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Hamptons Life

Nov 10, 2017 1:12 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Billy Joel's Renovation Plan Gets Cold Reception At Sag Harbor ARB

Paul Davis, right, pointing out problems with a model of Billy Joel's renovated Bay Street property at the Sag Harbor Architectural Review Board meeting. JON WINKLER
Nov 13, 2017 12:58 PM

It initially seemed like it was going to be a successful Thursday night for Billy Joel, not at Madison Square Garden but at the Sag Harbor Municipal Building.

His hired team, attorney Jon Tarbet and builder Jeffrey Collé, brought not one but three models displaying Mr. Joel’s proposed renovation to his property on Bay Street to the village Architectural Review Board. But the reception was not positive:

“Nobody on this board will be comfortable with that,” ARB Chairman Anthony Brandt said.

Mr. Brandt and the rest of the board members calmly dimmed hopes for Mr. Joel’s house project during the ARB meeting Thursday night, November 9. Mr. Brandt was responding to Mr. Joel’s plans to elevate and renovate one of the two structures on his Bay Street property. The presence of Mr. Collé and Mr. Tarbet in front of the ARB came after the village Zoning Board of Appeals denied Mr. Joel’s request for a backyard variance by a straw vote in September. Mr. Joel hoped to raise and rotate a two-story building to face Bay Street from Rector Street and combine it with the second structure for an entirely residential property.

“The meshing of the buildings in the streetscape will be so huge, it will dominate the area,” Mr. Brandt said. “Also, this would be a private residence in an area where there are no private residences. The impact of this would be huge.”

Zachary Studenroth, a consultant for the ARB, continued to point out how the combination of the structures would be too large for the traditional historic neighborhood. He also said it would not be appropriate to raise one of the homes and add to the blocking of the view.

“The board is not regulating the preservation of what’s there,” he said. “This would be so large in scale that it feels inappropriate for the site.”

Mr. Tarbet said the plan to bring the two structures together was meant to make the property look more appealing on the outside and fill the open gap of space between the two structures.

When Mr. Collé allowed the board to take a closer look at one of the models of the property, a small crowd formed around the scale model. One of the crowd members was Paul Davis, who lives on a Rector Street property behind Mr. Joel’s structures; he said that his home was misrepresented on the model.

“I really think that for us and the neighbors, this is a huge change in our lives and we’re not looking forward to any change,” Mr. Davis said. “We want to keep the history of the area to scale.”

“We would welcome a redesign of this,” Mr. Brandt said at the end of the meeting. “There might be a creative way of joining the structures without thrusting them together.”

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At least he can walk to the bars and not drive....
By G (342), Southampton on Nov 10, 17 2:16 PM
bars don't want him. hear he doesn't tip well
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Nov 10, 17 5:29 PM
Amazing we call ourselves a free country with property rights LMAO
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 11, 17 5:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Freedom is one thing. Anarchy is another.

Shame you never learned the difference.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 12, 17 12:55 PM
I used to like the Steelers to Z, But on this Veterans day there will be no football in my house! Not until all the NFL respects the country and the FLAG!
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Nov 12, 17 2:39 PM
Let's go Giants! Get that first draft pick!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Nov 12, 17 2:51 PM
All an act. They approve everything. Just like the self deluded, blind mutes that run the Southampton ARB
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Nov 12, 17 6:16 AM
Being successful and wanting to build a house in Sag Harbor is anarchy? Sounds like somebody needs to put the pipe down
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Nov 12, 17 1:55 PM
2 members liked this comment