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Jul 17, 2012 3:05 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town ZBA To Decide Soon On Front-Yard Pool Application; Second Request Filed

Jul 18, 2012 8:40 AM

As the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals prepares to decide early next month whether to grant variances to a Bridgehampton homeowner that would allow her to build a swimming pool in her front yard—an application that has drawn considerable scrutiny from neighbors and has resurfaced following previous denials over the past few years—a new front-yard pool application, this time for one in Water Mill, has appeared on the board’s agenda.

But ZBA Vice Chairman Adam Grossman said this week that front-yard pool applications are rather routine.

“We get them from time to time. That’s not unusual,” he said in a phone interview. “Sometimes the front-yard pool applications are because they’re what’s called constrained properties—properties that are adjacent to multiple streets. The property has no rear yard to put a pool. That happens routinely before our board.”

Each case stands on its own merits, despite board members sometimes arguing that making a decision on one case might set a precedent for future cases.

“We take each and every application as it comes,” he said, noting that the board takes into account the size of the pool, the size of the property, neighbors’ concerns and the character of the community—mainly, whether there are other pools in the area, for example.

The board is expected to decide on August 2 whether to grant several variances to Janet Finkel, the owner of a house on Hildreth Avenue in Bridgehampton. An original decision date of July 5 was pushed back to August 2, because Ms. Finkel’s attorney, John Bennett, requested that the entire board be present for the vote, Assistant Town Attorney Katie Garvin said. Previously, the board had asked Mr. Bennett to shave a few feet off the size of the proposed pool, but Mr. Grossman noted that a smaller pool would not necessarily win the board’s approval.

“I don’t know what the outcome will be,” he said of Ms. Finkel’s application.

In the meantime, the ZBA is expected to begin discussing a new application on Thursday for another swimming pool to be allowed on a nonconforming lot on Water Mill-Towd Road in Water Mill.

Mr. Grossman said on Tuesday he had not yet read that application and could not anticipate whether that application would attract as much opposition as Ms. Finkel’s.

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