If building homes on the Sag Harbor waterfront is like printing money, the town just stopped the presses.
The village board voted earlier this month to approve rules for a waterfront overlay district, according to Dan’s Papers. The rules would limit most new buildings on the waterfront to two stories. A third story would be permitted for buildings with a public benefit and coastal access.
It was designed to create “standards that guide the relationship between building facades and the public realm and protect against over-development on the waterfront,” according to the text of the legislation.
The rules bring an end to a years-long fight over development constraints. In October 2020, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees approved a six-month moratorium on major developments along a large portion of its central waterfront. While the ban was in effect, a team of consultants was set to create a set of proposals for a code to inform projects.
One of the consultants hired by the village told the board that some historic buildings couldn’t be replicated under the recently replaced zoning rules.
“Everything you see in this historic Sag Harbor view is essentially illegal or nonconforming” under the zoning, Chris Hawley said.
The moratorium was ultimately extended to Feb. 1, 2022. According to Dan’s Papers, the recent legislation resulted in the lifting of the moratorium.
Proximity to the water is often a distinction that can make or break differences of millions of dollars in the Sag Harbor housing market.
In the fall, the Sag Harbor waterfront home of sculpture artist Robert Hooke hit the market for $9.5 million. The compound includes a 2,000-square-foot home with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. There is also a tennis court, bath house and pond.
Meanwhile, “Million Dollar Listing” star Tyler Whitman recently paid $2.7 million for an inland Sag Harbor home. While it comes with a pool instead of a tennis court and bath house, the home sits just shy of 2,100 square feet, but a markedly different price point from Hooke’s.
In East Hampton, Peloton CEO John Foley illustrated the pricey play that’s necessary to move from woods to waterfront.
The stationary-bike executive in November listed his roughly 6,500-square-foot East Hampton home for $4.5 million. The New York Post reported one month later that Foley was the buyer of an estate on the area’s star-studded Further Lane. The 6,100-square-foot home on four acres had gone into contract in September and closed at $55 million.
The waterfront upgrade cost Foley $2.5 million more than its asking price and a dozen times more than he was asking for his inland property.
[Dan’s Papers] — Holden Walter-Warner