The owner of 127 Main Street in East Hampton Village will be able to put in a sunken Har-Tru tennis court after receiving approval from the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals on Friday.
Shahab Karmely, a New York-based real estate investor, chief of the development firm Kar Properties and owner of 127 Main LLC in the village, sought a variance to allow the construction of a tennis court to be 20 feet and 20.6 feet from the side property lines, only about half the required 39.5-foot setback.
The proposed location of the tennis court met with some opposition from neighbors. Ken Kuchin, the neighbor to the north of 127 Main Street, had argued at past public hearings that placing the court near his property line would disrupt the use of his meditation house, and that Mr. Karmely should consider an alternative spot.
But the board wasn’t convinced that Mr. Kuchin’s meditation house would truly be affected, given its proximity to John Marshall Elementary School and other potentially noisy areas.
“Although the neighbor to the north testified that he has a meditation room close to the proposed tennis court, he also has a swimming pool near the meditation room and a tennis court next to that,” the ZBA’s resolution said. “It is the board’s finding that there will be no undesirable effect produced in the character of the neighborhood or detriment to nearby properties resulting from the location of the tennis court toward the rear property line.”
The location is also ideal for accommodating a number of large trees and a historic boxwood allee that exist on the site, the board noted. The house was designed by architectural firm Wyeth and King and built in the late 1930s for Robert Lion Gardiner, according to Corcoran’s website, which had the listing before it was sold to Mr. Karmely. If the tennis court were placed in a conforming area between the garage and the swimming pool, the greenery would be destroyed, according to the resolution.
“Again, given the sensitivity of the site in the historic district, the park-like settings around the house should be maintained,” the ZBA resolution said.
The ZBA’s approval also requires Mr. Karmely to sink the court 4 feet below grade to mitigate noise; to install a Har-Tru surface, which is quieter than a hard surface, according to the resolution; and to “refrain from installing any fencing whatsoever around the edge of the court,” but rather to maintain the “extensive screening” along the court’s boundaries once it is in place.