Tag Archive | "village hall"

Sagaponack Moves into New Digs

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Champagne and Sagaponack Village Board meetings usually never coincide, but on Monday evening board members had good reason to celebrate at the closing of the trustees monthly session. With glasses in hand, the Sagaponack officials feted the inaugural meeting in the new village hall, purchased almost six months ago.
Before acquiring the new digs, the village operated out of a tiny two-room office down the road — on the corner of Montauk Highway and Sagg Main Street. The size of the space resembled a small New York City apartment rather than a village hall and cost $2,040 a month to rent. One room served as village clerk Rhodi Winchell’s office, which she shared with secretary Pat Remkus, but it was crammed with filing cabinets, papers and two bulky desks. The other room hosted board meetings, but doubled as building inspector John Woudsma’s office, and was so small the planning board often saw applicants in shifts.
“For planning board meetings it was absolutely standing room only,” recalled Winchell. “Anytime we had public hearings we had to use another space … like the Sagaponack school house.”
By December 2007, village officials started to look around for a permanent, and roomier, location. Winchell said the village explored every available option, from purchasing land to finding a new rental location. Their first goal, however, was to stay within the incorporated village of Sagaponack.

After extensive research, the village found a three-bedroom home for sale on Montauk Highway. The house was a converted barn and previously owned by a soundtrack producer. The list price was $1.2 million.
To finance the project, the village put the purchase to a vote. In August 2008, residents approved $2 million for the acquisition of the home. The village, however, only took out a $1.5 million bond anticipation notice (BAN), and used the remaining funds for building renovations.
For the most part, the building was structurally sound, but the southern and eastern walls of the former living room needed to be shored up and the roof was heightened. Now the room will be used for village board meetings and public hearings. The first floor bathroom was made handicap accessible and the village outfitted the hall with soft recessed lighting. Other repairs made to the building were mostly cosmetic.
“One bedroom was painted a salmon pink … and the kitchen was painted a dingy yellow,” said Woudsma. The village opted to cover the walls in white and ivory. The former kitchen was converted into a lunch area and foyer, which is partitioned by French doors. The walls separating one bedroom and the previous owner’s music mixing studio were knocked out and now serve as a large office area.
The final product is a polished, yet comfortable looking building with plenty of space for village operations. In the new meeting hall, sun streams in through the French doors in the back of the room and two colorful lithographs, created and donated by local artist Robert Dash, adorn the walls.

Although the building was renovated, design details from its past remain. Dark wood beams are found on almost every ceiling. One wall in the conference room — which was an addition built in the 1980s — is lined with white-painted shingles and was the original exterior of the building.
Part of the building’s charm, said Woudsma, is its hodgepodge of architectural elements, many of which cannot be historically placed. Two closets installed in the 1980s boast vintage porcelain doorknobs with iron locksets. The cherry wood floors look original to the barn, but Woudsma maintains they were most likely installed in the 1980s.
Although the current location of the building is on Montauk Highway, it was moved there from the Raymond Magee Farm on Hedges Lane in the early 1960s. The original barn structure was built between the late 1700s or early 1800s. Arthur Baron of the Barons Cove Inn in Sag Harbor moved the building in the 1960s, hoping to convert it into an antique store. Due to zoning constraints, Baron abandoned the project and sold the building as a private home.
In a way, Winchell and Woudsma have made the space into their home. Winchell often greets visitors by saying, “Welcome to our new abode.”
The village staff is still waiting for grass seed to be laid down on the front lawn and plan to create some overflow parking on the southern portion of the property, but for the most part the project is complete.
“We are still unpacking … there is so much space we don’t know what to do with it,” said Winchell. As she continued to file papers into a series of cabinets, Winchell had a second thought.
“No, I think we will find a use for [the space].”

