The hand-painted “Clam Pies” sign in front of the dilapidated building on Pantigo Road in East Hampton that was once a restaurant called the Crystal Room is no longer there, and soon the building itself will disappear, to be replaced by six houses, if an initial site plan presented to the East Hampton Town Planning Board on July 10 is approved.
The roughly rectangular parcel is slightly under an acre and a half and is zoned for multi-unit housing. “There are only four properties in the town that are eligible for multi-unit zoning,” Richard Whalen, attorney for the Crystal Mews Group, said at the meeting.
Two of the properties with that zoning, according to Mr. Whalen as well as JoAnne Pahwul, of the East Hampton Planning Department, who prepared a 10-page memo on the proposal for the board, are Hampton Mews and the Townhouse East Condominium, both of which are just down the road. The third is the Oakview Highway mobile home complex in East Hampton.
Named Crystal Mews, the subdivision calls for six 1,599-square-foot, two-story houses. Mr. Whalen said the plan targets older residents, requiring at least one person in each household to be at least 55. Aiming at an older population allows the developers to install a smaller septic system.
According to Ms. Pahwul, legally, the property could have up to 11 units. Each of the six houses proposed are to have a garage and two additional parking spaces. While the houses would be individually owned, there would be a commonly held preserve.
Overall, the board seemed to find much to like about the plan. One of the members, Patrick Schutte, suggested that the next time the owners come before the board they might consider changing the plan so that all six houses are not uniform in appearance. Rob Levi, the head of Crystal Mews Group, which has a contract to buy the land, promised they would do just that.
The board also asked that an archeological survey be undertaken because the land may contain historic remains.
An undeveloped 35-acre strip of land between Route 114 and Two Holes of Water Road was also before the board on July 10. It is about to be divided into seven house lots, ranging from one and a half to three acres.
Because the property is zoned for three-acre lots, however, which would yield only six houses, the owners would buy and develop an affordable housing unit elsewhere in town, David Weaver of George Walbridge Surveyors, representing the Prand corporation, told the board.
Under county law, the owners have that option, with town board approval. They also could develop an affordable house on one of the lots or pay into a fund in lieu of doing so.
Fifty percent of the acreage will be preserved with another swath set aside as a scenic easement running from Route 114 to Two Holes of Water Road. Three of the lots will use a common driveway to Route 114, with the other four accessing Two Holes of Water Road.
Although only a preliminary review was done last week, it was clear that the board was enthusiastic about the subdivision’s prospects.