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Apr 21, 2016 1:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor Village Board Adopts Law Limiting House Sizes

The Village Board adopted a local law limiting the size of houses in the village. ALISHA STEINDECKER
Apr 26, 2016 12:22 PM

The Sag Harbor Village Board adopted a new local law last week, after much debate, that limits the size of houses.

After months of work drafting and re-drafting the law, which amends the village’s zoning code, the Village Board adopted it at a special meeting on Thursday, April 21, with just a few people in attendance—in stark contrast to several previous meetings about the legislation, which were well attended.

The law only affects homes on lots larger than 6,250 square feet, as homes on smaller lots are regulated separately. The new law is a scaled-back version of one that village officials originally proposed in January, with the new version allowing homes to be about 400 square feet larger than at first proposed.

A home on a 6,250-square-foot lot will not be able to exceed 2,500 square feet under the new law.

“We have received such positive comments, and I am talking about in excess of 100, from people,” said Mayor Sandra Schroeder, adding that residents had approached her and several board members, also calling and emailing them, to say thank you. The law also ends a moratorium on some residential building that was slated to expire on April 30, which was the subject of several lawsuits against the village.

The law states that lots that are larger than 6,250 square feet would gradually earn 400-square-foot increases in gross floor area, such that a home on a 15,000-square-foot lot could not exceed 3,200 square feet, while a home on a 20,000-square-foot-lot could not exceed 3,600 square feet. Previously, a home on a 15,000-square-foot-lot could be as large as 6,000 square feet, and a home on a 20,000-square-foot-lot could be up to 8,000 square feet.

Now, the maximum house size permitted in the village is 4,000 square feet, which would only be allowed on lots that are 25,000 square feet or larger. If property owners wish to build homes larger than that, they still could apply for a special exception permit; however, homes cannot exceed 7,000 square feet as an ultimate limit.

According to village officials, the median lot size in the village is 12,906 square feet, and a home on a lot that size could be a maximum of 3,032 square feet.

The village also adopted a local law that regulates the process of building swimming pools, including requiring that a property owner must go before the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review before having a swimming pool installed.

“I want to thank everybody who worked on these projects,” said Village Trustee Ed Deyermond. “A lot of effort went into it, a lot of pain on both sides, and I think I really regret, as a result of these, that we have lost really two outstanding people,” he added, referring to former Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele Jr., as well as the village’s longtime planning consultant, Richard Warren, who both announced their resignations earlier this month. “I am really, really sorry that it has come to where it has come to and we have lost some really good people.”

Mr. Warren and Mr. Thiele played considerable roles in drafting the legislation, and Mr. Warren’s company, Interscience Research Associates of Southampton, analyzed every lot in the village to come up with the new zoning laws.

“It is a very big deal to me,” said Ms. Schroeder in an interview last week. “Everybody gets stopped here and there, and people are asking questions, and it is good because they are paying attention—we have been getting positive comments all along even though people stand up at meetings and try to interrogate us.”

She added, “We have gotten so many good things, and we are here working for the village—not working for five or six disgruntles.”

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I would just like to say, it's a little late isn't it.... The house on medowlark lane and Long Island ave. Thought the whole idea was to keep houses like in the surrounding area?
By RayCard (11), Sag Harbor, New York on Apr 23, 16 4:05 PM