The Surf Lodge, the popular Montauk club that has been before the East Hampton Town Justice Court and Zoning Board of Appeals on numerous occasions in the last year, can keep its portable dry bar on the patio.
The East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4 to 0 on Tuesday to reverse a June 2011 determination by the town’s senior building inspector, Tom Preiato, that the dry bar, or waiters’ station, was an expansion of the club’s nonconforming status and therefore prohibited without a variance. Eric Bregman of Gilmartin and Bregman represented the Lodge.
Bryan Gosman of Montauk had recused himself from Surf Lodge proceedings, and the four other members of the panel deadlocked on a second part of the inspector’s determination — that an awning put up over the patio was a structure requiring a natural resources permit. The awning will have to be modified so that it is neither attached to the ground nor the deck, Mr. Bregman said yesterday.
The club had recently restructured its ownership team, although Jayma Cardoso, its charismatic front person, has remained the sole holdover. “We will abide by whatever decision the board makes,” Ms. Cardoso said last week, commenting that the restaurant and hotel wanted to work with the town, not against it.
The Surf Lodge had racked up nearly 700 alleged code violations last year, resulting in on-again, off-again sessions in town court. An appearance before Justice Catherine A. Cahill is scheduled there on Monday.
Robert Connelly, an East Hampton Town attorney, indicated yesterday that the number of citations is now likely to be reduced. The town had offered to settle the complaints against the club for $100,000 last October.
Two other decisions by Mr. Preiato are likely to be debated at the zoning board’s next meeting, on May 22. One is on an appeal from David Eagan, attorney for the Concerned Citizens of Wainscott, challenging a site plan approved by the town planning board for a project known as Wainscott Wombles at 411 Montauk Highway. Approval was based on Mr. Preiato’s June 2 ruling that both residential and business uses were permitted on the site. The property is owned by Michael Davis, who seeks to build a small house there in addition to the existing business building. The property is zoned residentially, but has been used commercially for many years.
It had been thought that Mr. Eagan and Mr. Davis’s representative, Denise Schoen of Tarbet, Lester, and Schoen, were close to a settlement, but Alex Walter, the Z.B.A. chairman, warned the board Tuesday to be prepared to debate and vote on the matter on May 22.
Also likely to be taken up that night is an appeal of a decision by Mr. Preiato in November 2011 to reinstate a building permit he had rescinded in August of the same year for construction of a woodworking shop on Abraham’s Path.
The board began its Tuesday session with an extension of April’s hearing for Bethany Mayer, the owner of a house at 25 Wyandanch Lane in Beach Hampton, to present a modified plan for a smaller addition. She had sought a variance from the town’s pyramid law to build a second floor. At a hearing in April, the proposal faced fierce opposition from neighbors.
Also on Tuesday, the board turned down Dana and Andrew Stern’s request for a setback variance in to build a 512-square-foot swimming pool close to the street at 8 Treasure Island Drive, also in Beach Hampton.
“This area has a definable character,” Lee White, a member of the panel, said, arguing that the pool would have had a negative affect on the quality of life in the neighborhood where neighbors walk along the streets.
The board voted 4 to 1 against the proposal, with one member, Don Cirillo, the lone proponent.
In an article in The Star last week on the board’s meeting that week, Carter Burwell was incorrectly identified as the owner of a house at 33 Whalers Lane. Mr. Burwell and his family live at 98 Marine Boulevard. It is that location for which Mr. Burwell is seeking a variance replace a 3,129-square-foot deck with one of 2,994 square feet and to replace a stone walkway with a wooden one.
The owners of the Whalers Lane house, identified only as YINZ L.L.C., are seeking a variance for three walkways and 87 square feet of second floor decking.