Kitchen or No Kitchen?

    A Main Street apartment and a possible pergola on Lily Pond Lane were at the forefront of discussion during October’s East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals meetings.
    Alice Cooley, an attorney from MacLachlan and Eagan in East Hampton, was there to represent Steven and Carolyn Kotler of 123 Lily Pond Lane, who requested a 17-foot area variance for a pergola. It would be the same size as an existing pergola, but would have a double wall and be much taller, 12 feet high.
    “This is the only location where the pergola can provide noise abatement,” said Ms. Cooley, who added that the structure would have a solid wall at the back, and a lattice with plastic leaves woven throughout to reduce the noise from the neighbors’ pool.
    Andrew Goldstein, chairman of the zoning board, had “a problem with the height.”
    “Did you have a sound engineer design this?” he asked. The answer was no. “Then how do you know it’s going to work?” he said.
    “The problem I have is typically when we’re asked to approve some
thing for noise abatement, there’s expert testimony to comment on the efficacy of the plan,” Mr. Goldstein said. “And I’m not inclined to grant this unless I hear from an expert.”
    Lys Marigold, a board member, was concerned about the precedent it might set.
    “We’re being asked to approve this because, ‘What the hell, it’s just another wall,’ ” Mr. Goldstein said. “We won’t do that.” The hearing was adjourned until Dec. 9.
    The owners of 23 Main Street L.L.C. were represented by Brian Matthews, also of Maclachlan and Eagan, in seeking a variance on a required permit for parking. The three-story building has apartments upstairs, with a kitchen on the first floor. The application, to demolish the kitchen and expand the retail space from 604 square feet to 964 square feet, had been denied by the building inspector.
    “No permits or [certificates of occupancy] were ever issued for this property,” said Mr. Matthews. “And there’s no mention of a first-floor kitchen in any previous document.” He argued that since the kitchen was never cited in a document, the building must have been converted from retail to residential space illegally.
    However, John L. McGuirk III, a board member, recalled visiting the occupants in the mid-1970s, prior to village building codes. “The kitchen was there,” he said.
    “The building inspector acted reasonably when he denied your permit,” Mr. Goldstein said. “You haven’t submitted sufficient evidence. You’re asking us to believe that at some point this was converted into a kitchen on the first floor, when it may be the way it always was.”
    The expansion would require the occupants to provide seven parking spaces instead of the six it has now.
    “It’s so minimal it would not impact or exacerbate the parking issues in the village,” Mr. Matthews said, adding that many shoppers are visiting more than one store when they park.
    Mr. Goldstein disagreed, citing the gridlock that occurs in the summer in the Reutershan parking lot, where the machines at the entrances have dispensed 750,000 tickets to allow parking in the past year.
    “That’s a lot of cars,” he pointed out. “While one spot is not a lot, if it’s too tight, it’s too tight.”
    The hearing was left open until Dec.