Village Waterfront Area Planning Analysis and Zoning Amendments


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The Village of Sag Harbor is experiencing increasing development pressures and it’s leaders are concerned that the current zoning ordinance does not provide the tools to shape future development in the waterfront area including key properties that are poised for redevelopment—to ensure that the area retains the human scale, eclectic character, and access to the water that the residents value. In response, the Board of Trustees enacted a six-month moratorium on development and retained the consultant team of Nelson Pope & Voorhis, LLC (NPV), the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI), and Chuck Banas Design (CBD) to review the current zoning code and to propose revisions, which would ensure that any new development balances the protection and enhancement of the unique and eclectic qualities of the village waterfront with the economic realities of property values and limited areas for development in a way that enhances, rather than detracts from, the overall character and charm of the Village.

The Village will undertake a study of the Waterfront Study Area to assess whether current zoning can achieve the above goals and examine new zoning strategies that could be adopted to guide future growth of the Village.  The intent of the study is to identify code changes, which will ensure that any redevelopment is at an appropriate scale, enhances the waterfront area, preserves views of the water, protects groundwater, natural resources and community recreation facilities, and optimizes pedestrian access.  Nelson Pope & Voorhis, LLC (NPV), the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI), and Chuck Banas Design (CBD) will conduct a study of the waterfront area and prepare zoning code amendments to achieve the goals for this area of the village.  The following provides a timeline of past and future steps for implementation of this project, including opportunities for public comment highlighted in yellow.

The June 2021 Waterfront Overlay District Code is the most recent version of the draft Waterfront Overly Code which includes the following modifications since the April 20,2021 version of the code:


  1. The Zoning Map and Height Subareas Map being modified to change the Waterfront Overlay Boundary to:
    1. Removed the properties which are being studied as part of the Sewer Master Plan along Bridge, Meadow, and Rose streets.
    2. Included all of Steinbeck Park within the Overlay – previously only the OD zoned portion of the park was included (with a recommendation to change the zone to PC).
  2. Zoning map: 
    1. Added labels for the Village parking lot, Post Office, and National Grid properties.  
    2. Added note that the entire area is within the Historic Overlay District
  3. The maximum building and impervious coverage in the VB and OD has been reduced to 70% to be consistent with the current code maximums in VB and OD.
  4. A superscript (2) has been added to the Use Table for each of the office uses in the VB column and added a note at the end of the table consistent with the current code to read “In the Village Business (VB) District, offices and banks are prohibited on the first floor, and permitted on the second floor and above.  See Section 300-6.4E”.
  5. Updated the Use Table for the OD District to be consistent with the current Use Table.  While the current version maintains the same SE uses in the OD, it continues to limit the size within the overlay to 1,500 SF.  The current version continues to allow for upper story dwellings and live work units as SE in the OD – since an apartment building is permitted as an SE in the OD now.  
  6. A new use added for rooftop patios/decks has been added to the Accessory Use table which is shown as prohibited in all districts within the Overlay.  The current version removes awnings and other encroachment exceptions within the required 10’ stepback (and the diagram in Section 5.3.5 Height no longer shows a person or awning within the upper story stepback).
  7. The current version requires that all development comply with Suffolk County Sanitary Code and Chapter 220 of Village Code (and that any costs for extension of a sewer service area be the responsibility of the applicant).  Chapter 220 already requires that connections be paid for by the applicant. 
  8. Changed historic to “historical” in Section 1.2.  It now reads “Encourage a diversity of scales, architectural styles, and materials which respects the historical character and gives the Village its authentic nature”  

Please click the following link to view to the June 2021 Waterfront Overlay District Code: Waterfront Overlay District Code

