Push for Preservation in Sagaponack


The Village of Sagaponack is considering amendments to the village code in order to find ways to encourage historic preservation within its borders.

At their monthly work session, the village board of trustees listened as chairwoman of the architectural and historic review board (AHRB) Ana Daniel spoke of the recent demolition of historic buildings within the village.

Daniel expressed concerns about a request to demolish a historic barn-like structure on Parsonage Lane. Daniel said she felt it was “a preferable solution” to keep the house as a guest house, rather than demolish it and build a garage, which was the final decision by the AHRB. Because the owners of the property wanted to build a residential house on the rear of the property, the smaller structure would not be allowed by village code to stay as an additional residential structure.

Daniel said the owners of the property on Parsonage Lane were willing to restore the structure and then the AHRB could accept it as a historic structure rather than what she said looked like “a Hollywood set.”

 “It offends me, personally,” Daniel said about the destruction of these types of buildings overall.

The viable solution, Mayor Don Louchheim said, “is to have code amendments to encourage preservation for buildings deemed historic.”

This, he added, would give the zoning board the right to grant variances and other boards the right to offer waivers.

 “We don’t want to try and mandate,” but Louchheim added, “You have to mandate something to create incentives.”

“We want to make clear that we want historical preservation in the most extreme way possible,” Daniel said.

Trustee Alfred Kelman, said that the dialogue between the board of trustees and the AHRB is healthy, and that is the purpose of the various boards. Although he reminded the room, “They [property owners] have the right to challenge the village.”

“Somebody should get something for preservation,” Louchheim said, “in one way or another there should be a benefit.”

Louchheim said that in order to get historical preservation, the village may want to consider what the residents want and what would be a reasonable compromise “to permit one in order to preserve the other,” he said.

“What would you give?” Louchheim asked Daniel.

“What would be reasonable?” she replied, “These are very case specific.”

Trustee and AHRB liaison, Lisa Duryea Thayer said that there are three applications looking to the board for guidance.

Louchheim said that the board would like to put something in the code, but they would like to first consult with village attorney, Anthony Tohill.

“If the owners would preserve shape and volume of historic buildings, I would be in favor.” Daniel said.


Calling all Bids Back

Sagaponack village trustees also announced at their work session the bids they had received from contractors for work on the roof and vestibule at the new village hall have been rejected.

Louchheim announced at the meeting that the bids would be deemed defective because they did not comply with new procedures required by the state as of July 2008, which requires sealed bids for subcontractors.

“I checked with the village attorney,” Louchheim said, “and he confirmed that we needed sealed bids for subcontractors.”

The bids were opened on Friday, January 9, and as a result of the non-compliance with the New York State requirement, the village has informed all the bidders that they would need to resubmit the bids.

“There were no changes to the specifications of the bid, only to the filing of the bid and the paperwork that is required to file the bid,” village clerk Rhodi Winchell said.