will remain.”

Sag Harbor Mayor Endorses Incumbent Trustees for Re-election

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This week, Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride announced he will continue to support incumbent trustees Robby Stein and Bruce Stafford and endorses their candidacy for re-election on Tuesday, June 19.

Stein and Stafford are both seeking a second elected term to the village board. Stein was appointed to his first term in 2009.

Sag Harbor Fire Department member and East Hampton Village Police officer Kevin Duchemin has also thrown his hat in the race, but on Monday, Mayor Gilbride said he believed Stein and Stafford should remain on the board.

“Robby and Bruce have both worked very hard and have put a lot of time into this board,” said Mayor Gilbride. “We don’t always agree, but we get along and all of us are working for what we believe is best for the village as a whole.”

Mayor Gilbride praised Duchemin’s initiative and said he believed one day he would be the right candidate for village board.

“I am just not so sure that time is now,” said Mayor Gilbride.

Sag Harbor Village to Introduce New Chicken Law

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After failing to come to an accord with Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt over the intent of a law passed just last year, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees will move forward with new legislation that presents clearer guidelines for keeping chickens on residential properties in the village.

According to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, that legislation will be introduced at the board’s June 12 meeting at 6 p.m.

Last year, working with resident Mare Dianora, the board developed a chicken law to allow residents the right to keep chickens.

According to the final law, “the number of chickens and bantams shall not exceed six per 20,000 square-feet of lot area and in no event more than 18 on any parcel.” The law also prohibits the sale of poultry or eggs by residents who have legalized their chickens through a permit granted by the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board. Coops or any structures used to house the animals are limited to 100 square-feet or 10 feet in height and must be kept in the rear yard. A coop must also meet a 20-foot setback to the property line and any outdoor pen must meet the standard for an accessory structure, keeping a distance of 10-feet from a property line.

When Dianora approached the planning board with an application to keep three chickens on her 13,000 square-foot, Grand Street property (the first resident to apply under the new law) she was informed that Platt had ruled she would have to go to the zoning board of appeals (ZBA). This was due to the fact that according to Platt’s interpretation of the law, residents must have a minimum of 20,000 square-feet, or a half acre of land, to have any chickens at all.

While members of the village board vocally disagreed at a work session last week, according to Mayor Gilbride introducing a new, clearer law is the quickest way to allow residents to keep chickens as was originally intended.

Haerter & Theinert Honored by New York State As Community Prepares for Memorial Day

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(05-22-12) 300-49-519

JoAnn Lyles and Chrystyna Kestler spent Tuesday morning driving together from the East End to Albany where their sons were posthumously honored as veterans. It was a bittersweet reminder that this holiday weekend is about more than the beginning of summer and is, in fact, a time to remember those who have given their lives, however young, for the freedoms enjoyed by those of us still living.

“It was a good opportunity for us to talk and talk and talk, share stories and tears,” said Lyles on Wednesday morning.

Lyles’ son, Marine Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter, and Kestler’s son, Army First Lieutenant Joseph J. Theinert, were inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon in Albany. New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, who nominated L.Cpl. Haerter and Lt. Theinert for the honor, and New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., were on hand to share the moment with their families.

Of the over 60 individuals named to the Veterans’ Hall of Fame, L.Cpl. Haerter and Lt. Theinert were two of four veterans named posthumously.

“It was certainly a very special moment,” said Senator LaValle on Wednesday morning. “You could feel in the room that not only was this a special occasion, but with their mothers there, being Gold Star Mothers, people were teary eyed. Both of those young men gave the ultimate sacrifice at a very young age.”

A lifelong Sag Harbor resident, L.Cpl. Haerter, was the only child of Lyles and Christian Haerter, both of whom have since dedicated their lives to championing their son’s memory, as well as military and veterans’ causes through separate organizations — In Jordan’s Honor and Jordan’s Initiative.

A 2006 graduate of Pierson High School, L.Cpl. Haerter immediately enlisted with the Marines after graduation and became a member of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines known as the “Walking Dead.”

Just one month into his first tour of duty in Iraq on April 22, 2008, L.Cpl. Haerter and Marine Corporal Jonathan T. Yale were killed in Ramadhi defending a checkpoint from a suicide bomber driving a large truck. Their actions saved the lives of over 33 Marines, Iraqi policemen and Iraqi civilians.

