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Sag Harbor Officials Hope to Pause Waterfront Development

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 11:40
The Sag Harbor Village waterfront has come under increasing redevelopment pressure. Village officials want to slow the process down.
David E. Rattray

The Sag Harbor Village Board took a first step Tuesday toward imposing a temporary moratorium on commercial redevelopment in the village's waterfront areas, proposing to suspend until March 1, 2021, the planning board's authority to approve site plans, special permits, and subdivisions.

The moratorium will apply to businesses along the waterfront and one street inland, said Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy.

With the help of zoning, planning, and legal consultants, the village is undertaking a study of the area. The goal is to refine the code to better manage development, protect the character of the village, and preserve water views. The proposed law would prevent businesses from redeveloping properties before any code changes are enacted.

"At the present time, there exist several privately owned properties within the study area that are ripe for redevelopment," the proposed law states. "Without further study, such redevelopment under the current village code could result in a patchwork of new buildings by property owners seeking to achieve maximum build-out, irrespective of such construction's potential negative impact on the existing character of this important and centralized area."

Applications from business owners seeking to make minor renovations or additions will be exempt from the moratorium, as will those seeking a change of use that does not result in an increase in floor area, does not have a parking space requirement, and does not increase septic flow. 

A public hearing on the proposal will be held at the board's Aug. 26 work session, said Ms. Mulcahy. At that time, the trustees and the village's consultants will detail the goals of the moratorium and the study. A vote on the law is expected to take place at a Sept. 7 board meeting.

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