Club Inches Toward Irrigation Approval

The project would overhaul the existing irrigation system on the golf course and add irrigation to its 27 fairways
Matt Lester, a Life Scout working toward becoming an Eagle Scout, helped members of the Garden Club of East Hampton install a butterfly garden at East Hampton Town Hall Monday. Durell Godfrey

The Maidstone Club’s lengthy effort to put in a new golf course irrigation system took a step closer to success at an East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Friday with the filing of a long-awaited final environmental impact statement. The board’s unanimous vote to accept the statement, pending public comment, followed discussion with Chick Voorhis of Nelson Pope and Voorhis, which had prepared it.

The two-year process has also prompted the village to establish what is being called a “water quality working group” to study how the new irrigation system for the golf course and maintenance of the private club’s 210 acres would impact the ecological health of Hook Pond. The village allocated $35,000 for the group in its recently adopted 2014-15 budget.

While the board accepted the statement Friday and it will be filed with the State Department of Environmental Conservation on Tuesday, the public will have a 10-day period to submit written comments. Mr. Voorhis and Linda Riley, the village attorney, will then prepare a draft of a “finding statement,” which the board  must adopt within 30 days of the filing of the F.E.I.S., but Frank Newbold, the Z.B.A. chairman, said the board would try to do so in time for its meeting on July 25. 

c, 18 of which are on the west golf course and 9 on the east. The plan calls for the construction of a third well, a pump house, a .42-acre irrigation pond with a capacity of 785,000 gallons of water, and new piping. The work, expected to last eight months, requires 14 variances from the village code.

During the discussion Friday, the board pressed Mr. Voorhis on noise that would emanate from the pump house, a principal concern of adjacent property owners. The F.E.I.S., Mr. Newbold said, recommends several steps to mitigate noise to the maximum extent possible, including burial of the pump house floor two feet below the ground and providing at least a 6.5-foot-high earth barrier above its floor level. The structure is to have just one door, facing away from neighboring properties, and a switch that would shut down the pumps if the door were left open or ajar.

In addition, the pump house requires a certificate of occupancy, which Mr. Voorhis suggested could be contingent on demonstrating that noise from the pump house is not audible at any adjoining property line or public road. “These measures are to further minimize, and in my mind eliminate, the potential for noise impacts,” he said. Mr. Newbold said that revegetation of the area to be cleared for the irrigation pond would add a natural sound baffle. “We have a chance to look at it and make sure it’s maximizing the sound diminishment,” he said.

Craig Humphrey, a Z.B.A. member, asked Mr. Voorhis if the structure’s roof could be underground. “The document recommends partial burial,” Mr. Voorhis said, adding that the board has “the discretion to supervise the final design.” Mr. Humprhey also suggested requiring periodic reports demonstrating that there are no noise impacts and questioned whether an access road created for the project would be maintained upon its completion. Of the F.E.I.S. he said, “There’s some minor things in there that are pretty annoying, but I’m going to leave it alone.”

Over the long review process, the board had considered other concerns raised by nearby property owners and the East Hampton Town Trustees, who own Hook Pond. These included the volume of water to be drawn for the proposed irrigation pond, the mud that would result during wet periods, and the truck traffic required during construction.

Also on Friday, the board granted further adjournments to two high-profile applicants. Howard D. Schultz, the chief executive officer of the Starbucks chain, was granted an adjournment until July 11. Mr. Schultz seeks the continued existence, on his property at 14 Gracie Lane, of a 1,022-square-foot garage and caretaker’s apartment that is almost twice its original size.

A hearing for Loida Lewis, the widow of the business tycoon Reginald Lewis, was adjourned to July 25. Ms. Lewis seeks to allow a pre-existing one-story cottage to be reconstructed and expanded as an addition to the main residence at 165 Lily Pond Lane. She also seeks the continued existence of a 650-square-foot game room with half-bath that was converted from a garage, and 400 square feet of decking and stairs on that structure’s north side.

The board also announced five decisions on other variance applications.

•The 88,038-square-foot parcel at 70 Cross Highway owned by Thomas and Sandra Campaniello was made eligible for a building permit, despite the property’s being in a residential district requiring a lot area of 160,000 square feet.
•The owners of 247 Georgica Road were granted variances to allow the continued maintenance of pool heaters and an equipment shed within the required setbacks.
•Robert G. Shaftoe and Lorinda Bryan of 79 Pantigo Road were granted variances to allow reconstruction of an existing residence and installation of a new foundation for an addition to the house, also within required side yard setbacks.
•Flora Greenberg of 38 Dayton Lane was granted variances to allow the continued existence of an arbor, a generator, air-conditioning units, and a slate patio bordering a swimming pool. They are within required setbacks and contribute to excess lot coverage.
•H. Frederick Krimendahl II of 40 West End Road was granted a freshwater wetlands permit to allow the reconstruction of a residence near wetlands and within the required front and side yard setbacks; the installation of a new sanitary system with a retaining wall elevated to meet required minimum separation from groundwater, and the installation of a patio behind an existing structure within the required wetlands setbacks.