L.Cpl. Haerter was 19 years old.

L.Cpl. Haerter was honored with the Navy Cross Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Iraqi Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon for his service.

Lt. Theinert, a 2006 graduate of Shelter Island High School, was the son of Kestler, a Shelter Island resident, and James Theinert, a Sag Harbor resident.

Lt. Theinert accepted an ROTC commission at Valley Forge Military Academy and College and after graduation enrolled in SUNY Albany, where he was accepted into Siena College’s ROTC Mohawk Battalion and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in history.

In March of 2010, Lieutenant Theinert was deployed to Afghanistan. Just six weeks into his deployment, on June 4, shortly after securing the rest of his platoon after undergoing hostile fire, Lieutenant Theinert was killed by an improvised explosive device in Dand District of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

He was 24 years old.

Lt. Theinert’s awards include the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Badge.

The loss of L.Cpl. Haerter and Lt. Theinert was deeply felt throughout the East End community, solemn homecomings were followed by moments of remembrance.

“The East End becomes a very special place on occasions like this because it becomes that small community where everyone rallies around the families and made sure those young men got the respect they deserved,” remembered Senator LaValle. “Both were so young, and their mothers became so close. They both had suits on in Albany, the same color blue.”

In late 2008, New York State renamed the Sag Harbor-North Haven Bridge the Lance Corporal Haerter Veterans’ Memorial Bridge. The South Ferry’s “Southern Cross,” a ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island, was renamed after Lieutenant Theinert in 2010 shortly after a stretch of Route 114 was also designated the “Lt. Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Way.”

“We feel connected,” said Lyles of Kestler, with whom she spent the day in Albany. “Even here, we have Jordan’s bridge that leads to Joe’s ferry.”

Lyles said the ceremony was an opportunity for her and Kestler to meet other veterans and share stories, while honoring their children together.

“Chris and I were talking about how it is almost easier with the loss of a child if they were in the military because there are so many more chances for remembrance,” said Lyles. “It’s not easy at these events, but at least I know to expect emotion so I can steel myself. It’s the normal days, where something happens that it is harder, like if someone sees Jordan’s picture on my desk and doesn’t know and asks me if my son is in the Marines. Those are the harder days, but I never want people to stop talking or asking about Jordan.”

“My thoughts are with both families,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride on Wednesday morning. “They were both courageous young men who supported this country and I am proud of Jordan and Joe for their efforts in making this country what it is today.”

“This was bittersweet,” said Assemblyman Thiele. “What they gave for this country has been well documented and it is great that the State of New York through the State Senate is recognizing their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families. It is a great honor, but at the same time it is a reminder of their loss.”

Thiele will join Gilbride, as well as Lyles and Christian Haerter, countless veterans and government officials on Memorial Day to honor the veterans of Sag Harbor and beyond.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the World War I monument at Otter Pond, continue down Main Street to Bay Street’s Marine Park and onto to the Chelberg and Battle American Legion Post 388.

“Something I have always been proud of is walking in many Memorial Day parades, either in uniform as a former Sag Harbor Fire Department chief or in a suit as mayor because I want to honor those who have come home,” said Mayor Gilbride. “It is a humbling day for someone like me because I can go to any one of the memorials and see my own family’s names and recognize the names of other residents from Sag Harbor that still have family here today. All I can say, is thank you.”

Above: New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle presents JoAnn Lyles with her son’s plaque inducting him posthumously into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

Bulova Drops a Condo

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What were once 65 luxury condominiums are now 64.

Citing changing market conditions as well as the architecture of the former Bulova Watchcase Factory, on Tuesday night Cape Advisors project manager David Kronman received approval from the Sag Harbor Planning Board to revise the site plan for an approved 65 luxury condominiums at the historic site. The units will be reconfigured in a way that will reduce the overall size of the project by one apartment.

In 2008, Cape Advisors was granted approval by the village to restore the Watchcase Factory and re-develop the property into condominiums with underground parking, outdoor gardens, a pool and eight townhouses along Church and Sage streets. This fall, after battling for financing since it earned its approval, Cape Advisors in partnership with Deutsche Bank broke ground with hopes to finish the project by the fall of 2013.

