ZBA to decide fate of Bulova


The Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals will decide on Tuesday whether or not to enforce an on-site affordable housing requirement in the Bulova project, a vote that will play a part in determining the fate of the historic watchcase factory building.

ZBA Chairman Michael Bromberg has stated that he will deny any plan that does not include on-site affordable units while board member Anthony Hagen has indicated he will vote in favor of the project, which includes a $2.275 million donation for village housing assistance in lieu of the on-site affordable units. The remaining three members of the board, however, have remained silent on how they may vote.

Only two votes are needed on the five-member board to stop the project as proposed.

Sag Development Partners Project Manager David Kronman said on Thursday that if his firm is forced to include on-site housing at Bulova, “the project would not be what it is now.” He noted that in a new plan, restoration of the factory building would be unlikely due to the additional costs. Mr. Kronman said SDP would need to weigh its options and decide whether to continue with the project at all.

The current plan includes a total of 65 luxury apartments on the property, with 49 units in the existing but crumbling factory building and an additional 16 in seven townhouses, which will be constructed nearby. The developers also intend to donate $2.275 million for village housing assistance in lieu of 13 on-site affordable units, as required by the Suffolk County Planning Commission. The Village Planning Board completed its preliminary responsibilities by declaring the project environmentally sound, committing to override the county housing requirement and accepting SDP’s donation. It is currently conducting a site plan review, but the ZBA also must sign off and override the county’s decision before final approval can be given.

Over the past several months the ZBA vote was scheduled several times and then cancelled by Mr. Bromberg because the Planning Board had not yet made its decision. At the ZBA’s March meeting, the vote was cancelled yet again and Mr. Bromberg refused to allow a straw poll of the board, frustrating community members on both sides of the housing issue. Earlier this week Mr. Hagen said he couldn’t predict the outcome, but he noted that the ZBA will definitely vote on Tuesday.

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