Frown on Expansion

    The East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals is sending a clear message to those who would seek to expand beyond the prescribed gross floor area regulations or to edge over the allowable setbacks: Not on our watch.
    William Anderson of Farrell Fritz L.P. appeared at the podium on Friday to represent David B. and Diana Swartz of 32 Cottage Avenue. The couple, who are rebuilding a house that was demolished in 2006 by previous owners, were requesting a cathedral ceiling in the entranceway and living room, which put the coverage over by about 800 square feet. Ceilings above 14 feet are counted twice in the square footage, a point that was recently clarified in the village’s zoning code.
    Mr. Anderson told the board the house would not be visible by other neighbors, and “but for a pending revision in the village code, this would be permitted.”
    Apparently there had been an error when the property was measured, so that the applicants discovered they had less acreage than they had believed.
    Andrew Goldstein, the zoning chairman, paused. “You have a real problem, in my mind,” he said. “I’m not going to vote for it.”
    “I was a little flabbergasted to drive by and to see building going on,,” Mr. Goldstein said of the house, which is already framed. In his 15 years on the board, he said, “That’s never happened. And I’m not inclined to reward that.”
    “This house is going to look huge on this lot,” he said. “And the benefit is illusory. The benefit is ego.”
    The hearing was adjourned until the next meeting.
    Acacia Hamptons L.L.C., which owns property at 12 Marina Lane, was seeking an area variance to relocate a swimming pool outside the allowable setbacks. There was concern that noise might bother the neighbors.
    “There’s a slide into the pool,” Lys Marigold, a board member, said. “When you go down a slide, you scream.”
    Mr. Goldstein said that the potential detriment to the neighbors outweighed the benefit to the applicant. “It’s a big property,” he told Christopher Kelley, the attorney representing the owners. “There are a lot of alternatives.”
    That hearing was also adjourned for two weeks.