Squash Court Squashed

       Friday’s meeting of the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals was notable mostly for its brevity. Five of seven scheduled hearings were adjourned, and the board’s remaining business was covered in about 30 minutes, a sharp contrast to the crowded agendas and hours-long deliberations that have characterized recent meetings.

       A hearing held open at the board’s Jan. 24 meeting, on an application for 174 Further Lane proposing to construct a 3,600 square-foot accessory structure that was labeled a garage, was resumed Friday.

       The anonymous applicant, who also controls limited liability corporations that own 176 Further Lane and 29 Spaeth Lane, also plans to build a house on the property, designed by the architect Annabelle Selldorf. The house would occupy about half the 3.5-acre lot’s allowable gross floor area. The applicant also seeks variances for side-yard setbacks and to raise the height of an existing fence, within a dune setback, from four to six feet, with another two feet of wire added to deter deer.

       A garage is the only accessory structure permitted by code to be larger than 250 square feet. The one proposed at 174 Further Lane would have housed, in addition to three cars, a squash court, a pool house, an unenclosed walk-through corridor, and multiple storage areas. The board had been skeptical, telling the applicant’s attorney, Jonathan Tarbet, that a 120-by-30-foot garage, while not specifically prohibited, was clearly not in the spirit of the code.

       Frank Newbold, the board’s chairman, asked Mr. Tarbet at the board’s Jan. 24 meeting to revisit the plans and try to reduce the size of the structure.

       On Friday, Mr. Tarbet said that the plan to install a squash court in the basement had been abandoned. Without the squash court, and with that part of the garage to be used for storage instead, the structure conforms to code, he said.

       “So it would be a very large storage area,” Mr. Newbold said. Nevertheless, “I think we do need revised plans.” The building department should have a chance to review the plans, he said, noting that a neighbor had written to the board asking the same. “Before we make any move we need to have accurately in front of what us what you want to do,” said Mr. Newbold.

       He asked Mr. Tarbet to submit revised plans for the garage as soon as practical, adding that a determination would likely come at the board’s next meeting, on Feb. 28.