Elevator Plan For Controversial Meadow Lane Residence Not Looked On Favorably - 27 East

Elevator Plan For Controversial Meadow Lane Residence Not Looked On Favorably

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The house at 40 Meadow Lane in Southampton Village.

The house at 40 Meadow Lane in Southampton Village.

Brendan J. O’Reilly on May 11, 2022

A request for permission to add an elevator and dormers to an already controversial residence at 40 Meadow Lane has come before the Southampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals, which looked upon the plans unfavorably.

The 6,677-square-foot residence was built in place of a 120-square-foot shingle-style residence over the objections of many village residents and was the subject of a lawsuit in 2014 that tried to reverse its approval; neighbors argued it exceeded the village’s height restriction of 35 feet. The village has since adopted a stricter sky plane law that would prevent the home from being approved today.

After infighting among the previous owners, 40 Meadow Lane changed hands in April 2021 for $42.92 million. The buyer was named as only Smithtown Partners LLC, but the New York Post reported that the identity of the new owner was New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Michael Sendlenski, the attorney representing Smithtown Partners LLC, told the ZBA on April 28 that the owner needs an elevator due to mobility issues and that the dormers are necessary to accommodate the elevator. Asked by the board to explain how the relief sought is not due to a self-created issue, he asserted that having mobility issues cannot be considered a self-created hardship under the test that the ZBA must use when weighing applications.

Sendlenski said the country is well beyond saying that people with mobility issues “aren’t allowed in certain corners of our village or of our town.” He said they are allowed to go anywhere they want to and it is the ZBA’s job to provide a reasonable accommodation.

“I find that kind of far fetched,” ZBA member Susan Stevenson said. Member Luke Ferran added, “I definitely don’t appreciate you insinuating that we would somehow have problems with disabled people.”

Board members objected to the effects the dormers would have on the height of a house they already consider too tall.

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