“It was a mistake. We’re sorry. . . . It will not happen again,” Sagaponack Village Mayor Donald Louchheim said Monday of a weekend-long event hosted by Ivy Connect at a private house in the village.
Ivy Connect is a members club that holds “private events and curated social impact opportunities” including “members-only gatherings at outstanding locations,” according to its Web site. The club had asked the village last month for permission to host three days of gatherings at Michael Adler’s house on Fairfield Pond Lane, but the board turned down the request and issued a permit for only a single day, Saturday. Beri Meric, a co-founder of Ivy Connect, had promised the board last month that he would abide by its decision.
Despite that, the programs continued on Sunday, too.
“It was a zoo,” said Lilith A. Jacobs, a neighbor of the Adler house. “There were cars all over on Sunday.”
“They will never get another permit,” Mayor Louchheim vowed.
“Mr. Adler should be told too,” Rhode Winchell, the village clerk, said on Monday. It was “like a 72-hour party.”
There were vans everywhere, the neighbor said, and people parking in neighbors’ driveways, too.
“They just went ahead and did it anyway,” Mayor Louchheim said.
William Barbour and Lisa Duryea Thayer, board members, were not surprised, having cast no votes on the permit because they suspected a three-day party.
Also at the meeting, an event called a Family Fun Day planned for a house on Bridge Lane on Aug. 28 was denied an outdoor assembly permit.
Tracy Rensky, who lives at the corner of Seascape and Bridge Lanes, was in attendance with a man described as the valet parking attendant.
She explained that the event, initially discussed with the village clerk as a birthday party, would offer “fun things for kids” to support a charity called Baby Buggy that she is involved with as part of her New York City early childhood education center. Baby Buggy is a New York not-for-profit that works with community organizations to distribute new and gently-used baby essentials to the needy.
Sponsors would attend the party, Ms. Rensky said. When asked if money would change hands at the event, she said, “They can try SmartWater for example. . . . People see what the brand is.” Companies seeking to promote their products often sign on as sponsors of such events, giving away their products for free to both support the cause and gain exposure among a certain set of potential customers. A gluten-free vodka company would be another sponsor, Ms. Rensky said.
Ms. Thayer recalled that the road had been impassable during prior birthday parties for Ms. Rensky’s children.
“I have real, great concern over the commercialness of this,” said Ms. Thayer, adding that it would likely not benefit children in Sagaponack, local vendors, or a local charity. Ms. Rensky said that Baby Buggy has supported the Retreat with gently-used or new baby items on many occasions.
Asked about a parking plan, Ms. Rensky requested permission to park a minimal number of cars on Seascape Lane.
“This is a market,” said Lee Foster, another board member. “My immediate consideration is that this is a full-blown bazaar.”
“It is not a bazaar,” Ms. Rensky said. “I welcome any of you to attend it.”
In a poll of the board, Mr. Barbour said that although he has no problem with a charitable event, he is “dead set against parking waivers on Bridge Lane.” At the same time, he commended Ms. Rensky on her recent construction process. “I was impressed that vehicles stayed on the property,” he said.
“Thank you,” Ms. Rensky said. “ It did destroy our lawn.”
Ms. Foster said that she was disappointed with the late request for the permit, and that she was “inclined to deny” it. She suggested that next year, “a proper venue could be selected.”
Joy Sieger, another board member, agreed.
“I’m allowed to have a birthday party,” said Ms. Rensky.
“If there will be vendors at it, you’re not,” Mayor Louchheim said, adding that with “vendors, alone, there will be 20 cars.”