Swimming Pool at Jefferson Street House Fails to Find Favor

The house at 5 Jefferson Street. Christine Sampson photo

Developer Mitch Winston on Tuesday tried to make a case before the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals that a swimming pool was a necessary amenity in his bid to flip a dilapidated house at 5 Jefferson Street, where the lot size is so small it prohibits other perks such as a garage.

But some members of the ZBA said that is exactly why they did not like the idea of a pool at 5 Jefferson Street. According to a village listing of single-family lot sizes, it is about 4,151 square feet.

Board chairman Tim McGuire, member Robert Plumb and Ted Pettus, the board’s new alternate member, agreed the lot is too small for a pool. Board member Scott Baker said he thought it might be possible to install a very small pool.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board formally rejected pools at 20 Henry Street and 59 Garden Street and tabled an application for a combined property at 60 Grand Street and 61 Harrison Street, where plans include a pool.

“There must be some lot in Sag Harbor somewhere that is too small for a pool, and [5 Jefferson Street] might be one of them,” Mr. McGuire said.

There were questions about whether the proposed pool would even meet the building code’s required setback, which is 15 feet from property lines in a back yard. Mr. McGuire said he would need to query the building inspector. However, there were still at least three votes in a straw poll against the pool, enough to nix the project.

Architect Anthony Vermandois requested the board keep the application open so he and Mr. Winston could potentially change the plans.

Nick Gazzolo, president of the board of the John Jermain Memorial Library — which is next door to 5 Jefferson Street — told the ZBA the library is worried about construction vehicles taking up parking that would normally be for library patrons and about debris on the roads and sidewalks. The board advised him to take up problems with the village’s Building Department.

Mr. Winston was previously told by the village’s Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review that he would not be able to demolish the house, as was his initial pitch, because it is listed as an architecturally significant house in the village’s historic survey.