Sag Harbor ZBA Will Recommend Moratorium Exemption For Schiavoni Property

The Schiavoni property on Long Island Avenue remains vacant. STEPHEN J. KOTZ

The first sign of a thaw between the Schiavoni family and Sag Harbor Village over their plans to redevelop a commercially owned parcel they own next to the Sag Harbor post office appeared Tuesday night before the village Zoning Board of Appeals.

At the request of the Schiavonis’ attorney, Dennis Downes, ZBA members, in a straw poll, said they would hold a hearing on issuing an exemption from a moratorium on most waterfront development that was recently extended until March so the Village Planning Board could begin its review of the application. That hearing could take place as early as the ZBA’s September 21 meeting.

“We have been here since 2014,” Mr. Downes said, adding that the application had been on village review calendars no fewer than 17 times during that period.

A low-slung, one-story building that covered most of the lot at 31 Long Island Avenue was razed in 2008 as part of National Grid’s remediation of the old gas ball property next door. The village assured the Schiavonis at that time they would be allowed to rebuild the building, but in the ensuing years, the family sought to build first a three-story and then a two-story replacement building.

The currently proposed building, which would rise to a height of 27 feet with a cupola adding an additional 7 feet of height, would be taller than the building it would replace by about 10 feet. In addition, it would have an attic, initially designed for storage space, that could be expanded into a fully used second story, although that would require separate approvals from village regulatory boards. Mr. Downes said the Schiavonis would likely seek such an approval.

He said the Schiavonis have a pending lease for a 7-Eleven convenience store for the building, but he added that business is interested in leasing attic space for storage. In addition, he said, the family had been in talks with the Center for Jewish Life — Chabad about possibly leasing second-floor space.

“We have tenants for the second floor,” said Gabe Schiavoni. “We’re not trying to hide anything. We’re honest people.”

The project would require a slew of variances, but Mr. Downes said that most, when measured against the dimensions of the previous building on the site, would be minimal in their impact.