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Mar 21, 2012 10:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Larry Rivers "Legs" Still Stand, ZBA Looks For Compromise

Mar 21, 2012 11:23 AM

The Larry Rivers “Legs” sculpture in Sag Harbor that has been causing a stir will be allowed to stand for at least one more month.

Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals Chairwoman Gayle Pickering on Tuesday night said she would like to find a compromise, such as allowing “Legs” to remain on the side of Ruth Vered and Janet Lehr’s Madison Street home for only a specific amount of time, such as a year or two, and requiring that the sculpture no longer be illuminated at night as it is now.

Because the village has deemed “Legs” an accessory structure, it needs three variances from the ZBA to be allowed to remain standing. The sculpture measures 16 feet 1 inch tall, where a height of only 15 feet is allowed. It also sits within 1 foot of the property lot line, where 35 feet is required to comply with zoning, and needs a sky plane variance of 16.7 feet. The high-profile case has garnered a lot of media attention because of its quirkiness.

The other ZBA members—Anthony Hagen, Brendan Skislock and Benedetta Deubel—expressed concerns over the precedent an approval of “Legs” could set. Board member Michael Bromberg has recused himself from the case because relatives live near the home in question.

Richard Hammer of the Montauk firm Biondo and Hammer, the attorney representing Ms. Vered and Ms. Lehr, argued that “Legs” is so atypical, it would not set a precedent. The sculpture’s benefit to the applicants and the community outweighs any detriment, he claimed. Mr. Hammer also pointed out that the property itself—which formerly housed a church—is non-conforming, meaning there is nowhere on the property “Legs” could be placed that would allow it to meet the zoning standards without variances.

Mr. Hammer told the board that “Legs” should not have a time frame. Last month, however, he pointed out that the sculpture is a temporary display and offered to have it approved to stand for a certain time limit.

“I think we have tremendous support,” Ms. Vered told the board. “There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Every case has to have its own merits.”

The board meets next on Tuesday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the village Municipal Building on Main Street.

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Maybe the legs should wear a dress?
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Mar 21, 12 5:09 PM