The East Hampton Village Planning Board, at a meeting last Thursday, asked its planning consultant to draw up an alternate plan for clustering houses on property at the corner of Newtown and Race Lanes.
The 5.68-acre property, known as the Martha Greene estate, is north of the Osborne Lane traffic light, and backs up on the railroad tracks. It contains an old two-story residence and two other buildings, which would be razed.
Vincent Chiavarone Builders and J. Mart Realty had applied to subdivide the land into six house lots, with 25 percent reserved in a conservation easement at the back of the property. The lots would vary in size, averaging about 30,000 square feet each, in a one-acre zone.
The board had previously asked the applicants to consider smaller houses and to come up with a plan that would preserve 50 percent of the land. On Thursday, however, the board agreed with the applicant that setting aside 50 percent would not be in keeping with the character of the area. Board members also learned, in a letter from the applicants’ attorney, Thomas J. Osborne of Osborne and McGowan, that the applicants did not feel smaller houses were appropriate.
After Mary Ella Moeller, a Newtown Lane resident, spoke up in favor of smaller houses or five houses instead of six, Gene Cross, the planning consultant, suggested that “it may be more important to limit the width of the house, rather than the size of the house.” That way, “you retain the character of the houses across the street,” he said.
Linda Riley, the village attorney, pointed out that the village code allows “the board to permit larger houses in exchange for the open space” in clustered housing developments.
Mr. Cross also suggested the possibility of mandating an amount of open space somewhere between 25 and 50 percent. The board asked him to come up with such a plan before the next meeting on Aug. 11, adding that it should call for narrower, but longer, houses.