Southampton Village Board Scheduled To Air Moratorium Exemptions

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The Southampton Village Board was slated to meet Tuesday evening, November 25, but Mayor Mark Epley said it was unlikely that the board would grant any of three requested exemptions from the village’s moratorium on buildings of more than 35 feet high.

The board was scheduled to hear public comments on two of the applications Tuesday night.

Approved on October 9 by the Village Board, the moratorium puts a temporary stop to any building permits being issued for houses more than 35 feet high, even if they have already been reviewed by a planning or architectural board. Intended to allow officials time to evaluate height restrictions in light of Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations that often require homes to be built above grade to avoid flooding, the moratorium could last up to six months.

Currently, the village has a 35-foot maximum on height for new construction, but several recent applicants have sought to exceed that limit, based on the fact that FEMA requires new buildings in a floodplain to be elevated to mitigate flood risk. As a result, some proposed homes would be taller than the village limit when measured from ground level.

During the moratorium, review boards are not allowed to approve work on homes that would be higher than 35 feet with an altered flood line, or 27 feet for a flat-pitched roof. The building inspector is not authorized to grant any building permits for such homes.

The village has already heard public comments on two applications—at 450 Gin Lane and 320 Murray Place—and closed the hearing on the latter, although a decision has not been rendered. The village will hear about a third application, at 20 Gin Lane, which is a proposed 32-foot house with a 49-foot roof ridge.

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