In East Hampton Village, Neighbors Fear Noise From Tennis Court

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The fight for a hard-top tennis court on a Main Street property in East Hampton continued at the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Friday morning as board members debated the pros and cons of possible locations for the court.

An application filed by 127 Main LLC, which is the address of the residential property, seeks a property-line setback variance to build a sunken tennis court on the lot. There is enough space to build a court on the property without infringing upon the setbacks, according to the applicant’s attorney, Richard Hammer of Hammer and Biondo, but that portion is not ideal for playing, given the height of the sun along with the positioning of the court.

The parcel at 127 Main Street backs up to the John Marshall Elementary School’s playing fields and borders other residential properties whose owners are concerned with noise.

“The only reason for objecting would be the possible noise,” said Tom Osborne, one neighbor. “I have no objection to the court itself, just the use of the court and yelling, ‘Good shot!’” he explained.

Mr. Osborne said while there is no house on the lot he owns, which borders the eastern property line of 127 Main Street, it is a buildable lot and the board should consider what a “reasonable” person would think of the potential noise.

“They’ve owned that property since the 1600s,” ZBA Chairman Frank E. Newbold said of Mr. Osborne’s family. “I think they’ve paid their dues.”

The tennis court had previously been proposed closer to the property line to the west. However, another neighbor, Ken Kuchin, said that the sound of tennis games would interfere with the use of his meditation house.

But Mr. Hammer said the neighbors’ concerns with noise cannot be taken as reasonable, given the noise produced by the elementary school. He also argued that noise would come from the court whether or not it was sited within part of the lot that conformed to setbacks.

A determination on the application is expected at the board’s next meeting in September.

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