Planning Board Cool to Boutique’s Proposal

A makeover for Tiina the Store and the Amagansett property it sits on were a topic of discussion at a recent East Hampton Town Planning Board meeting. T.E. McMorrow

The owners of Tiina the Store on Amagansett Main Street submitted a preliminary site plan to the East Hampton Town Planning Board June 22 proposing major changes for the back of the property. The reaction of the board, while not icy, was cool to at least one aspect of the proposal.

The property currently contains a two-story house with a retail store on the ground floor and a three-bedroom apartment upstairs. This building would remain essentially unchanged, at least as seen from the street. A one-story structure behind it, however, would be replaced, along with a back part of the house, which was built in the 1880s and is in the Amagansett Historic District.

The single unified structure that would replace the demolished one-story building and the back part of the house would have cathedral ceilings, and be barn-like in appearance. What bothered board members was its mass and height.

“Why go that high?” Patti Lieber asked. “I’m not sure how you’re using the space.” She said the new portion of the building should be smaller than the old.

Job Potter wondered about the wisdom of moving the property’s four parking spaces from their current position between the two existing buildings to the back of the new structure. “The biggest thing to me is to protect the integrity of the historic district. I’m not sure this is the right way to go from a design point,” he said.

The mass and height of the proposed addition concerned Kathleen Cunningham, as well. “If it changes hands, a second floor could be put in there,” she warned.

“The new addition looks too overpowering,” Nancy Keeshan said. Both Ms. Leber and Ms. Keeshan suggested more of a dormered look, to match the front of the building.

The owners, who were not identified, were represented by two lawyers, Richard M. Hammer and Christopher Kelley. Mr. Hammer thanked the board for their input, which he said would be used to modify the proposal.