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Jun 2, 2010 12:27 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bull's Head Inn gets variance from Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals

Jun 2, 2010 12:27 PM

The Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals has granted the developer of the Bull’s Head Inn in Bridgehampton the variances necessary for the historical structure’s renovation and transformation into a restaurant, 22-room inn and spa.

Late last month, the ZBA gave Miaco LLC, a corporation owned by former Phillip Morris CEO Bill Campbell, permission to deviate from multiple regulations to expand the Bull’s Head Inn and from setback requirements for two of the four cottages that Miaco would like to build. The ZBA also agreed to grant a variance allowing a property adjacent to the Bull’s Head Inn, currently zoned for multi-family residential, to be used for commercial purposes.

The inn, when completed, will have 22 rooms, a 66-seat restaurant, bar and a spa. There will also be four cottages, for a total of 12 guest rooms, on the property the inn now sits on, which is 2.24 acres. The second lot, which is just shy of a half acre, will be home to a 74-space parking lot and a chromaglass septic system, according to a ZBA document.

The ZBA decision was written by Vice Chairman Adam Grossman. Now, the project will go before the Town Planning Board for site plan review. The project had already been before that board for an environmental review process.

David Gilmartin Jr., the attorney handling the project, said he expects the Planning 
Board process will take three to five months. He has not 
yet submitted an application 
to the board, he said.

Once the project secures site plan approval from the Planning Board, the owners can get a permit to begin construction.

The ZBA approved the variances at its May 20 meeting by a vote of 5-1, with board member Keith Tutill dissenting. Board member Ann Nowak was absent.

Since the project was introduced to the Planning Board in 2005, it has been the subject of debate in the Bridgehampton community. Some neighbors of the property have complained that the new use would be noisy and generate too much traffic. Supporters of the project have said that they are glad a historical structure will be saved and put to good use.

Ian MacPherson, a member of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, said he objects to the ZBA’s decision because he does not think the adjacent parcel should be changed from a residential use to a commercial use. It could set precedent for the rest of the town, he explained. Fred Cammann, Bridgehampton CAC chairman, said he is also disappointed that the ZBA approved the variances—even though he expected the decision. “The ZBA grants 90 percent of all applications for variances,” he said. “Down-zoning is never considered a very good thing for any community. This is down-zoning.”

Mr. Gilmartin said the transformation of the old Bull’s Head Inn into an inn with conference capability is consistent with the recommendations of the
town’s 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update. “It begs for the 
use of an inn,” Mr. Gilmartin 
said of the update.

The inn, built in the 1840s as the residence of Judge Abraham Rose, is well-known for its Greek revival architecture. It was almost torn down in the 1960s to make way for a gas station.

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What a surprise.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Jun 4, 10 9:37 PM
Its a beautiful Inn and it will add back to the community. Just wait and see what the other corner brings. Now when they finish renoating the Topping House it will be a nice gateway.
By North Sea Citizen (528), North Sea on Jun 5, 10 7:56 AM
Did anyone else notice that the car in the second drawing looks a lot like an Audi? Interesting..
By MartyMcDougal (24), Providence on Jun 11, 10 12:38 PM