Sag Pizza Earns Conditional Approval for Outdoor Dining

A view of Sag Pizza as seen on June 27, 2018. Gavin Menu photo

Sag Pizza is one step closer to achieving something its beloved predecessor Conca D’oro never had: outdoor dining in front of the restaurant.

The Sag Harbor Planning Board held a public hearing Tuesday, during which no one made any comments, to evaluate whether the board should grant a special exception use permit that would allow Sag Pizza to have outdoor dining.

According to Denise Schoen, the planning board’s attorney, Sag Pizza had met 12 of the 13 conditions required by village code in obtaining a special exception use permit. Examples of those conditions, according to village code, include “nature of use,” meaning that the special exception will “be in harmony” with its surroundings; that the proposed use would not be placed “unsuitably near to a church, school, theater, recreational area or other place of public assembly,” and that runoff and waste will be handled appropriately.

The last condition to be met, Ms. Schoen said, is a requirement that the building inspector and fire marshal provide a statement “that they find the premises suitable for such a use.”

Ms. Schoen said she would ask those two officials to provide such a statement as soon as possible. The planning board conditionally approved the special exception use permit pending the receipt of that final piece of paperwork. The conditional approval was 4-0 with alternate member Kay P. Lawson casting a vote; board chairman Gregory Ferraris recused himself from the vote, and board member Nathan Brown was absent.

Ms. Schoen told Chris DiSunno, the architect leading Sag Pizza’s renovation, that the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees would still have to sign off on an outdoor dining permit for sidewalk tables, just like other village restaurants have to have, unless Sag Pizza wants to set up seating only on the small slice of its own property that is outdoors.

Kathy Eiseman, the planning board’s environmental consultant, raised the issue of a too-bright “Sag Pizza” sign that appeared to be neon in the restaurant’s window. Neon is not permitted under village code. Mr. DiSunno said it was an LED light, not neon, and that its brightness had been toned down.

Tom Preiato, the village’s building inspector, said in an email to The Sag Harbor Expressthis week the new sign had not yet been okayed by the Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review, which approves on every sign that goes up in the business district. By Wednesday afternoon, Conca D’oro’s original “pizza” sign had been restored.

Reached Wednesday, Mr. DiSunno said he thought Tuesday’s planning board session went well, though news that the village board also had to approve outdoor dining was a surprise. “We’ve started seasoning the oven,” he said. We’re waiting on our liquor license. It’s looking good. We’re close. And we will be serving slices.”