Planning Board Takes First Look at Water Street Condo Project

A concept rendering of the proposed new townhouse development at 2 West Water Street. Courtesy image

A final contract still has yet to be signed formally transferring 1.25 acres of developer Jay Bialsky’s newly acquired waterfront land to Southampton Town for the creation of the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park, but the Sag Harbor Planning Board on Tuesday took a cautious first look at what will become of the rest of the nearly 2-acre parcel.

What was once a proposal for 13 condominiums in a single structure on West Water Street has been scaled down to three townhouses in a structure that attorney Brian DeSesa, representing Mr. Bialsky at Tuesday’s planning board meeting, said will look like two buildings while technically functioning as one.

Because the townhouse application is still in a preliminary phase, few details were available by press time Wednesday. However, Mr. DeSesa said each townhouse unit would be larger in size than the individual units that were originally proposed. Also, a dock with six slips is now proposed instead of one with 13 slips. An underground parking garage is still in the plans.

Board chairman Gregory Ferraris directed attorney Denise Schoen and consultant Kathy Eiseman to amend the project’s original environmental review instead of starting from scratch. The planning board had approved that review last May with a “negative declaration” that stated the original proposal would not have a significant impact on the environment.

“Obviously, this is deemed less density than last time,” Mr. Ferraris said.

The applicant has also requested a hearing during a joint meeting of the village’s regulatory boards, and Ms. Schoen said she would recommend, at least, bringing together the planning board and Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals for a meeting likely in August.

A public hearing on the purchase of a portion of the Ferry Road land through the town’s Community Preservation Fund will be held at Southampton Town Hall on Tuesday, July 10 at 1 p.m.