On Tuesday night, Kronman said as his firm has continued to study the architecture of the factory building and kept an eye on ideal floor plans from a real estate perspective, instead of seeking 49 units in the Watchcase Factory and 16 in the townhouses they had reconfigured the plan.

The changes involve making a corner townhouse — at Church and Sage streets —two-condominiums instead of one. Kronman said units inside the factory building were combined, making 47 condominiums there and 17 in the townhouses.

The project will maintain the 130 planned parking spaces it aims to create in the garage and on the street, said Kronman and will not seek to alter the $2.5 million it is required to funnel into the Sag Harbor Community Housing Trust Fund.

While dormant since last fall, plans to add a restaurant at Baron’s Cove Inn were revived on Tuesday night with developers coming back to the table for approval by the village planning board.

KBR Associates — the owners of the property — and Cape Advisors, which will manage what has been conceived as a new family-friendly resort destination, have already earned approval from the village’s Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) to revamp the existing inn. Now they hope to also add a restaurant as one of the property’s amenities.

At issue during the planning board’s review last year was ensuring a bar area would not be able to morph into a nightclub, similar to Rocco’s, a now defunct club that existed at a neighboring parcel much to the ire of residents.

On Tuesday night, board member Greg Ferraris reiterated the planning board’s desire to see comprehensive recommendations by KBR and Cape Advisors on how it could ensure an eight seat bar with a neighboring lobby area would not become that nightmare for Sag Harbor residents.

The restaurant, which will have a total of 87 seats, including 18 that will be moved outdoors in the summer season, is allowed as an accessory use to the motel under village law. Nightclubs and taverns are prohibited under the same law.

The companies have proposed the restaurant on the second story of the new building, with the restaurant’s bar and motel lobby on the first floor.

Cape Advisors spokesman Curtis Sachs said that while under state law all restaurants in Sag Harbor are allowed to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., he would be willing to place a restriction on the Baron’s Cove Inn bar that would prohibit service after midnight. Bottle service, outside of beer and wine, added Sachs, could also be barred as well as cover charges — the standard calling cards of a nightclub.

“We don’t want to be Rocco’s,” said Sachs. “And want to stay as far away from that as we can.”

He added a new lighting plan has been submitted for the property that is Dark Skies compliant.

Village attorney Denise Schoen said that while the planning board could accept the offer of an alcohol curfew as a matter of good faith on the part of KBR and Cape Advisors and could include language in its approval,  that language could be struck down, as the village has no right to supersede the authority of the State Liquor Authority (SLA).

According to Sag Harbor Village planning consultant Rich Warren, the plans for the restaurant still have to undergo environmental review. The planning board will consider whether or not to take a lead role in that review at its next meeting on June 26.

Lastly, the planning board approved plans by Rich Kresberg to expand Provisions Natural Foods Market & Organic Café into the former Style Bar on Bay Street.

Harbor Heights Debate Continues

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In an attempt to wrap its arms around the reams of documents that have been submitted on the proposed expansion and redevelopment of the Harbor Heights Service Station, the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board agreed on Tuesday night that it would hold a special work session on the application on Wednesday, June 13 at 10 a.m.

The decision comes as the board continues to wrestle with its environmental review of the proposal. Meanwhile, public concern has also grown. In the last month, the planning board has continued to receive letters from residents worried about the impact of the project, as well as correspondence from East Hampton attorney Jeffrey Bragman, who has been hired by Save Sag Harbor to represent the not-for-profit’s position opposing the project.

Over a year ago, station owner John Leonard proposed a full re-development of the Harbor Heights property which is at the edge of Sag Harbor Village on Route 114. The proposal includes the addition of a convenience store, a new layout for gas pump islands, more pumps and new curb cuts to make the station safer to enter and exit. A second business that operates on the parcel — the Sag Harbor Service Station — will also be slightly expanded under the plan to allow for a small office and bathroom. New landscaping, lighting and parking configuration are also proposed.

According to Leonard’s engineer, Chris Tartaglia, the most recent change to the project involves revision of a lighting plan which virtually removes all of the tall light poles originally proposed around the perimeter of the property. This change is an attempt to reduce any impact the lighting could have on the neighborhood. Lighting at a new curb cut, designed to make entry and exit to Harbor Heights safer, has also been toned down, said Tartaglia, with low level lighting planned. As it’s currently configured, there is no curb and vehicles barely pull off Route 114 before they are at the gas pumps.

