Venture capitalist Ken Fox is causing quite a stir in his idyllic Southampton neighborhood. Plans to expand his lake-front Victorian in Southampton Village have met with widespread resistance, with nearly three dozen neighbors writing protest letters to the zoning board. The plans even spurred a change.org petition that has received 327 signatures as of Sunday.
So why all the fuss? Fox, who runs The Stripes Group and has financed Blue Apron, Seamless and Grubhub, is accused of attempting to transform his 1880s shingled house — which he purchased for $10.7 million in 2012 — into a 25-bedroom, 14-bathroom “McMansion,” according to the New York Post. And locals don’t just object to the perceived bad taste.
The currently eight-bedroom house known locally as “Mocomanto” is on both the state and national historic registries, and its grounds contain protected wetlands on the banks of Lake Agawam. The lake is considered environmentally fragile, and nitrogen runoff from fertilizer recently created a toxic algae bloom.
“Mocomanto is one of the oldest and most architecturally significant structures on Lake Agawam,” neighbor Chuck Scarborough and his wife Ellen wrote to the zoning board. “Unless the design is modified to preserve the architectural integrity of the house, we urge you not to grant any variances or exceptions.”
Fox told the Post that his house would still be smaller than many of his neighbors.
[NYP] —Christopher Cameron