Tag Archive | "Tutto Il Giorno"

Sag Harbor ZBA Tables Tutto il Giorno Request for More Seats

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Tutto il Giorno on Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Tessa Raebeck photo.

Tutto il Giorno on Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Tessa Raebeck photo.

By Kathryn G. Menu

When the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals approved the addition of 21 seats at LT Burger this fall, exempting the restaurant from having to fulfill parking requirements in the village code tied to seating, members knew it would likely result in a glut of applications by other eateries.

On Tuesday night, board members attempted to stave off that flood of requests, suggesting Bay Partners LLC, the company that owns the Tutto il Giorno property, should approach the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees rather than the ZBA in its quest to gain 21 additional outdoor seats at the Italian restaurant on Bay Street.

In order to legally add 21 seats at Tutto il Giorno, Bay Partners would need to either provide seven new parking spaces or earn a variance from the ZBA. Until 2009, the village allowed commercial property owners to pay into a parking fund when coming before the ZBA to seek a variance for parking. The applicant still had to show the ZBA the additional seating would not have a detrimental affect on the community, but if approved, it would be able to pay into a village fund earmarked to create more parking.

However, in 2009, the fund was abandoned during a village zoning code revision, as there were few ways to create more parking in the village.

On Tuesday, Tutto il Giorno manager Rachel Luria argued the restaurant has the space for the seating in its outdoor dining area, that outdoor dining is largely shielded from Bay Street by landscaping and that the restaurant is surrounded by daytime businesses not open during the busiest dining hours.

“You have every right to be before this board, but my question is are you in the right place,” said village attorney Fred Thiele, Jr. Thiele noted the argument being made by Luria is one that would be made by any restaurant in Sag Harbor, which is if the village looked at other benchmarks outside of parking—like the fire code or wastewater treatment availability—more seats could be easily achieved.

Mr. Thiele suggested what restaurant owners may be looking for is a change in the village code—a legislative decision that can only be made by the village board.

The village has discussed changing seating and parking restrictions for restaurants, although that conversation was largely tabled last year after building inspector Tim Platt noted if all restaurants were allowed to use the fire code as the basis for seating, the village would need upwards of 300 new parking spaces.

“I think, in my opinion, if we were to grant a variance it would have to be for something very unique to this restaurant that differentiates it from all, if not most, of the restaurants in the village,” said board member Tim McGuire.

The application was tabled until the board’s March 18 meeting.

Tutto il Giorno Approved for Outdoor Pizza Oven

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After close to a year of debate, neighbor complaints followed by acceptance, and design revisions, it looks like this spring patrons of Tutto il Giorno will be able to enjoy whole roasted fish and homemade pizza crafted in an outdoor oven.

On Tuesday night, restaurant co-owners Larry Baum and chef Maurizio Marfoglia received a handful of variances from the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals to allow them to construct a 43 square-foot outdoor pizza oven on the restaurant’s Bay Street property.

The decision followed continued debate over whether or not the parcel was in fact large enough to hold the oven without impacting neighboring properties. All of the variances required were for setbacks to the rear, side and transitional yards around the Bay Street parcel.

Baum’s attorney, Tiffany Scarlato, opened her arguments by noting that the design of the pizza oven space, which will include countertops, refrigeration units, a sink and a covered roof in addition to the pizza oven, had been revised since the board had last looked at the application. Specifically, the counter space— criticized by board chairwoman Gayle Pickering for being too large — was scaled back as was the setback of the canopy cover to the rear lot line.

Scarlato said this was indicative of Baum’s desire to present as few variances as possible to the board. She added that the construction of the oven would not increase the number of seats at Tutto il Giorno.

Pickering said she was still concerned that allowing the space was tantamount to allowing a new, fully functional kitchen to be built for Tutto il Giorno. However, Scarlato countered that there are no prohibitions in the village code against having supplemental kitchen space. The sink is necessary per board of health requirements, she added, and the already tight spaces at Tutto il Giorno necessitate that the chef have items, like pizza dough and fish refrigerated close by.

“The idea is to add product, not seats,” added Baum. “We just want to add something like whole roasted fish, which we cannot do in our current ovens, or little pizzettes or fresh bread.”

Scarlato added that the restaurant is currently operating with just 150 square-feet of kitchen space, a very small kitchen for any restaurant.

“I have been familiar with the premises since 1980 and it was always known to have a small kitchen, which is difficult to work in,” said board member Anton Hagen. “Tutto has done a historic job maintaining a high level of quality with that kitchen.”

He added the oven would improve working conditions and that the only neighbor who complained about the project has rescinded his complaints.

The two closest neighbors to the parcel, said Scarlato, support the project and have written letters to the zoning board to that affect.

