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Sep 19, 2018 1:13 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor ZBA Hesitantly Closes Public Hearing On West Water Street Condo Plan

Developer Jay Bialsky, right, with his attorney Brian DeSesa at the Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. JON WINKLER
Sep 25, 2018 1:19 PM

The Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals on Tuesday, September 18, closed a public hearing on a number of variance applications as part of a proposal by developer Jay Bialsky to build condominiums on West Water Street, although a number of questions and concerns about the project remained.

The board voted, 4-1, to close the hearing after about 90 minutes of discussion at the regular meeting. Mr. Bialsky was in attendance during the meeting but let his attorney, Brian DeSesa, answer most of the board’s questions.

Mr. Bialsky’s plan to build three condominiums on three-quarters of an acre on West Water Street has received criticism from the village ZBA and Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review for a number of reasons, including the proposed height of the buildings. Under current zoning, buildings have a maximum height of 35 feet tall.

In response, the developer decreased the proposed height of the building from 46 feet to 44.6 feet. The concern is that the building would block the view of Sag Harbor Cove.

Board member Robert Plumb still saw the condos being too high despite the slight reduction from the last iteration.

Also drawing fire from the board in the past has been the proposed overall square footage of the project, but during the hearing, Mr. DeSesa pointed out there had been significant reductions to the three proposed buildings since the application was last discussed in August. Mr. DeSesa said that the first unit had been reduced 9.3 percent to 9,267 square feet, the second unit had been reduced 10 percent to 7,869 square feet, and the third unit had been reduced 2 percent to 8,339 square feet.

While Mr. Plumb tried to note that the condos on the property would be triple the size of the current building, Mr. DeSesa corrected him by saying that the jump from about 11,000 square feet to about 26,000 square feet would be a little over double the size of the current building.

Board member Susan Mead voiced concerns about how much open space there would be left on the property after development, suggesting that Mr. Bialsky add a covenant to the proposal ensuring there would be open space left on the property, and that the condo complex’s breezeway be expanded.

Several members of the public expressed differing opinions about the project. Roxanne Briggs, a resident of Bay Street, said she was in favor of the condos and said they were “consistent with the thought and good taste” of Sag Harbor Village.

Jayne Young, a member of Save Sag Harbor, countered with more concerns about the size of the condos and even requested a public look at how the condos would look from the view of the Ferry Road bridge that connects Sag Harbor with North Haven.

“Instead of feeling natural, it’ll feel architectural,” Ms. Young said referring to the look of the condos compared to the other structures in the village. “I recognize the public good here, but there is also public good by just having one building there.”

With the public hearing closed, Village Attorney Denise Schoen now has 62 days to draft a determination for the board to either approve or deny the variances. Board Chairman Dr. Robby Stein said on Wednesday that the project will also require approval from the village ARB to go forward.

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I thought this property was for a park!
By MelissaA (52), Sag Harbor on Sep 19, 18 2:19 PM
I believe They are talking about a condonthat is supposed to go where the building that houses among other things, the 7-Eleven is.
By Nukiepoo (123), Southampton on Sep 20, 18 11:39 AM
A very small park. For the tourists to seek shade alongside the very first 4 story apartment buildings on the East End. John Steinbeck may have had some definite grapes of wrath over this proposal.
By Harbor Master (110), Sag Harbor on Sep 19, 18 3:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
build as of right or not at all
By bigfresh (4547), north sea on Sep 19, 18 5:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
And the sad decline of Sag Harbor continues.
By country joe (60), sag harbor on Sep 20, 18 9:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Indeed country joe .....
By Sturgis (605), Southampton on Sep 23, 18 8:05 AM
The horror...
By V.Tomanoku (783), southampton on Sep 23, 18 10:55 AM
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