Tag Archive | "special events"

Party Calendar Fills Up

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The process for special event permits in Sagaponack is finally working the way trustees in the village intended. After several months of tweaking a newly adopted law requiring outside assembly permits for events with 50 or more guests, the village now seems to have finally perfected the effort.

The local law requiring special event permits was enacted last summer, making 2009 the first full spring/summer season the village has had to implement the permit requirements.

This week during a work session headed by deputy mayor Lee Foster, in mayor Don Louchheim’s absence, outdoor assembly permits took up the largest portion of the meeting.

Village trustees had agreed to slightly change the procedure of the application process for outdoor assembly permits at the last meeting. Now, the applicant’s letter of intent to hold the event will be required at the same time as the application. This is so the trustees will get all the required information at once.

Currently, there are five events planned within the borders of the village in June and July that have submitted complete applications. But there are three letters of intent that are still ongoing because the trustees have asked the applicants for further information —including a clarification on what portion of a charitable event’s proceeds will go to the designated charity.

Organizers of the Love Heals fundraiser, an organization focused on AIDS education, are hoping their event will take place this summer at Luna Farms. The planners sent in their application late, stating they were unaware of the new local law which requires applications be received by the village 180 days before the event. This summer would mark the 10th annual Love Heals benefit.

Although all the information was included and trustees said they would consider the application, even though it was submitted past the deadline, the representative for the organization, Jasmine Nielsen, was told by Foster she might need to provide the board with more information for consideration at next week’s regular village board meeting.

Alfred Kelman, a trustee who has been voicing concerns with non-profit events that may actually be “for profit,” asked Nielson how much of the proceeds from the event will go to the charity. She responded that 60 percent of gross proceeds and all net proceeds will go to the charity.

Charlie McArdle, representative for People, Pool Event Staffers Inc., was also at Monday’s meeting. He told the board he is working on the Hamptons Happening event — which benefits the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation.

“I know these events can be a nuisance,” McArdle said, which is why, he told the board, he has focused on finding parking for staff and vendors so as not to bother neighbors. He said he has obtained a permit for parking for the July 25 event on Wilkes Lane, and his organization will be parking cars at the Hopping House in neighboring Bridgehampton.

After he explained the parking plan, McArdle also recommended the trustees request a certificate of insurance from party planners. He said this is important because there may be people standing on village property and there could be worker’s compensation issues. Village clerk Rhodi Winchell responded that it was a good idea and said she would ask village attorney, Anthony Tohill, to look into it.

“We are really filling up the calendar,” said Foster who added that she feels people are responding well to what the village is asking for in terms of outdoor assembly permits.

Next Monday, March 16, the village will hold its regular monthly meeting at 4 p.m. 


Sagaponack Feeling Left Out

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At Sagaponack Village’s board meeting on Tuesday, village trustees and mayor Don Louchheim expressed frustration with both East Hampton and Southampton towns for leaving Sagaponack out of dialogue pertaining to changes to Poxabogue Golf Course.

Last week at an East Hampton Town Board meeting, council members voted in favor of $1.1 million worth of capital improvements to the course. Because the golf course is owned by both towns, Southampton Town also has to agree to the expenditure.

“We were not even informed of the expansion of the restaurant and pro shop,” said Louchheim who also talked about the possibility of a miniature golf course. “And I’m not sure we are getting away from night activity.”

“Talk about arrogance,” added Louchheim, expressing irritation that the town has left the village out on these talks. “We need to ask our attorney what authority we have over this.”

Trustee and parks and recreation liaison, Alfred Kelman said that there was a lot of controversy about the idea of nighttime activity and a miniature golf course at Poxabogue from various citizens advisory committees.

“Let me find out and I will get us in the loop,” Kelman said.

“I’m sure there is going to be a lot of community opposition,” Louchheim said. 

Trustee Joy Seiger said that she wouldn’t mind a miniature golf course, and it would be something that would add value to the community.

“I would be there playing,” she said.

But according to Ed Wankel, of Long Island Golf Management, who represented the golf course at the East Hampton meeting, the first phase of the Poxabogue plan involves moving the driving range tee line up and adding safety fencing around the course. There will also be improvements to the irrigation system, he said, and two additional sheds are proposed to house ball-dispensing machines.

