No To For-Profit Picnics On Sag Harbor Village Beach

Sag Harbor Village Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy

Sag Harbor Village, having been discovered in recent years, has caught the attention of entrepreneurs wanting to use village property for their businesses.

Such was the case Tuesday night when Danielle Calvi and Jessica Sorrentino, the owners of Nest with Us, asked the Village Board if they could use Havens Beach to set up small “luxury picnics,” as Ms. Calvi put it, for groups of four.

Ms. Sorrentino said the company would “curate” what she called a relaxing and safe gathering for clients. Typically, Ms. Calvi said, Nest with Us, provides services for up to 10 people on private property, but spreading their picnic blanket at Havens Beach would allow them to do some “networking,” Ms. Sorrentino said.

Board members, who had just tabled a decision on whether to sign a contract with the for-profit business Pedal Share, which wants to place racks for rental bicycles in the village, over concerns about whether it was an appropriate use, were clearly uncomfortable.

“How much do these luxury picnics cost for a group of four?” asked Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy. Ms. Sorrentino said that all depended on which restaurant the client wanted to order their food.

Trustee James Larocca suggested Mashashimuet Park, which is privately owned by the Parks and Recreation Association of Sag Harbor, might be a better venue, and village attorney Denise Schoen, who has been working on an updated village law overseeing activities in public parks and on public beaches, said it would be illegal for the board to approve the request.

In other action, the board tabled that beach law, after residents again appeared before the board, to voice concerns that it was both too wide-reaching and not strict enough when it comes to controlling dogs on the beach.

How times change. The board also approved the request of David Falkowski, the owner of Open Minded Organics and Long Island chairman of the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, to hold “Sag’s 420 Freedom Rally” at the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park on Bay Street, from 3 to 6 p.m., on Tuesday, April 20. For reasons that go beyond the scope of this article, “420” has for decades recognized as code for marijuana and the day is celebrated by pot smokers across the country.

Mr. Falkowski said the event is planned to raise awareness about the recent Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which legalized recreational use of marijuana in New York State. Mr. Falkowski said he would moderate and speak at the short event that will include presentations by Andrew Rosner, the vice president of the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association, Nicole Ricci, a member of the board of directors of New York Small Farma, and village Police Chief Austin J. McGuire.

No word if anybody plans on sparking up, although Mr. Falkowski said he expected some attendees to hang around after the presentation is finished.

In a sure sign of growing optimism that the coronavirus pandemic will soon be a thing of the past, the board approved a number of requests for public events in the coming year including:

—The Sag Harbor American Music Festival, which was given permission to use Steinbeck and Marine Parks from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on September 25 and 26.

—WLNG Radio, which received authorization to use Marine Park “for providing music to the public,” from 2 to 9 p.m. on August 5, 12, 19, and 26.

—The Sag Harbor Farmers Market, which received permission to reopen on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. between May 22 and October 30.

—The Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce, which received authorization to use Marine Park for its annual arts and crafts fair on Saturday, June 19, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, June 20, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

—The Sag Harbor Historical Society, which will be allowed to hold a garden tour from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.

—And most importantly, the American Legion, which received permission to once again hold a public parade on Memorial Day, May 31 from 9 to noon.