Harbor Panel Asks To Be Asked To Review Havens Beach Drainage Plan

The Harbor Committee at work on Monday evening, January 14. Peter Boody photo

A news report in last week’s Express that the Village of Sag Harbor planned to enlarge the outflow pipe and remove invasive phragmites by this summer at the Havens Beach end of the municipal drainage swale prompted members of the Harbor Committee on Monday to wonder if they shouldn’t be asked to verify that the plan complies with the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

Their attorney, Denise Schoen, and former committee chairman Bruce Tait, who was in the audience, told them yes, they should ask the Village Board of Trustees to ask them to review the project. Determining LWRP compatibility for projects within 150 feet of the water is one of the board’s legislated responsibilities, she noted.

The panel voted 4-0 to make the request.

Joan Butler and Jean Held, members of the Friends of Havens Beach, also questioned the drainage project, asking whether or not an environmental consultant had reviewed the plan to improve the drainage system, which receives runoff from 133 acres of terrain above Liberty and Hempstead streets. “Will the overflow be so great” in heavy rains, asked Ms. Butler, that water will “go outside the filter” that was installed at the Havens Beach end of the drainage swale in 2013 to trap contaminants?

She also said phragmites, even though they are invasive and unwanted, do help filter runoff. Ms. Held warned that removing phragmites, as planned, can be counterproductive, stimulating an explosive regrowth if just a few shreds of vegetative matter are left behind.

Also at the busy monthly session, the committee spent nearly an hour beginning its review of developer Jay Bialsky’s plan to tear down the former motel at 2 West Water Street and build three condo units in two structures. The project needs a village wetlands permit because it is within 150 feet of the shoreline. The board made no decisions and held the hearing open until its next meeting.

The board went over details of the plan to extend an existing bulkhead from 100 linear feet to 235, remove asphalt and concrete rubble, and create six boat slips which could be modified to accommodate three large yachts.

The board on Monday granted one wetlands-permit application, that of Farrin Cary to build a pool in the backyard of her house at 132 Glover Street. The vote was 3-0 with Herbert Sambol absent and newly appointed member Lillee Fell not voting because she was not on the board when it aired the case over the past few months.

The continuing hearing on a controversial, long-pending application for a pool in a side yard overlooking Ligonnee Creek at 36 Fordham Street was adjourned to the February 11 meeting at the request of the applicant, 36 Fordham Holdings, LLC, for which attorney Bruce Bronster is listed as a contact.

In the Glover Street case, a 34-by-15-foot pool that will be 4 feet deep, with an ionizer to minimize chlorine use, will be installed at the northeast corner of an existing two-story dwelling on the 29,085-square-foot parcel at the intersection of Glover and West Water Street. Four dry wells will be installed for backwash from the pool, which will be at least 75.6 feet from the nearest freshwater wetland area, meeting the 75-foot setback called for in the wetlands code. A wetlands buffer measuring 11,105 square feet will be designated and 610 square feet of lawn will be removed for the pool.

An existing cesspool located in freshwater wetlands that serves a one-story accessory structure on the east side of the property will be abandoned. The dwelling will be connected to a new on-site septic system to be located near the west boundary of the property.

Louis Grignon of the Sag Harbor Yacht Yard, Robert Camerino of the Sag Harbor Yacht Club and Mr. Tait of Tait Associates yacht sales were on hand in the audience to question the committee about proposed revisions to the waterways code now pending before the Village Board, which opened a hearing on the proposal on January 8.