In an interview Wednesday, Wankel said that plans for a miniature golf course had been discussed, but are not included in this initial phase. He added that if plans for a miniature golf course go ahead, it will be proposed without lighting. He also notes that phase one of the project does not include any changes to the parking, pro shop or restaurant.

Special Events

Sagaponack Village officials are asking for more changes to their local laws. In July of last year, the village created a new local law requiring a permit for outdoor special events that include 50 or more people. A letter of intent is to be sent to the village at least 180 days prior to the event, which makes this crunch time for any events to be held in June 2009.

So far the village has received four letters of intent for outdoor assembly permits and on this week’s agenda, three of them were up for discussion.

The village board didn’t have any problems with one of the events, scheduled for July 25 at the Wolffer Estate when the James Beard Foundation will host an event expected to entertain 600 or so guests.

Mayor Louchheim did, however, express concern over another event to be held on the same grounds. The Group for the East End has submitted a request for an event on June 20, but the letter of intent does not include the number of people expected to attend.

“If we are giving them the tentative green light — do we have any other requirements?” Louchheim asked rhetorically, “We should, to get an idea of the size.”

He requested that the current local law be changed to include the projected size of the event.

Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt showed up for Tuesday’s meeting, to make sure they have complied with the village’s requirements for a fundraising party on June 13 at Tee and Charles Addams Foundation on Sagaponack Road. Their letter of intent includes the size of the party, which is estimated at 150 people, but the board was more concerned about the parking.

“Where would you be able to park?” Louchheim asked party planners, “You have to make arrangements … a lot has changed since the incorporation [of the village].”

“We have a quarter mile long driveway, that’s the problem,” said Kevin Miserocchi, executive director of the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, who noted the driveway is too narrow for parking. He asked the board if parking would be allowed in front of the property along Sagaponack Road.

“We try to discourage it,” said deputy mayor Lee Foster.

“That corner has had so many accidents over the years,” trustee Lisa Duryea Thayer said.

“But I think there is enough room to get off the road and onto the shoulder,” Louchheim added.

Miserocchi said that he would be willing to hire a valet company for the event.

“We will work with the valet company,” Sieger said representing the town, “it really works out very well.

Village Looks At Special Event Permits

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In late June, the Village of Sag Harbor became aware that a Lionel Ritchie concert, among others, was planned at a Glover Street residence to the horror of neighbors. Of greater concern was that the event was planned for Fourth of July weekend, at the same time as the annual fireworks, meaning emergency service personnel and police would be preoccupied elsewhere should an accident occur.

Despite these reservations, there was very little Sag Harbor officials had in the way of power to stop the concert, although the event planners did pull out at the last minute while village officials scrambled in an attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order.

“We really didn’t have any legislation in place or power to deal with that situation,” explained Sag Harbor Mayor Greg Ferraris at Tuesday night’s board of trustees meeting.

Which was why trustee Tiffany Scarlato was asked to look at other municipalities in order to draft a stringent special events permit and explore the possibility of the village adopting a rental registry. On Tuesday, Scarlato presented the board with a draft of a special events permit, for discussion only, she cautioned.

On a basic level, the permit would require a permit for any event with more than 75 people anticipated to attend. Fines range between $2000 and $10,000, she said.

“Unfortunately there is sort of a lack of personal responsibility when it comes to maintaining one’s residence,” said Scarlato.

The board is expected to discuss the permit at next month’s meeting on September 9.

                                                 Moratorium Extension

Also on tap for September 9 is a public hearing on extending the commercial moratorium in the Village of Sag Harbor.

For over a year now, while the village is rewriting its zoning code, the village has been in a commercial moratorium, which prohibits site plan review without a planning board waiver. The moratorium, originally enacted in June of 2007 for six months, was extended in December of that year for another six months and in June for another three. The current extension is also for three months as the village anticipates its new code will enter the public hearing process in the next month or two.

 Scarlato noted on Tuesday that while the code is moving towards public hearing two issues have popped up, namely the possibility of 24-hour convenience stores as accessory to filling stations, and lighting provisions, which Scarlato would like to see expanded on.

