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Beckmann Building in the Clear at Last

Thu, 04/11/2024 - 04:35

“Our goal is to not allow what happened previously, and to keep it on the up and up,” said Tara Burke of Lighthouse Land Planning, speaking for Rhett Beckmann, the owner of the Beckmann Commercial building at 94 South Euclid Avenue in Montauk.

The building first received site plan approval in February 2018, but by the summer of 2023, the East Hampton Town Planning Department was alerted that many unapproved changes had occurred. “These changes have resulted in a built site that contains many improvements that were not approved and that is incongruous with its surroundings in terms of sidewalk elevation and alley elevation,” read a Planning Department memo from November.

The building was about two feet higher than was approved, which neighbors feared would cause flooding. Since that November memo, the planning board slowly approved or accepted all the deviations. At last week’s meeting, there was only one that needed final approval: a back alleyway. A neighbor argued that the way the alley was originally paved prevented access to the back of their building, and the planning board sought modifications.

The board accepted a plan for the alleyway at a previous meeting, but because of a water main under the alley, slight changes were made. The Suffolk County Water Authority said proximity to its main wasn’t a significant concern if it was well marked.

“The town engineer reviewed and found them substantively consistent with that the board approved last meeting,” said Tina Vavilis LaGarenne, the town’s assistant planning director.

“Work in the alley needs to be done before a certificate of occupancy is issued, and an engineer needs to be on site when the work is done to make sure it all goes well,” said Samuel Kramer, the board chairman.

“We do plan to proceed with the alley work this week,” said Ms. Burke. “The neighbors have been notified.”

Michael Hansen abstained from the vote, with all others voting it complete and ready to be approved.

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