Monday, March 7, 2011

Current Happenings

Maybe it’s me, but as spring approaches I seem to be aware of more and more activity. Lately, three projects in the early permitting process have caught my attention. If I had time I’d go to more of the various board meetings, but at least one can always watch them after the fact via the village’s website.
Polo Club (52, 54, 58 David White’s Lane): Awhile back (before the creation of this blog), a condominium project was approved for this site between the Land Rover Dealership and the historic house to its east. Construction had begun and foundations had been installed when the project then came to a stop…………for a long time. The site became an eyesore with overgrowth and some dumping activity….. I think even a poor deer or two got trapped in one of the foundations. But now there is a flurry of activity. Farrell Building Company has gotten involved and the site is being cleaned up. The project is now in front of the Planning Board again for renewed permits. We’ll see what transpires next. It’s on their agenda tonight, at 6pm. Agenda item #1.
220 Hampton Road: This has been a mostly vacant property since forever, and of course, my curiosity about the property’s history is now peaked. In fact, the entire eastern half of the block, including this property, used to belong to John H. Goodale, and there used to be a house up near the street, in line with the buildings on each side of it. J. H. Goodale (b. 1855) was a landscape gardner, a Fire Department Chief and Trustee, and a likely descendant of one of the village’s most prominent citizen’s Capt. Charles Goodale, who owned the State and Nationally registered Second Empire style home (with the ugly glass addition on the rear) a bit east of this property. John married late and had no children.

Anyway, I have also always wondered if this property would ever get re-developed and now it seems the rumblings of that action may be occurring. The Planning Board agenda says the matter is only a property boundary clarification and land transfer issue, but I still suspect near future building endeavors. What do you think should happen with that property? The also, is on the Planning Board agenda tonight, at 6pm. Agenda item #2.

59 Pierpont: The owners of this home wish to put a second story on the house and some of the neighbors are not too happy about that. I LOVE when the neighbors participate in the process! Kudos! This neighborhood has lovely homes, but not gigantic and some of the neighbors believe that adding a second floor over the center/main portion of the house will make it one of the largest on the street, and thus disparate with the character of the neighborhood. In fact, this house’s existing first floor area is already larger than many other nearby homes, so multiplying that by 2 will physically make the house appear twice as large, no matter what the actual habitable area numbers may be. Remember though, that the owners don’t need a variance to build a second floor, only to build a second floor whose second story front wall aligns with the existing first story front wall, because that does not conform, by just under 3 feet, with current setbacks. I think the real issue here is that, again, people are allowed to build much larger houses on smaller lots ever since the code was changed circa 2006, and as more and more people catch onto this they don’t like it, especially in the more local, quasi-seasonal parts of the village. I think someone should put together a photo montage to demonstrate the scale consequence here, rather than to rely on the board’s familiarity with the neighborhood. The application was adjourned on February 24th so that neighbors could have more time to review the building department file.

So those are the happenings around town that caught my attention just by the display of a sign out front and/or activity on the site. But I always am peeking at the agendas and videos available online. That sure is a nice convenience.

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