A new noise study has also been submitted, said Tartaglia, which shows ambient noise from the Route 114 will far outweigh any new noise created by the expansion of the gas station or the convenience store.

On Tuesday night, Sag Harbor environmental planning consultant Rich Warren said with new information being filed here and there throughout the planning board’s review of the project, it was important for the board to sit down and try to digest the full scope of the project. At this point, said Warren, the planning board must consider whether or not the project has potential to cause even a single adverse environmental impact. If it does, Leonard will be required to complete an environmental impact study before the planning board can conclude its review.

Before it can do that, Warren asked Leonard to furnish a document showing how the project meets the village’s special exception standards, including a discussion about whether or not this constitutes an “intensification of use.” Warren said he would also like to see a rendering that shows what the whole project — store, gas station and service station — looks like from Route 114. Lastly, he encouraged the board to read through the numerous letters and emails the village has received about Harbor Heights in order to understand the public’s perspective.

What is difficult, noted village attorney Denise Schoen, is the fact the planning board must decide on the potential environmental impacts before the village’s zoning board of appeals (ZBA) can even weigh in on a litany of variances Leonard needs. Among them is a variance to allow him to almost double the size of a legal convenience store. If these variances are not approved, the whole scope of the project could change.

“You are stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Schoen.

This is precisely Bragman’s worry.

In a letter to the planning board, Bragman notes the ZBA’s decision can change everything, including environmental impacts, associated with this project. To protect the power and independence of the ZBA, Bragman encouraged the planning board to make it clear that when it comes to environmental impacts the ZBA has its own jurisdiction and cannot be bound by any planning board decision.

Bragman suggested the planning board should “pause” its review and allow the ZBA to weigh in. But according to Schoen the law requires the planning board make an environmental determination before the ZBA can hear the case

At the close of Tuesday night’s meeting, residents Ruth Vered and Alexandra Leigh Hunt called out to the planning board for the right to express their worries about the project.

Planning board chairman Neil Slevin said now was not the time for public comment, but that there would be an opportunity — both before the planning board and the zoning board — at a later date.

“What you should be assured of is we do understand the public,” said Slevin. “We live here, we do receive these letters and do read them.”

“This is an irreversible decision and this should be well understood by the public,” said Vered.

Thiele Votes for Minimum Wage Increase

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Last week, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. supported the New York State Assembly in the passage of legislation that would increase minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour beginning in January 2013. The law also increases minimum wage for food-service workers who receive tips from $5 to $5.86 per hour. Both wage rates would then be indexed with inflation beginning in January 2014, said Thiele.

The bill now awaits action by the State Senate.

“During this difficult economic time, raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do,” said Thiele in a press release issued on Thursday, May 14. “Simply put, people who work full time shouldn’t be poor. The Assembly’s legislation would help make sure that New Yorkers living on minimum wage salaries can actually survive on the minimum wage. I strongly urge the Senate to pass this crucial measure.”

Thiele said that according to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, 78-percent of New Yorkers support raising minimum wage, with 52-percent supporting a higher increase than the rate the Assembly has adopted.

“Over the past five years, New York’s minimum wage has only increased $0.10 cents per hour, which is not enough for East End families to pay for things like rent, heat, gas, food and prescription drugs,” said Thiele. “By increasing the minimum wage, the quality of life for more than 1 million New Yorkers will be improved.”

Currently, the neighboring states of Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts — as well as 15 other states across the country and the District of Columbia — all have higher minimum wages than New York.

Haerter & Theinert to be Inducted into Veterans Hall of Fame Today

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Marine Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter, from Sag Harbor (above) and Army 1st Lieutenant Joseph J. Theinert, from Shelter Island, will be inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame on Tuesday, May 22.

As the East End readies for Memorial Day weekend, there was no truer reminder that this holiday has less to do with hot dogs and house rentals and more do with honoring those who have fallen in service to the United States than what will occur Tuesday in Albany. There, family, friends and government leaders will gather in honor of two veterans from the East End who gave their lives in battle — Sag Harbor’s own Marine Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter and Army 1st Lieutenant Joseph J. Theinert from Shelter Island.

Both men will posthumously inducted into the New York State Senate’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame on Tuesday, May 22. They were nominated for the honor by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle.

