Apparent Détente Over North Haven Point House
By Stephen J. Kotz
North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander said on Tuesday that he was confident that an agreement had been reached with Stuart Hersch, the owner of the historic Point House, and the village over a plan to renovate the 1804 home at the corner of Ferry and Fahys Roads.
In an earlier deal with the village, Mr. Hersch, the president and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, in 2014 agreed to move the house from its perch overlooking Sag Harbor to the street side of his property to be used as a guest house so he could build a modern house in its place.
The village thought the agreement would protect the house for the long run, but Mr. Hersch soon balked at what he said were unreasonable demands being placed on him for a house he did not want and should not have been obliged to save, given that the village has no historic district.
Last November, the issue came to a head, with Mr. Hersch threatening to let the house — the oldest in North Haven — deteriorate to the point it would have to be razed.
Mr. Sander said Mr. Hersch’s architect had met with the village Architectural Review Board and suggested a modest restoration plan that calls for the re-shingling of the roof and walls and the removal of two skylights on the road side of the property and a bay window on the water side. The ARB also agreed to Mr. Hersch’s request to replace the windows with Anderson double-glazed windows, Mr. Sander said.
That brought a modest protest from Trustee James Laspesa, an architect, who said the modern windows would detract from the appearance of the historic house and suggested a better solution could be found. “If you were trying to get that through other municipalities, it would be kicked right back,” he said, adding that in a village such as Sag Harbor, Mr. Hersch would probably have been required to install more historic looking wooden windows.
But Mr. Sander said he was happy with the compromise, saying that while on close inspection, the house would not look authentic, at least it would still be standing. He said once the village receives final plans it would be able to issue a building permit for the project.
In other action, the village board approved an extension of its deer fencing law for another four years. The law allows residents to erect deer fencing that that is 8 feet tall, while other fences are limited to 4 feet, provided it is made of plastic, no closer to the street than the front of the house and at least 10 feet from the property line. The village board is required to renew the law every four years and may only do so, if it determines there is still a deer problem.