Stakeholder Session 1
Monday, October 25, 2021
Stakeholder Session 2
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Clarify and Confirm the Vision, Goals, and Concerns for the Redevelopment of the Sag Harbor Waterfront
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Presentation by Marta Goldsmith on Form Based Codes
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Diagnostic of Existing Zoning Code Provisions Relevant to the Waterfront Area
Monday, November 23, 2020
Draft Waterfront Overlay Zoning Presentation
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Presentation at Board of Trustees Public Meeting on Transportation Demand Management, frequently asked questions on the recommended Waterfront Overlay, and to receive additional public comments
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Written public comment period on initial Waterfront Overlay provisions received through this date
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Presentation at Board of Trustees Work session of the Waterfront Overlay recommendations from the Waterfront Planning Committee regarding the public input received
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Provide status update on the revision process for the Waterfront Overlay District Code - receive additional feedback from the BOT on public summary document
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Presentation at Board of Trustees Work session on the updated Waterfront Overlay which incorporated recommendations based on the public input
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Board of Trustees Working Meeting to review Waterfront Overlay Code
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Board of Trustees Working Meeting to review Waterfront Overlay Code
Friday, April 9, 2021
Meeting in Steinbeck Park
Friday, April 23, 2021
Planning Board update
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Presentation at Board of Trustees Work session of the updated Draft Waterfront Overlay code which incorporates the revisions of the Trustees schedule Q &A Sessions
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Question and answer session (6 pm)

Monday, May 3, 2021
Question and answer session (3 pm)
Monday, May 10, 2021
Update by Mayor at Board of Trustees Meeting on the Draft Waterfront Overlay code, requested modifications based upon input, and next steps
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Planning Board Update at Work Session
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Update by Mayor at Board of Trustees Meeting on the Draft Waterfront Overlay code, requested modifications based upon input, and next steps
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Introduce local law at Board of Trustees meeting on the  Waterfront Overlay code, establish Lead Agency under SEQR, schedule public hearing
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
SEQR Commences

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Send referrals
Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Planning Board recommendation
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

BOT Work SessionTuesday, June 23, 2021

Harbor Committee Meeting - Coastal Consistency Recommendation
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Suffolk County Planning Commission Meeting
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Public HearingTuesday, July 13, 2021

*Shaded lines indicate items with opportunity for public comment

Please click to view the Presentation presented at the Regular Board Meeting on November 10, 2020: An Overview of Form-Based Codes

  1. PHASE I
  4. Study Area Maps
  5. Project Team

Clarify and Confirm the Vision, Goals, and Concerns for the Redevelopment of the Sag Harbor Waterfront

An effective zoning code is the legal interpretation of a community vision or plan.  Sag Harbor’s Comprehensive Plan and its current Local Waterfront Redevelopment Plan updates are an important part of the Village’s vision for the future.  In addition, the Waterfront Planning Committee has articulated Goals and Strategies for the future development in the area, which further defines this vision.  In this phase, a review of all of these documents, as well as the current zoning ordinance will be undertaken and confirmation with key stakeholders of the most important elements of the Vision for the Waterfront will take place.  This phase will consist of the following tasks: 

Review the Sag Harbor Comprehensive Plan, Sag Harbor Waterfront Planning Analysis, Sag Harbor Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) Update, and related planning documents; 
    Review the July 27, 2020 Statement of Goals and Strategies for the Waterfront and list of potential tools/code amendments to consider; 
    Review the Sag Harbor Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map; 
    Gain access to and review GIS data for the Village of Sag Harbor; 
    Virtually meet with key stakeholders to review the Vision and Goals, and their concerns with the code structure, administration, and development outputs.

 The deliverable for Phase I will be a brief Waterfront Vision Statement for review, comment, and confirmation by the Waterfront Planning Committee that includes: 

     A clear vision of the future Sag Harbor Waterfront with a narrative, conceptual map, and illustrative images;  
     Goals and guidelines for zoning updates of the Sag Harbor Waterfront area, which will achieve the vision; and
      A list of concerns with the current regulatory framework, which Village leaders believe may impede the achievement of the Vision and Goals.

Timeframe for Phase I:

●       Phase I deliverable due to Committee for review: October 19, 2020
●       Posted on Village Website: October 22, 2020 
●       Presentation at Board of Trustees Work Session: October 28, 2020