While Pickering maintained she believed the site was too small, the rest of the board supported Hagens opinion on the project and the variances were approved without the chairwoman’s support in a four-to-one vote. A formal decision will be read at next month’s January 17 meeting.

Also on January 17, a formal decision will be read approving the Graff-Ostrow families for variances for a former 1700s sea captain’s mansion at 107 Division Street — a property formally owned by The American Hotel owner Ted Conklin.

The Graff-Ostrow families were approved for the construction of a covered entry, which was removed but did exist historically on the property, within 7.7 feet off the rear lot line where 30-feet are required under village code. The property owners also purchased the residence next door, according to their consultant and want to restore the neighboring properties to the multi-family use they historically boasted.

The board also read formal approvals for two variance applications, including for Brad Penuel and Andressa Costa to increase the building coverage at their 51 Harrison Street home. T & K Redwood Associates were also formally granted a variance to construct a new residence at 64 Redwood Road that will protrude above the sky plane. Ann Hotung was officially denied her variance to build a swimming pool at 9 Suffolk Street after neighbors descended on the zoning board last month asking them not to approve the plans.

One Building Owner Hopes to Raise Building, Another Hopes for Outdoor Pizza Oven

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Giorgio 125 Main street site Layout2 (1)

Sag Harbor’s Tutto Il Giorno plans to build an outdoor pizza oven with the hopes of diversifying its menu, although the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board expressed concerns on Tuesday night that neighbors to the Italian eatery may not be pleased with the concept of the smell of homemade pizza wafting through their windows come summertime.

During its regular meeting, on Tuesday, January 26 Bill Hajek, representing Tutto Il Giorno presented preliminary plans to the village planning board for the accessory structure, which would comprise a 43 square-foot masonry outdoor pizza oven and 155 square-foot roofed work area at the rear of the existing restaurant. The oven would be located just over five feet from the property line with the roof area a little more than four feet from the property line. A shed, already three feet from the property line, would be demolished in order to accommodate the project.

According to a memo drafted by Rich Warren of Inter-Science Research Associates, the village’s planning consultant, Sag Harbor code will require the restaurant to seek a variance through the zoning board of appeals as code demands any accessory structure in the village business district be at least 15-feet from the property line. Warren also questioned whether construction of the pizza oven would increase the number of employees needed at Tutto Il Giorno, which could change the parking requirements of the restaurant. Lastly, he asked the restaurant to demonstrate what kind of landscaping buffers it intends to install in the area between the property and neighboring residences.

While the project will have to seek variances from the zoning board, village attorney Anthony Tohill said that board should not hear the application until the planning board has finished its own review. According to Tohill, if the zoning board granted a variance for the pizza oven, the planning board’s hands would be tied in discussing it.

According to Hajek, the pizza oven would utilize propane gas, not wood, reducing any potential odors for neighboring residences.

“They are not opening a pizzeria,” noted Hajek. “They are simply adding diversity to their menu.”

Hajek added that he did not believe the addition of pizza oven would result in the need to hire more employees nor did he think it would necessarily draw people to the restaurant, but rather give the existing clientele more dining options.

“You mean you don’t want more business,” asked board member Larry Perrine.

“What I meant to say is this will not increase their seating capacity,” said Hajek. “It won’t draw more people to dine at their facility at any one time.”

Board member Greg Ferraris said he believed the key to the application would be notifying neighbors of the property.

Planning board chairman Neil Slevin said the biggest concern of the board was the impact on neighboring properties.

“This may, ultimately, require a site visit by the board,” said Tohill.

In other planning board news, during its work session it also discussed the proposal by James Giorgio to raise his commercial building at 125 Main.

Charles Thomas, Giorgio’s longtime architect, explained the proposal is to raise the existing building three-feet, remove additions off the rear and finish the basement, creating an access at the sidewalk level. The Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees has already indicated they would look favorably on granting Giorgio a sidewalk easement to allow the new commercial space. According to Thomas, the project will not require any additional parking spaces and the new retail space would only increase the size of the building by 322 square feet.

“I actually think this is a pretty good little project and in reviewing it I think is actually the kind of thing that would add visual diversity on Main Street,” said Warren. He did ask if an adjacent property, also owned by Giorgio, would have anything built on it in the near future, noting if so, it should be considered with the rest of this application. Thomas assured that outside of a brick walkway, which would connect Church Street to Main Street, at this time Giorgio had no plans to do anything other than complete the project at 125 Main Street.

Tohill said the construction of a sidewalk connecting Church and Main streets could be something that is advantageous for not only Giorgio, but the village as a whole.

Before the application can be deemed complete, Warren asked Thomas to file details on landscaping for the property, including a planting plan as well as a plan detailing what drainage control is already on site. Warren also asked Thomas to provide a parking plan showing a minimum of five percent of all parking spaces are handicap accessible.