North Haven Village Reaches Consensus for Lower Flat Roof Heights

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Concerned over the massing of a number of new flat-roofed houses that have recently appeared in the village, the North Haven Village Board on Tuesday said it would change the code to tighten height restrictions on them.

After a public hearing at which nobody spoke, the board appeared to be ready to reduce the maximum height to 27 feet while leaving the current 35-foot height limit in place for houses with traditional peaked roofs. However, board members agreed the proposed height restriction could be reduced even more, with board members Dianne Skilbred and James Laspesa saying they would support a height limit of only 25 feet for flat roofs.

In the end, the board agreed to a compromise that will create a limit of 25 feet on lots of 1 acre or smaller while allowing a height of 27 feet on larger lots. Because of the changes to the original proposal, the board said it would draft a new version of the law, which should be ready by December’s meeting, before holding another hearing.

Mayor Jeff Sander said the board had decided to tackle the height issue after hearing several comments about new homes and learning that many neighboring municipalities have tighter restrictions on flat-roofed structures.

Jane Holden, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens, appeared before the board to ask it to lift a prohibition against open house signs. “I have a right to make a living just as I have a right to represent the people who are trying to sell their homes,” she told the board, asking that brokers be allowed to post open house signs for a reasonable time period on the day of the event. “If somebody leaves them up, they deserve to be taken down,” she added.

The board agreed that the temporary postings would not be that big a deal and agreed to allow open houses to be advertised for up to three hours. “We aren’t going to go out there with a stopwatch,” said Mayor Sander, whose wife is a real estate broker. “We’ll just monitor it to see if it is a problem.”

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