The Smaller Pool Gets the Nod

    The East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals made a public determination on the night of July 24 on a second request to build a pool on a Beach Hampton property.
    On May 8, a month after a contentious hearing during which several neighbors spoke in opposition, the board denied Andrew and Dana Stern’s application for a 512-square-foot pool on their 12,628-square-foot property at 8 Treasure Island Drive. The vote was 4 to 1, with only Don Cirillo voting in favor.    
    This time the application was for a smaller pool, at 387 square feet. Key to the new plan was the lack of a setback variance. The original application called for a 20-foot setback from the front yard line, where 30 feet is the standard. The modified plan would not require that variance. Instead, the Sterns would need only a natural resources special permit to go ahead with their project.
    The Z.B.A. chairman, Alex Walter, had given a strong indication, when turning down the original proposal in May, that a modified plan could well win board approval.
    In letters of opposition, neighbors again criticized the plan, stating that a pool would not fit in with the character of the neighborhood. However, when the board deliberated on the matter during a busy session that included three public hearings, the new, smaller plan met with unanimous approval.
    “The natural resources permit is only for the beach grass in the backyard,” Mr. Cirillo said.
    “They did what they had to do,” said Bryan Gosman, a board member.
    In absentia, Lee White, who was skeptical of the original plan, also embraced the new one, in a letter conveyed by Mr. Walter. The vote to approve was unanimous.
    On the same night, three public hearings were noncontroversial. There was no opposition, and the town planning department embraced all three.
    The first application involved a pool on Cedar Drive in Springs. Elisa Burriesci, speaking with her husband, Frank, by her side and their newborn baby asleep in a baby carrier, told the board they had been given a wedding present in June 2011 of a new pool, and had hired a contractor who began to demand cash from them instead of checks, and left before the job was finished, having installed the pool too close to the property line. They produced letters of support from neighbors.
    Joel Halsey of the planning department weighed in that the back-line variances sought, of seven to 15 feet, should be granted.
    Next up was Joel Horowitz of 230 West Lake Drive in Montauk, who wants to add a 380-square-foot bedroom  to his second floor, essentially by enclosing a deck.
    Laurie Wilshire of Land Planning Services told the board that while this action triggered the need for a 48-foot variance from the required 100-foot setback from wetlands, as well as an 8-foot pyramid variance that otherwise would limit the height of the addition, in fact the addition fit inside the building’s pre-existing envelope.
    Richard A. Hammer of Biondo and Hammer, representing Mr. Horowitz, told the board the building was one of the original Carl Fisher boathouses on Lake Montauk, and noted that the application had the support of the neighboring homeowner.
    Lisa D’Andrea, an environmentalist for the planning department, said the plan was a net benefit to the lake and the surrounding area because it included moving the old septic system farther away from the water.
    The third hearing was for a proposed 444-square-foot slate patio to be built at 30 Oyster Shores Road in East Hampton, at a house owned by Vincent Sama.
Ms. D’Andrea spoke for the planning department again, voicing support for the plan, contingent upon re-vegetation.
    The board kept the public record open for two weeks on the Sama property to allow the East Hampton Town Trustees to weigh in on the proposal.