Focus on Small Lot Setbacks

At its last meeting of the year on Friday, the East Hampton Village Board scheduled a public hearing next month on a significant amendment to the zoning code and other hearings on a few parking and traffic issues.

The proposed zoning amendment is designed to reduce the mass of houses on small lots, a change similar to amendments adopted in 2015 that were aimed at houses on parcels of one acre or more. The amendment is based on recommendations from the planning and zoning committee, which were detailed in a November presentation by Billy Hajek, the village planner.

According to the committee, a review of the zoning code revealed that alternative setbacks, which now provide some relief for owners of small or unusually shaped lots without the need for variances, are reducing the width and depth of properties, are subject to broad interpretation, and are difficult to calculate.

 Under the proposed amendment, alternative side and rear-yard setbacks for principal structures will be eliminated and setbacks will be calculated strictly on the size of each lot.

The legislation also introduces separate setbacks for accessory buildings that are less restrictive than those for a principal structure. These would allow property owners greater flexibility, in keeping with the legislative intent.

Also scheduled for public hearing are proposals that would add a one-hour limit for designated parking spaces on Pleasant Lane near Newtown Lane, and prohibit a left turn from Pleasant Lane into Newtown Lane. Another hearing will focus on the proposed reduction of the speed limit on King Street, McGuirk Street, Middle Lane, Mill Hill Lane, and Meadow Way from 25 to 20 miles per hour.

All of the proposals, which are scheduled for Jan. 20 hearings, had been discussed in prior board meetings.

In other business, the board heard a summary of recent East Hampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force activities, presented by Councilwoman Sylvia Overby. Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr., who is a member of the task force, said the group “represents the fact that both East Hampton Town and East Hampton Village are inclusive communities, not exclusive. I give every assurance of my continued support.” Ms Overby’s presentation is covered on page A14.

The mayor concluded the meeting with holiday greetings. “Looking to the New Year, may it be a much better year for all of us,” he said.