What Now? Z.B.A. Asks

Even with court okay, village can set conditions

    On Friday, the village zoning board of appeals discussed the East Hampton Library’s expansion for the first time since the State Supreme Court overruled the board’s 2010 denial of a special permit and variances for the library’s proposed children’s wing.
    The court called the Z.B.A.’s attempts to block the expansion “arbitrary” and “irrational,” and gave the library permission to construct the addition “subject only to such reasonable conditions that the [. . .] Z.B.A. may impose.”
    It was that line that particularly interested board members, who wanted to know if they could impose stricter parking conditions or perhaps limit the use of the meeting rooms, which would seat 25 and 65, so that they could not be used at the same time.
     The board has until July 8 to hold a public meeting on the matter and another 30 days after that to finalize the conditions it will impose, but a resolution laying out those conditions should be ready by Friday, June 24.
    “It’s given that it is subject to site plan approval,” said Ms. Riley. “But you are approving two meeting rooms — not how they use them.”
    “Can we make them have to come back so they don’t make a storage room into another 45 seats?” asked Joan Denny, the board’s vice chairwoman.
    “Possibly,” answered Ms. Riley.
    If, in the future, the East Hampton Star property next door to the library is sold, the library has said it would agree to cut curbs and come up with a shared driveway.
    When reached for comment, Dennis Fabiszak, the library’s director, who attended the Z.B.A.’s meeting, said, “As far as I know, at the next meeting, they will have their final resolution about whatever reasonable accommodations they think we should make.”
    “We’ve always said we’re willing to do anything reasonable,” he added.    
    “The hearing has closed. The board has discussed it. Now we come in with a written resolution,” said Ms. Riley. “If there’s discussion, fine. If not, the board will vote on it.” Ms. Riley said yesterday that the conditions that will be imposed in the resolution would not come as a big shock to anyone involved.    “There will have to be design review board approval,” she said, which Mr. Fabiszak is anticipating at some point during this summer. And the resolution may also address “the question of future access easement, which is shown on the map.”
     The zoning board will also impose a limitation on the number of seats in the new, larger lecture room to 60 and specify that there be “no future expansion without further review,” Ms. Riley said.
    Also on Friday, the board discussed Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill’s request for wheelchair-accessible walkways at their oceanfront property on West Dune Lane, so that Ms. Merrill can continue to enjoy her house and its views. A complication, pointed out by Richard Whelan, the couple’s attorney, is that the property does not have a certificate of occupancy since it has been in the family for five generations and predates many of the existing codes.
    Andrew Goldstein, the board’s chairman, requested that Mr. Whelan consult dune and coastal erosion experts on the effect any changes would have on the dunes and vegetation, and adjourned the hearing until July 8.