                                                            Dark Skies

East Hampton resident Susan Harder, director of the New York State Dark Skies Association, announced a demonstration streetlight has been set up in front of the Sag Harbor Historic Society. The light was designed, she noted, to provide better visibility while reducing glare. Harder has worked on similar projects in East Hampton Village and Montauk.

Based on her findings, Harder suggested any new or replacement fixtures, which are already budgeted for, be replaced with these fixtures. Harder noted the fixtures will ultimately save the village money as they employ less wattage than the current fixtures.

Mayor Ferraris suggested on an annual basis the board consider these fixtures for replacements.

The village ended its fiscal year with a $55,000 surplus, although Ferraris noted retroactive pay under the new police contract, dock maintenance and other projects have required the village to dip into its fund balance.

Ferraris said the disclosure is part of what he anticipates will be a quarterly report to the trustees about the village’s financial state. The village treasurer will be at September’s meeting to discuss the first quarter of this fiscal year.

In other village news, the 2007 Suffolk Regional Emergency Medical Services Council awarded the Emergency Medical Service Agency of the Year to the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance. An awards ceremony will be held this October.

Mary Ellen McMahon has been posthumously honored by the Ambulance Corps for her 20-year service to the community, announced President Edward Downes. McMahon passed away this year and the newly acquired ambulance has been dedicated to her with a plaque. 

No Super Saturday For Sagaponack

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Sagaponack Village trustees are quickly learning much of their municipal business will be deciding who is allowed to use their idyllic community for special events. At Monday’s board meeting three such events were approved and one was denied.
The board gave a green light to the “Garden as Art” garden tour benefiting Guild Hall in East Hampton. Two other events were approved contingent on further review.
The event that didn’t make the cut was a last minute addition to the agenda. Village clerk Rhodi Winchell said the application came in just before the meeting and the board, upon hearing a description of it, adamantly voted in opposition.
United Jewish Appeal hoped to host an invite-only trunk show for 200 people at a residence on Fairfield Pond Lane on August 7 with 20 vendors.
“No way, no way, no way,” said Foster. “It’s like Super Saturday. We don’t want that here.”
Mayor Don Louchheim said there was no possible way the site could accommodate parking for 200 guests and called the event a “flea market.”
“I know the house. I know the site,” said Louchheim. “There’s barely enough room to park 10 cars there.”
“We reject this application,” said Foster. “This is not enough time and this is not keeping with the characteristics.”
Out of 14 total applications, it was the first the village has denied this summer. The village, which incorporated in 2005, operated under Southampton Town’s code until last September. This is the first summer it has had to process special event applications.  A month ago, the board passed a local law that will take affect next summer requiring a six-month notice for all such events.
“This year we’ve been very lenient,” said Winchell. “We’ve been taking them as they come. We’re trying to be as user-friendly as possible this year but next year they will have to comply.”
Another event, a celebration for 125 supporters of the not-for-profit art group Creative Time, ran into a road block in part because of their lack of notoriety.
“The claim to be a nonprofit group for me is foreign,” said trustee Alfred Kelman. “I’d be voting in total ignorance. At the very least, we should request from them what in the world they do and what they’ve done in the past.”
“It’s embarrassing and appalling that we should even be presented with something like this,” said deputy mayor Lee Foster. “It’s three weeks out, there’s no one here from the group.”
“I don’t see how we can deny this considering all the others we’ve approved and this one has onsite parking and won’t have an impact on the road,” said Louchheim.
An outdoor movie screening to benefit the Fresh Air Fund on August 10 for 200 people was also given a “conditional approval.” The mayor took exception to the lack of parking and the late hours of the event, slated from 8 to 11 p.m. Kelman had a problem with the sound.
“My objection is having an outdoor screening of a movie is invasive to all of the neighbors,” said Kelman.
Louchheim asked him how it was any different from music being played outside and Kelman said it would be louder.
“You cannot provide headsets to people listening to a dance band,” said Kelman. “If they really want to watch a movie they should watch it like a drive-in [with the sound being provided through a speaker in each viewer].”
The board decided to approve the screening only after they approach the applicant about the sound.

Photo: Sagaponack Village Trustee Alfred Kelman