“Joe Theinert and Jordan Haerter are true heroes who gave their lives to protecting the freedoms we treasure,” said LaValle in a statement released last week. “They should be recognized and commended by our State and community. The New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame is a tribute to these two fine young men that demonstrates our respect and gratitude for their patriotism and sacrifice.”

Army 1st Lieutenant Theinert was deployed to Afghanistan at the age of 24. Approximately six weeks into his deployment, he was killed in action on June 4, 2010 while on patrol in the Dand District in Kandahar was investigating an improvised explosive device, which detonated. No other members of Army 1st Lieutenant Theinert’s platoon were killed or injured.

Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter, who entered the Marine Corps directly out of high school, was a Platoon High Shooter in his Alpha Company platoon. On April 22, Lance Corporal Haerter was killed in action in Ramadi, Iraq. Jordan, a member of the proud and storied 1st Battalion, 9th Marines also known as ‘The Walking Dead’, and fellow marine, CPL Jonathan T. Yale, a rifleman with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, were standing guard at an entry control point when a large truck careened off track and ignored calls to halt. Haerter and Yale opened fire to protect the checkpoint and were killed by the resulting 2,000-pound blast that came from the rigged vehicle.

Their actions saved scores of servicemen and women from both the United States and Iraq.

LCPL Jordan Haerter’s military awards include the Navy Cross Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Iraqi Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.


$30 Million Lawsuit Against Village of Sag Harbor Dismissed

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A $30 million lawsuit against the Village of Sag Harbor brought by condominium developers East End Ventures was dismissed for a second time last week in federal court. According to one of the principals of East End Ventures, Emil Talel, a second lawsuit brought against the village in state court is also in the process of being dismissed, although court documents were unavailable as of press time.

According to Talel, he and his partner, Michael Maidan, agreed to drop both cases, which have been dismissed with prejudice meaning the suits cannot be brought forth again, after meeting with Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride. After that meeting, Talel said both he and Maidan felt the best course of action was to dismiss both lawsuits and attempt to revive a project at the property at the center of both cases, 1, 3 and 5 Ferry Road next to the Lance Corporal Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge.

“After that meeting two weeks ago, we felt that both sides have good intentions to do the right thing and we agreed it was best to dismiss both suits,” said Talel.

“We are happy the applicant has chosen to dismiss these lawsuits and look forward to him coming forward with a project,” said Deputy Mayor Tim Culver.

He added no deals were struck with East End Ventures in order to gain the dismissal and that they would have to adhere to the same planning process as every other applicant.

“We hope they find good use for the property,” said Culver, “and we hope they build something there that is good for the village.”

In August of 2009, East End Ventures filed an article 78 against the Village of Sag Harbor in state court. The developers alleged they were led to believe a proposed 18-unit luxury condominium project at the site would be exempt from the village’s new zoning code. That code drastically reduced the number of units allowed on the property. East End Ventures also charged the village’s application process was flawed and that the new zoning code was not adopted correctly.

East End Ventures followed that suit by levying a $30 million civil action in federal court against Sag Harbor Village, as well as individuals with seats on the Sag Harbor Village Board, the village attorneys and the village’s environmental planning consultant. In that suit, they alleged East End Ventures was specifically discriminated against, noting that the developers of the approved 65-unit condominium project at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory were given exemption from the new village code.

East End Ventures had previously been granted approval to construct condominiums at 21 West Water Street by the Village of Sag Harbor. Three-quarters built, that project stalled two years ago due to lack of financing.

In January of 2011, United States Eastern District Court Judge Leonard D. Wexler dismissed that case, but allowed East End Ventures the right to appeal, which it did.

According to court documents, on May 9 United States District Court Magistrate A. Kathleen Tomlinson signed off on an agreement between attorneys representing both East End Ventures and the Village of Sag Harbor to end the $30 million civil suit. Both parties have also signed off on the dismissal of the Article 78, said Talel.

“As far as I am concerned, this is over,” he said on Tuesday.

Talel said he does intend to revive his application for the Ferry Road parcel sometime in the next month. He added he is also working towards finishing the 21 West Water Street project and hopes to have secured a financing deal by the end of the month.

“My hope is very simple,” he said. “I hope that we will start the process of getting approvals [for the Ferry Road project] and we hope the village will cooperate. “Hopefully we will get approvals to build a project that makes economic sense.”