Bronster Earns Approval for Ninevah Beach House


The currently existing house at 48 Lincoln Street. Stephen J. Kotz photo

By Christine Sampson



Manhattan attorney Bruce Bronster has won approval from the Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review for his much-debated new house at 48 Lincoln Street in Ninevah Beach.

The board unanimously approved the final version of the plans on March 9, giving the green light to Mr. Bronster’s 3,740-square-foot, transitional-style house. It is a scaled-down version of the 5,260-square-foot house that initially required a special building permit from the village board. Over the objections of neighbors, the village board last August granted him that permit — which he now won’t need to use.

“I’m thrilled that we moved ahead with full ARB support on a project that is going to be beautiful,” Mr. Bronster said by phone on Wednesday. “I think it’s something that everybody is going to be proud of.”

The application “had to go through a lot of iterations,” he said. During a January 26 ARB meeting, he said the expense of returning to meeting after meeting over the span of a year had created “a certain degree of hardship” for him.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bronster said, “I sincerely appreciate all the hard work the ARB puts in on all these submissions. It’s not an easy job – it’s difficult. There’s a lot at stake for the people who live here, and I am one of those people. We’re all striving for a common good.”

The two-story home will also have a detached two-car garage, finished cellar and 16-by-40-foot swimming pool.

The final board-related hurdle Mr. Bronster’s proposal cleared last Thursday was a detailed landscaping plan showing exactly how much of the property’s vegetation would be cleared, how much of it would be retained, where the pool fencing would lie, and how the landscaping would be installed in relation to the neighboring properties. ARB member Dean Gomolka had been adamant since the board’s January 26 meeting that the plans needed to be more specific, and furthermore needed to be adjusted in certain ways.

“I thought the initial plan was vague,” he said Wednesday. “It left it open for the applicant to basically do whatever they wanted for the site, and there was some concern from the public that it was going to be clear-cut. There was basically no information on the plan that we could hold them to.”

Once that was remedied — which took two more meetings — Mr. Gomolka voted to approve the application along with his colleagues.

“I’m satisfied with the outcome … I’m happy that we saved some trees for the moment,” he said.

Mr. Bronster’s proposal also overcame opposition from neighbors who initially objected to the size of the proposed house until it was scaled down. Neighbors also questioned its legality, since the application came in under the name Marie Romain, who is deceased. Mr. Bronster’s attorney furnished the village with paperwork from Ms. Romain’s estate that cleared the way for the project to move forward.

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