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Sep 19, 2012 8:36 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

ZBA Set To Rule On Front-Yard Pool Application

Sep 19, 2012 10:34 AM

The Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to issue its finding in the second incarnation of a Bridgehampton homeowner’s application to construct a swimming pool in the front yard of her property.

The Town Code prohibits the construction of swimming pools in front yards, although the ZBA routinely grants variances allowing them in instances where a house may have frontage on more than one street or when it is waterfront, in which case code allows the building setbacks to be reversed.

The ZBA has granted variances for front yard pools in some instances where wetlands abutted the rear of a property as well, which an attorney for Hildreth Lane homeowner Janet Finkel has argued his client’s property does. Southampton Town Building Inspector Michael Benincasa issued a determination that a swampy area at the rear of Ms. Finke’s property was wetlands and that meant the property was waterfront and could have its development setback flipped, allowing the pool in the front yard.

In December of last year, however, the ZBA overruled him and denied Ms. Finkel’s application, which had been opposed by neighbors who claimed the pool would be an eyesore on the street. Ms. Finkel’s attorney, John Bennett, filed a new application for a slightly smaller pool in the same location in April, which the board is expected to rule on this week.

The board’s review of the second application was closed back in May and the release of its decision has twice been delayed, once at the request of Mr. Bennett, who asked that it not be presented unless all seven members of the ZBA were in attendance.

The ZBA meets at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

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