Balsam Plans Huge Barn on Long Lane

They will be raising the rafters for a barn on Long Lane soon, if the East Hampton Town Planning Board gives its stamp of approval for a site plan regarding the former Damiecki farm at the corner of Stephen Hand’s Path. The plan has been in the works since early this year, after being offered by the new owners of the property, Alex Balsam and Ian Calder-Piedmonte, partners in Balsam Farms.

Mr. Calder-Piedmonte, a member of the planning board, has recused himself from the site plan process and would not comment this week on it.

The duo bought the nearly 29-acre property early this year for $1.7 million. The town had previously purchased all development rights on the land, to preserve it for agricultural use only. The plan calls for an 11,520-square-foot barn, two 3,000-square-foot hoop houses, which can double as greenhouses and for storage, and two 400-square-foot cold storage walk-in boxes.

The owners obtained approval from the town’s architectural review board last September for a nine-foot-tall deer fence to line the perimeter of the property. The new structures will be erected on the southeastern corner of the property, about 250 feet away from Long Lane, from which tractors and trucks will be able to access them. This was increased from the original proposed distance of 120 feet, with the Planning Department saying it would allow for more farmable land between the barn and the street, increasing screening. The Planning Department also vetted the proposed walk-in boxes, contacting the manufacturer to determine the amount of noise they would generate. The conclusion the department reached was that the noise of the compressors would not have an adverse impact on the surrounding agriculturally reserved land or on Long Lane, JoAnne Pahwul, the assistant planning director, told the board earlier this year.

No one spoke in opposition when a public hearing was held on the proposal on July 13. The board is likely to vote to discuss the plan on Wednesday.

Another matter that will likely be on the planning board’s agenda Wednesday is that of Damark’s Deli on Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton. The plan is to add to the popular but cramped market. There will be at least four stoves with six burners each, two woks, a smoker oven, a pizza oven, a noodle range, an espresso island, and a six-foot long grab-and-go island.

In the basement there will be separate walk-in refrigerators for produce and meats, along with two walk-in freezers. All these details and more are revealed in the latest survey on file with the Planning Department.

Parking will be moved to the back of the building, accessed from Soak Hides Road, which will be changed to a two-way street up to the entrance to the parking lot. There also will be an exit onto Three Mile Harbor Road. The overall proposal for the building’s expansion has already been approved, in a site plan that the board voted on in early 2012.

The question now before the board is whether a major change in concept can be done via an administrative action or whether a full site plan review is required. The plan approved in 2012 included a 1,700-square-foot second-story apartment. Now, that apartment has been removed from the proposal, with the ground floor and basement expanded. The ground floor in the 2012 proposal was to be expanded from the 1,996 square feet in the existing structure to about 4,400 square feet. In the new proposal, the ground floor has grown again, now to 5,400 square feet, with a larger basement planned as well.