Almost a year after Provisions Market’s application to expand first came before the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board, the market moved a step closer to its goal of taking over a neighboring space formerly occupied by Style Bar.
The village zoning board of appeals approved an area variance that will allow Provisions to grow from 2,450 square feet to around 3,000 square feet. Some of the former spa’s square footage will be market space and some will be used for storage.
This means the market will not need a special exception permit, a costly undertaking that would have required traffic studies and commitments to upstairs affordable apartments that are not under the store’s control as a renter of the ground floor of the building and not its owner. With approval now from the planning board and the Z.B.A., the market will appear next before the village’s architectural review board, according to Dennis Downes, its attorney.
The market’s cafe will not expand, but will be reconfigured with the existing 32 seats so as not to require additional parking spaces or septic system upgrades.
Aside from the ongoing discussion by neighbors and Jeffrey Bragman, the attorney for Save Sag Harbor, regarding the Harbor Heights service station, the continued debate over William Egan’s application for front steps at 59 Garden Street was of considerable interest to many neighbors. Several voiced complaints were about the flooding conditions on Garden Street, which the residents feel will worsen with the applicant’s plan to raise his house, which meets requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and does not require any variances.
Although the variance sought is for steps to be located within seven feet of front lot line, where a minimum setback of 35 feet is required, the issues run much deeper. Neighbors have been fighting this application for five years, Mr. Downes said.
One of them, Angela Scott, appeared at the hearing to read a letter from a neighbor who could not attend, with a large panoramic photograph of Mr. Egan’s flooded property on display. The letter mentioned rising sea levels and proper water drainage being a matter of survival for which open space is essential.
Ms. Schoen and Mr. Downes reminded the board that flooding is not the concern of the Z.B.A. “We’re talking about a set of stairs . . . one variance for steps,” Mr. Downes said.
Despite a no vote from Anthony Hagen, the chairman, and Tim McGuire, a board member, who empathized with the residents, the application was approved, and Mr. Egan will now seek the approval of the architectural review board.