East Hampton Village Planning Board To Hear From Public On Cove Hollow Plan

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The East Hampton Village Planning Board on Thursday scheduled a public hearing to address concerns raised by neighbors of a Cove Hollow Road property recently deemed by the village Zoning Board of Appeals to be two buildable lots.

The plan is to sell both lots—one of which already has a house on it, which would be torn down and replaced—to Farrell Builders, as well as to put in a driveway to access the vacant parcel, which is landlocked. The applicant and co-owner of the property, William Lukashok, must receive approval from the Planning Board to formally subdivide the land.

Each lot would be roughly one-half acre, Mr. Lukashok’s attorney, Andrew Goldstein, said during the meeting. Today the land is zoned for 1-acre residential use, he added, but none of the properties now in that neighborhood adhere to that standard. It is also the only vacant lot in the neighborhood, Mr. Goldstein said, so approving the subdivision would not mean the Planning Board was setting a dangerous precedent for other properties in the area.

The Zoning Board of Appeals recognized the property as two separate parcels in May. According to its determination, “Two lots appear as separate lots on the Suffolk County tax map,” creating a “reasonable” understanding that the parcels are in fact separate even though they are located in a 1-acre residential zone. In addition, they have been in two separate names—those of Mr. Lukashok and his sister, Marilyn Lukashok, for 50 years.

However, the ZBA’s determination was not met without concerns from neighbors, which will be considered in the Planning Board’s decision about whether to grant the easement and subdivision.

“I’m trying to look at what the character of the neighborhood is,” said Planning Board member Mark Butler, “and if we’re going to make a determination that the ZBA is correct, part of that is making sure the neighborhood is not affected significantly.”

“The nature of opposition was general,” said Mr. Goldstein, noting that four neighbors had come forward to express concerns. “One was a complaint about ecology, density … one gentleman claimed he drinks bottled water. I live around the corner from this property, I’ve never heard of anything in the area that would somehow affect the state of the water.”

Mr. Goldstein said no neighbor could exactly say what their concerns were other than the addition of one more house to the neighborhood.

At the ZBA’s public hearing for the application, one resident of Cove Hollow Road had said that allowing two houses would mean twice as many toilets flushing and potentially twice as many pools, adding that “backwash” from the pools could contaminate the drinking water.

“There was opposition,” said East Hampton Village Attorney Linda Riley at the Planning Board meeting. “There’s no question about it.”

Members of the ZBA had also raised questions about the building company the parcels would be sold to, recognizing its reputation for “maxing out” properties with large homes and little green space.

“This is a matter of process, for me,” said Mr. Butler last week. “When a board such as ours has this issue to consider it is probably best to hear from neighbors who have more of an interest than we know and who live there and can give us a perspective on things we can’t possibly get from driving around or even walking through the neighborhood.”

The board agreed to hold a public hearing on the application, which is scheduled for July 10 at 11 a.m. in the Emergency Services Building.

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