Review Panel Applauds Plan to Swap an Old Little House for a New Little House

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Architect Peter DePasquale's rendering of house proposed for 27 Meadowlark Lane in Sag Harbor.

What a shock: Somebody, for once, doesn’t want to knock down a little Sag Harbor house and shoehorn a palace in its place that challenges setback, height and lot-coverage limits.

Delighted members of Sag Harbor’s Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board last week heard about the plan to tear down a small, worn-out bungalow at 27 Meadowlark Lane and replace it with a low-profile, modern house of wood and glass covering less than 200 more square feet.

“It’s something different and unique,” said landscape designer Stacy Paetzel of Marshall Paetzel Landscape Architecture in Mattituck, who with architect Peter DePasquale of Prospect Architecture and Development in New York presented the proposal on behalf of Dana Didriksen.

She also owns the house behind the little one at 27 Meadowlark at 31 Howard Street. It’s a recently restored brick Dutch gambrel that has a pool that will be removed, Ms. Paetzel said, with a new pool to be located at 27 Meadowlark serving for both properties, making the new house there something like a guest house, pool house and play house.

“It’s so contrary to trend” not to be squeezing a big house into a small Sag Harbor lot, commented board member Steve Williams. In this case, 27 Meadowlark is less than a quarter-acre. “It’s very refreshing,” he said.

“I hope this will be an example to other people,“ said board member Judith Long. “I mean, Meadow Lark Lane is changing,” she said of the rising streetscape there as old houses are expanded or replaced with bigger ones.

“It’s a great project. Thank you very much,” said the board’s chair, Dean Gomolka.

Ms. Long did wonder about the legality of having an accessory structure on a parcel with no main use, which zoning prohibits. Mr. DePasquale explained that the new structure will be a single-family house on its own single-and-separate lot, fully conforming to the zoning code and requiring no variances.

The Didriksen proposal has not yet been submitted as a formal application for a certificate of appropriateness from the board. It was listed as a “discussion item” at the end of the February 27 meeting agenda, which listed 15 other cases that the board dealt with in just under two hours, approving certificates of appropriateness in eight of them; and tabling or removing seven from the agenda.

The board approved the plan of the Crate & Barrel company, owner of the home décor company Hudson Grace, to paint the brick façade of Laura Grenning’s former gallery location at 17 Washington Street a shade called “extra white” for a Hudson Grace pop-store due to open this spring. “I’m proud owner of the ugliest building” in downtown Sag Harbor, joked Ms. Grenning, who agreed to consider Judith Long’s request that she remove the upstairs shutters as inappropriate in Sag Harbor’s historic district. “I’ll address it when I redo the shingles,” Ms. Grenning said, adding she had no immediate plans to do so.

“I’m just putting it in your brain,” Ms. Long said.

The board approved a 12-by-25-inch sign labeled “Men’s Clothing” for the front of 66 Main Street, the former site of Marty’s Barbershop. Craig O’Brien said the late Marty Trunzo’s   barber pole and the painted lettering on the building identifying the first-floor business as Marty’s Barbershop will remain.

The board agreed to set a public hearing for its March 26 meeting on C. F. Realty’s plan for a new house, pool and dock on a vacant parcel at 10 Vitali Cilli Avenue, a private road on Upper Sag Harbor Cove, which has already won favorable decisions from the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Harbor Committee.

The agenda included two public hearings, including one on Kiley DeMarco’s plan — which the board approved in short order — to demolish a single-story ranch house at 109 Glover Street, outside the historic district, and replace it with a new two-story house, garage, pool and patio. The applicant, represented by attorney Brian DeSesa, made small modifications in response to board members’ requests last month and there was no comment from the public. Public hearings are required for structures that will contain more than 3,000 square feet of floor area.

The second hearing, which also drew no public comment, was on Joseph Sullo’s proposal to demolish a one-story house and replace it with a two-story house at 15 James Place. Board members had no objections to the proposed structure, which Mr. Gomolka called “an attractive house,” but they tabled the application so further details about the soffits and window and door trim can be included with the application.

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