Harbor Review Board Sees Two Plans for Solar Panels on Residential Roofs

Review Board chair Dean Gomolka (left) and member Judy Long (right) look on as ARB member David Berridge inspects a solar roof panel like those to be installed at 19 Howard Street.

Two plans to put solar panels on the roofs of Sag Harbor houses, one on Howard Street and the other on Columbia Street, were either approved or seemed headed for approval by the Historic Preservation & Architectural Review Board when it met on Thursday, June 13.

With little discussion, the board voted to grant a certificate of appropriateness (COA) for John Schroeder to install a solar electric system on the roof of the house at 15 Columbia Street. “Quite frankly, there’s a battery of these things across the street,” said board chairman Dean Gomolka, referring to the main Sag Harbor fire house on Brick Kiln Road.

“I’m just thrilled to have any kind of solar thing going on,” said board member Judith Long.

In the other case, board members seemed inclined to vote “yes” at a future meeting as they tabled Sidney S. Stark’s application to install solar panels that will cover the entire roof at 19 Howard Street, a two-story house with a low-pitched roof that does not face the street.

The system will provide 66 percent of the electric needs of the property with roof-tile panels, which board chairman Dean Gomolka said would look better than the asphalt roof on the house now. “I would take this to a vote tonight and see how it falls,” he said.

Member David Berridge commented he was “all for getting something up there that will be a step forward” but worried about the “sheen” the panels might reflect and any “consequence we weren’t aware of.”

There was no straw poll on the application but the board’s attorney, Elizabeth Vail, will prepare a draft resolution to grant a certificate of appropriateness for a vote at a future meeting.

The board members informally said “no” to one application Thursday, that of the business Jonas Karlsson Fotograf AB to install a skylight in the roof of a house at 37 John Street. The skylight is intended to allow the use of an attic as a photography studio.

The board historical consultant, Zachary Studenroth, said a skylight would be “aesthetically incompatible with the building.” He added that there are “hundreds of examples” in the village of older houses with attics that have been “made habitable with dormer windows” instead.

Mr. Gomolka said the skylight proposal was “a non-starter for me.” There are “ample ways” to install “more glass there … a number of tricks that could be tried,” but “anything that punches the roof [like] a modern skylight is the problem I have.” He added he was “in favor of you doing something not on the roof.” Member David Berridge urged the applicant to plan an alternative that is “more evocative of the era.”

The board tabled the application until June 27 so an alternate plan can be submitted.

Also last week, the Review Board approved the applications for COAs for:

  • The landscaping and pool plan for 30 Hampton Street submitted by Dragana and Vlatko Vlatkovic.
  • A new sign to be installed by Bay Partners LLC outside the storefront at 4 Bay Street, the location of the Goop “general store,” and window decals inside both front windows.
  • Laura Greening’s property at 17 Washington Street for a proposed painted wood sign on the exterior wall.
  • A Sunesta motorized retractable awning for the south patio at Tutto Il Giorno restaurant at 16 Main Street.
  • Lucinda and Mark Anderson’s plan to install a six-foot fence at 16 Walker Avenue.
  • Paul Glickman’s plan for an above-ground hot tub to be installation of an existing deck at 4 West Water Street.
  • Albab Dabela’s plan for a new gunite swimming pool and spa at 9 Hillside Drive.
  • Judy Gilbert’s proposed renovation and addition at 148 Redwood Road but tabled approval for a pool pending the submission of more information in her landscaping plan.
  • Andy Grossman’s plan for a one-story addition at 11 Howard Street.