West Water Street Townhouses Get Final Village Approval

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The final renderings of the townhouses to be built at 2 West Water Street. Image by Andre Kikoski, architect

With the Harbor Committee’s approval of a wetlands permit for his proposed waterfront townhouses, developer Jay Bialsky on Monday has cleared what was his last regulatory hurdle in front of Sag Harbor’s review boards.

What remains before Mr. Bialsky can apply for his building permits are approvals from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Army Corps of Engineers, processes that have been under way for several months, according to his attorneys. Also tied to the completion of the process is the closing of the sale of adjacent land on Ferry Road to Southampton Town via the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) for $10.5 million — the parcel anticipated to become the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park.

“I’d like to thank all the members of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Architectural Review Board and Harbor Committee as I’m very appreciative for their hard work and professionalism throughout my application,” Mr. Bialsky said in an email Wednesday. “I look forward to closing within the next few weeks with CPF and making the John Steinbeck Park a reality.”

The Harbor Committee voted 4-0 on Monday, with member Will Sharp absent, to approve a slate of waterfront improvements at 2 West Water Street to allow Mr. Bialsky to proceed with plans for three townhouse units totaling just under 23,000 square feet with rooftop pools, below-grade parking and patios. Among the waterfront features will be a private dock with six slips; a bulkhead to replace part of the original rip-rap, some of which will remain, and a walkway adjacent to the bulkhead; stormwater leaching galleys; and a 527-square-foot wetlands buffer that will be vegetated with native beach grass.

Committee member John Parker asked environmental consultant Charles “Chick” Voorhis for confirmation that no treated materials would be used along the waterfront.

“We know that by code, treated materials area not permitted in the village,” Mr. Voorhis replied. “It says ‘all materials shall be untreated’ and that has been addressed.”

“I have some concerns, but no questions at this point,” Harbor Committee member Herbert Sambol said Monday. “In the end, our jurisdiction here was rather limited. We shouldn’t diminish our role here in any way, but our panel on it was pretty limited by other forces at large.”

Harbor Committee postponed making a decision on a swimming pool application put forth by 36 Fordham Holdings LLC at 36 Fordham Street. The pool has been reduced from 14-by-30 feet to 12-by-24 feet, and the setback from the wetland boundary has been increased by 8 feet to 63 feet. However, plans came in the Friday before Monday’s meeting, and some committee members said it did not give them enough time to fully review the plans.

Committee chair Mary Ann Eddy told the applicant’s representative she felt the pool could be relocated to a more conforming location on the property — instead of the side of the property where the wetlands border Ligonee Brook.

“I think that if there’s going to be a pool, it needs to respect the 75-foot setback” that’s required by village code, she said.

Sag Harbor resident Kate Plumb, in the audience, got up during the public comment portion of the hearing to say, “I really want to applaud you for taking so much time on this very serious application.”

Having asked the applicant to consider more changes, the board tabled 36 Fordham Street to its May 13 meeting.

The board was also introduced to a pair of similar applications in Redwood.

At 88 Redwood Road, a 16-by-32 foot pool is proposed along with an innovative-alternative septic system; drywells to collect and recharge stormwater runoff; a non-disturbed, non-fertilized vegetated buffer; and a new dock to replace one that had been destroyed by storms in the past.

At 80 Redwood Road, which is currently a vacant lot, Dr. Steven Fishman has proposed a 14-by-27 foot pool with a hot tub, an innovative-alternative septic system, drywells, a vegetated buffer and a dock to go with a new, 1,880-square-foot residence.

The board tabled action on both Redwood applications to its May 13 meeting pending receipt of more information.

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