Proliferation of Signs in Village of Sagaponack Disturbing

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Don Louchheim and Joy Sieger

Sagaponack Village Mayor Don Louchheim announced on Monday during a work session that the new Sagaponack village hall is getting closer to completion. Louchheim said the grounds of the new hall have been cleared and some minor demolition completed. Architect Peter Wilson has also looked at the entire building and created plans for both current and future needs, according to Louchheim.
“We are trying to get numbers on what plan A or plan B will cost,” Louchheim told the village trustees, adding that he hopes the board can decide by the next meeting what should be done at the new location.
Signs were another item of discussion at Monday’s work session as village board members discussed the posting of new signs that say “share the road” to remind drivers of bicyclists on the roadways. Sagaponack resident Ann Sandford sent a letter to Jefferson Murphree, Southampton Town’s planning and development administrator, asking for the removal of these signs. Sandford said in the letter that, in an area less than half a mile along Narrow Lane, there are 29 signs.
The signage that Sandford is mostly concerned with is the new lime green, bicycle signs reading, ‘share the road’, that were implemented by the Town of Southampton.
“These signs do seem unusually big,” conceded board member Lisa Duryea Thayer. “It is visual clutter and it doesn’t assist any motorist in making good decisions.”
Thayer also added that when the signs are seen alongside recent additional real estate signs, a motorist might just choose not to read any of them.
Louchheim asked how this issue might be addressed and village clerk, Rhodi Winchell responded by saying that the signs were decided upon before the incorporation of the village. The village board is now requesting more information from Murphree.
“We need to find out if we are liable if some cyclist gets squished,” Louchheim said.
Equally disturbing to Sandford and addressed in the letter is the intersection of Old Farm Road, Hildreth Lane and Poxabogue Road in Sagaponack where she said there are 12 signs all within a radius of 30 yards of the intersection, which will be additionally taken into consideration.
Parks and Rec
When Alfred Kelman gave his parks and recreation report, he mentioned that there may be a need for garbage cans along Bridge Street. The town trustees allow fishing from the bridge on this road, as well as hunting and dragging of nets in the pond and Kelman wondered if a permit can be required for these activities and asked if garbage cans could be added along the road. He joked that there would need to be additional signs reminding residents that no household waste could be disposed there.
Kelman also notified the board that he received a notice from Gary Ireland, directing him to a recent article in a local publication on dredging in Center Moriches. Ireland is a lawyer who is representing his mother in a case of erosion at her Sagaponack residence that has caused her to move her home back from the water, twice. Ireland’s case claims that jetties installed in East Hampton in the 1960s have caused erosion to the areas to the west. The dredging project in Center Moriches is using the dredged sand for beachfront restoration. Kelman said the article and Ireland’s email re-emphasizes that the county or town is the only source for getting money to replenish the beaches. But Louchheim said that there may be other ways to get more money for replenishment.

The village board also announced on Monday that there will be a change to their current code on tents. The change will include a reduction in fees from $500 to match that of Southampton Town’s tent fee, which is $50 for residential and $100 for commercial properties. Louchheim thanked Winchell for taking the initiative to mail out the notices to all residents in the village who had a past event that might be affected by the new legislation.

