Owners Wins Reprieve in Sag Harbor Zoning Battle


By Douglas Feiden

A homeowner who has bristled at Sag Harbor’s new zoning code and its moratoriums has won a temporary restraining order from a state Supreme Court judge barring the village from enforcing the ordinances on his property.

At least in the short term, the TRO, issued on May 13 by Justice Gerard Asher, was a victory for Marius Fortelni, who has denounced the zoning amendments and moratoriums and alleged the village blocked him for four years from obtaining a building permit for his property at 14 Bluff Point Road.

The court order requires the village to show cause at a June 8 hearing why an order should not be entered that preliminarily enjoins Sag Harbor trustees from enforcing the new zoning, and residential and wetlands moratoriums and their extensions, on Mr. Fortelni’s parcel.

His attorney Alex Kriegsman has argued the laws and moratoriums are illegal, and that when a more restrictive zoning climate is illegally created, a property owner is covered by the earlier less restrictive zoning.

“We are pleased with the Court’s order as it underscores the strength of our case and the illegal actions by the Village,” the lawyer said. The TRO and expedited June return date indicates a “strong likelihood of success on the merits,” he said.

The village says Mr. Fortelni doesn’t have an active application on file.

“My opinion is, this is complete nonsense,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder. She declined to address specifics of pending litigation.