East Hampton Town Creates Special Landmarks

East Hampton Town Hall

The East Hampton Town Board has designated 13 properties located outside of historic districts as special landmarks, and it has also approved a law allowing the owners of those properties to build a second dwelling on the property to use up excess gross floor area as a perk in exchange for placing limitations on how the original, now-historic structures can be renovated, expanded or demolished.

The legislation, which was unanimously approved on December 7, was modeled after a law in East Hampton Village. Robert Hefner, East Hampton Town’s historic preservation consultant, previously described the law as “the only practical avenue” to the preservation of historic houses located outside of historic districts.

Examples of the newly landmarked properties include the Nathan Miller House, built around the mid-19th century, which sits on 9.1 acres and takes up 8 percent of the parcel’s allowable gross floor area (GFA); the 18th-century Baker House, which sits on a 34,788-square-foot lot and takes up 40 percent of the parcel’s existing GFA; and the 1805 Elnathan Parsons House, built by Nathaniel Dominy V, which sits on a 102,707-square-foot lot and takes up 42 percent of the parcel’s allowable GFA.

Physical changes to the properties are now subject to Architectural Review Board approval, in exchange for the ability to build what the town now calls a “guest house” to use up the rest of the allowable GFA on those lots.