Sagaponack closes on new village hall

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Despite the fact that the purchase of Sagaponack Village Hall was set to close on Monday, village attorney Anthony Tohill said, the closing, which was changed to Tuesday, went well.
“The closings don’t always happen when people want them to,” Tohill said on Wednesday. But he added, “It went fine and now the village owns a new village hall.”
The village of Sagaponack contracted to close on their new village hall on August 13 and it has taken a little more than two months for the sale to close.
The village approved $2 million for the new village hall, which cost $1.2 million. Last week the board talked about a $1.5 million bond anticipation notice (BAN). Village officials said the remanding $300,000 can be used for renovations on the new hall.
At the Sagaponack Village Board meeting on Monday night, the board announced that Don Sacher, member of the village’s architectural review board (ARB) is moving to North Haven. Trustee Lisa Duryea-Thayer said Sachar would only be able to make one more meeting.
“If any of you have anyone to recommend, please give me a name,” mayor Don Louchheim said to fellow board members.
In addition to adding new signs near the Sagaponack School reducing the speed limit to 25 mph, deputy mayor Lee Foster announced that she will be inspecting the village for potholes and trees that are in poor condition. Foster also said she will be looking for areas in the streets, where pavement is breaking.
Planning Board
At Sagaponack’s planning board meeting, the board held a public hearing for a pre-application for a property at 276 Parsonage Lane. The 19.12 acre property is on the northerly side of Parsonage Lane and its owners are applying for the creation of three residential lots on the property. The pre-application plan outlines three lots on the westerly side of the parcel. The owner has submitted the plan with the intent on keeping the 10-foot wide trail that connects the Long Pond Greenbelt area to the ocean in Sagaponack. Barbara Bornstein of the Southampton Trails Preservation Society, thanked the planning board for their understanding and keeping the trails open.
“This is a wonderful plan and I commend the applicant and the board for this.” Bornstein said.
She added that it is an important step for the village because the Southampton Town Planning Board approved a preliminary application for the Two Trees Farm, a 114-acre parcel with 19 lots, in Bridgehampton this past summer, which, she said would eliminate the possiblity of a public trail in that area altogether.
Residents on the west side of the Parsonage Lane property, however, came to the hearing on Monday to ask that plans be reconsidered because if the homes were built in the proposed location, current property owners will lose their views. Louchheim said the board would take the information into consideration. The application will be open for written comment for 10 days.
A preliminary subdivision application for a 17-acre parcel at 150 Gibson Lane was also approved at Monday’s meeting. The representatives for this property are asking for a six-lot subdivision and a public hearing for the property will be held on November 17. Also at that date a public hearing is scheduled for the 41-acre property owned by the Schwenk Family located at 3491 Montauk Highway. This property has also submitted a preliminary application for a subdivision on one of the largest undeveloped pieces of land left in the village.

Sagaponack – Financing the Hall

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In the tiny room in the tiny building on the corner of Montauk Highway and Sagg Main Street, the Sagaponack village board met for their monthly work session on Tuesday to talk about their new village hall, new speed limit signs and the adoption of a new local law pertaining to event tents.
Mayor Donald Louchheim, began the meeting in the space that is the temporary village hall until the village moves to its new home at 3175 Montauk Highway. The cost of the building, formerly a home, is $1.2 million. The village board has asked for a bond anticipation note (BAN) for $1.5 million.
“We have successfully floated a bond to fund the purchase of the new village hall, which we will close on this Monday,” Louchheim said on Tuesday. Village clerk Rhodi Winchell said that Commerce Capital Market Bank won the bid for the BAN with an interest rate of 2.19 percent, lower than Bridgehampton National Bank’s bid with an interest rate of over 2.5 percent. Earlier this year voters approved up to $2 million for the village hall, which covers the purchase price and additional renovations.
Architect Peter Wilson has submitted preliminary plans for a possible addition to the rear of the new building to extend the meeting room.
“We will get the estimates before we go any further,” Louchheim said on Tuesday.
The board is also expecting discussions of parking at the new location.
On Tuesday, the village board also held a public hearing and adopted a new local law, which requires permits for event tents for Sagaponack residents. Although the law, which requires that a permit be obtained from the village, was adopted, trustee Joy Sieger questioned if it was realistic that a tent be removed within 24 hours after an event. Trustee Lisa Duryea Thayer brought the $1,000 fee to the board’s attention and said maybe they should look at Southampton’s legislation to determine what options they will have to enforce the requirements of their temporary tent law.
Sagaponack also recently put up new speed limit signs in front of the Sagaponack School, reducing the speed in the area to 15 miles per hour. Earlier this year, the board voted to put up new signs 1,320 feet in front of the Sagaponack School to reduce the speed of traffic along the road. Sieger thought a possibility may be to put up flashing lights, or speed bumps to warn people of the change in speed for the area.
“It can be used to train people to go a slower speed,” she said.