Sagg Residents Criticize Development Plan, But Not Village Spending

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Sagaponack Village residents this week criticized a proposal by the would-be developers of the village’s last vacant oceanfront farmland, lamenting the loss of a vista across the land that would result from an application to place a house at the northern end of the lot, along Daniels Lane.

Despite having been granted permission to build four houses, three of them oceanfront, just behind the dunes on the land east of Peters Pond Lane, the owners withdrew the application and have submitted an application to build a single house at the northwestern corner of the lot, on land that had been slated to be put into open space preserve in the initial application.

Residents said that it would be preferable to keep the northern end of the property clear of development to preserve the vista across the farm field, and wondered why the developers would seek to move one of their building lots away from the ocean in the first place—a question village officials have openly wondered themselves in recent months.

“Why wouldn’t … the old solution, the four houses on the ocean, be an equitable solution for all?” Tinka Topping asked, rhetorically.

Dean Foster, a Sagaponack farmer who cultivates the field now, said that the northwestern corner of the lot is the least desirable section of the land for farming and welcomed the re-conceived development plan.

“I’ve farmed that swale—it might as well be the beach,” he said. “From a farmer’s aspect, you took the worst farmland and that’s where you put your house. I think it’s the perfect place for a house.”

It is presumed that if the single building lot is approved the owners, a splintered LLC that has been consumed by years of legal in-fighting, will submit a second subdivision plan for the three oceanfront building lots. The change would require that some land at the southern end of the field be put into a preservation easement to comply with village codes.

In other business, Sagaponack Village will add a part-time employee to its staff this year, bringing the total number of employees to four: two full-time and two part-time. The Village Board is expected to adopt an $815,808 budget for the coming fiscal year at its regular monthly meeting on Monday, April 21. The budget increases spending by about $26,000, or 3 percent, accounting for the new employee and rising insurance costs. But tax rates will remain the same, thanks to a swelling property value assessment in the village, which climbed above $4.3 billion this year.

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