Sag Harbor ARB Nix Steinbeck Motion


While the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) will move forward with its request that the village board of trustees designate the Sag Harbor Cinema as a historic landmark, it will not request that same designation for structures on the parcel where John and Elaine Steinbeck once lived.

On Thursday, September 11 the board unanimously voted in favor of rescinding a previous resolution asking the board of trustees do just that.

“This is something that needs to be looked at a little more in depth before we start reaching outside of the historic district,” explained ARB chairman Cee Scott Brown.

Like the Sag Harbor Cinema, if the board had not rescinded its motion to the trustees regarding the Steinbeck parcel, the trustees would likely schedule a public hearing at next month’s meeting and, by law, would notify the owners of the hearing date.

According to Sag Harbor Mayor Greg Ferraris, any comments made by the owner about their property being designated a historic landmark would be taken into consideration by the board of trustees as they make their decision on whether to designate the structures or not.

The Sag Harbor Cinema is already in the historic district of Sag Harbor, and therefore subject to virtually the same restrictions a historic designation would trigger, however, had the Steinbeck property been designated it would have had to comply with a host of rules it currently is not subject to. Without ARB approval, persons are prohibited from altering any façade of a historic building, or any building in the historic district for that matter, and must also seek board approval for any construction, reconstruction, demolition, or to move the structure.

While the board did rescind the resolution on the Steinbeck property, it is still discussing creating a catalogue of properties in the village, with a focus on the historic district, in a goal to provide future boards and residents with information on important historic structures in Sag Harbor.

According to Sag Harbor Village Attorney Anthony Tohill, the end result could serve as a style manual, used when an application on an important residence or building comes before the board and would also inform anyone purchasing a historic home the responsibility that comes with that purchase. Tohill said it is his belief that this very document already exists and urged the board to reach out to the historic society and the village in an attempt to track it down.

After much debate over whether electronic entryways are appropriate for Sag Harbor’s historic district, the board approved John Evan’s application for just that at 68 Bay Street, on the condition that there is no keypad station outside of the gate, no metal arm operating the gate that is visible from the street and that the gates open towards the residence, not out into the street. While board member Robert Tortora expressed concerns over the precedent this would set, he ultimately agreed with the rest of the board once the caveats were in place.

 A new sign for a new jewelry store on Main Street, Adornments, was also approved by the ARB, as was the demolition of a one-story retail structure on Long Island Avenue for the National Grid remediation set to commence on September 22.

In other news, Aidan and Louise Corish were approved for a fence on Howard Street, Claire and Peter Rocker were approved for an addition, porch and deck on Lighthouse Lane, Cindy Sherman was approved for new paint on Madison Street, Steven Reiner was approved to paint an existing fence and erect temporary shutters for a photo shoot on Montauk Avenue, Robert and Judith Henriques-Adams were approved for an addition on Wildwood Drive and John and Amy Wickersham were approved for a renovation and addition on Franklin Avenue.