ARB Minutes – April 23, 2022

Village of Dering Harbor
Architectural Review Board
April 23rd, 2022, 12:00 PM 

  • The meeting was called to order at 12:00pm
  • Attendance- Susannah Rose (chairperson), George Birman, Stephanie Deutsch, Bridgford Hunt, Mickey Kostow, Rob Ferris, Wayne Bruyn (village attorney) , Vicki Weslek (village clerk), Donna Ritzmann (Tim Hogue’s stenographer), Kevin Clark (Mr. Kono’s architect), Kimberlea Rea (Mr. Kono’s attorney), Annmarie Seddio, Jack Thielberg, Karen Kelsey, Brad Goldfarb, Ari Benacerraf, Claire Kostow, Eric Deutsch, Kimberley Carey
  • Statement from Susannah Rose regarding letters received from the public after the deadline. Receiving letters after the set deadline is disrespectful to the clerk and the chairperson, who do their best to distribute the letters that are submitted. It is very important that letters from the public be submitted by the set deadline so that they may be distributed in a timely fashion. Also, all letters should be sent to the clerk, not the chairperson.
  • A motion to accept the minutes from the March 4th meeting was made by Susannah and seconded by Mickey. 4 votes in favor, 1 abstention (Stephanie). Motion passed.
    • Stephanie asked about trying to move the time of the meeting ARB. Susannah said she would check with Patrick and would circle back.
  • Old Business
    1. Continuation of Public Hearing – Building Permit Application

Submitted by Yoshimi Kono (property owner)
SCTM# 701 – 1 – 3 – 16.3
Street Address: 3 Dering Woods Lane, Dering Harbor

Building permit application for new construction of dwelling, garage, swimming pool, and tennis court.

Stephanie Deutsch recused herself from the hearing on this application.

Rob Ferris took her seat.

Kevin Clark came up to present the latest information that had been submitted regarding this application. He recapped from the last meeting that they received a really positive response from the board. Based on the comments, the biggest site change was that they moved the garage. He has retained the design of the pool fence and feels that it will simply disappear into the landscape, which is appropriate for the wooded nature of the landscape design. He provided more detail on the landscaping and tennis court materials, the fence for which will be chain link. He referred to an existing tennis court in the village that also has a chain link fence. The driveway apron is going to be made of granite cobblestone. He also provided pool construction details, flashing details,m and a lighting plan.

Susannah asked ARB members if they had any questions.

    1. Mickey had a question about the site plan regarding the little grey circles labeled “Neighbors bushes.” Kimberlea Rea clarified that they are shrubs that have been planted by the neighbors on Mr. Kono’s property. The applicant intends to leave them.
    2. Rob Ferris asked Kevin Clark which tennis court he is referring to in his presentation. He was referring to the Ressler’s tennis court.

Questions from public:

    1. Eric Deutsch asked about the window detail of the french doors. Are they full light or simulated divided light? He had further questions about the window and back steps. He also asked about the dimensions of the patio and pool, all of which Kevin answered.
    2. Kimberley Carey asked about the position of her transformer box and how it is being considered when the driveway is installed. It was agreed that the applicant should make sure that the utilities are carefully installed and considered. She went on to express her concerns about the position of the driveway and the placement of the tennis court. She feels that there are other options where the placement would be more in Mr. Kono’s view versus her view.
    3. Eric Deutsch had comments related to precedent that has been set recently in the village. He said he thinks the house still needs work. Skylights are not part of the vernacular of the village. He also doesn’t think that saving trees should trump the desire of neighbors for a change in the siting. He thinks if the garage was moved 30’ towards the center, the driveway were shifted, and minor adjustments to the other structures on the property, he would be satisfied.

Public comment period was closed.

ARB member’s comments:

    1. Bridgford said he thinks the applicant has been responsive in changing the garage and shortening the driveway. Everything has been covered.
    2. George Birman asked for clarification about prohibiting the use of chain link in the village but allowing it for the construction of sports courts. He wanted to know how that is allowed. Wayne said that is his understanding that has been the practice of the village. The fence is needed as part of the structure. Susannah shared her thoughts. She looked at existing tennis courts in the village and chain link fence is used. It is not her material of choice and thinks there are plenty of other less visually obtrusive options.
    3. Mickey asked for further clarification on the tennis court fence. Kevin showed him in the supplemental submission he had provided.
    4. Susannah asked about the intention of plantings around the pool fence and tennis court. Kevin explained his thinking behind that. He explained that they are leaving it natural and not defined by hedgerow or plantings because of the rural/naturalized nature of the property and design.
    5. Mickey commended the applicant for utilizing dark sky compliant lightning and thinks that it is a good precedent to set in the village. He also pointed out Ms. Carey’s concern about the visual of the tennis court and noise that tennis court will produce. He had data to share on the sound levels that activity would potentially create. He’s confident that the noise will not be an issue and feels like the visual can be addressed by plantings.
    6. Susannah is concerned about the pool and tennis fence for the neighbors. Applauds them for shortening the driveway and revising their plans related to the feedback they received from the public and the ARB.
    7. George is concerned about precedents that are being set. He commented that he thinks it’s odd that the pool fence encapsulates such a large area. Regarding the tennis court, he thinks that needs to be looked at in terms of construction and maintenance in terms of sports courts

Bridg made a motion to vote on the application. Mickey seconded.

Susannah asked for conditions to be set in terms of additional plantings around the pool fence and tennis court. Her motion was not seconded.

A motion to approve the application as submitted, with the addition of several trees on the southeast side of the tennis court, was made by Bridg and seconded by Mickey.

3 votes in favor, 2 votes opposed. Motion passed and the application approved.

  1. Continuation of Public Hearing – Building Permit Application

Submitted by Annmarie Seddio (property owner)
SCTM# 701 – 1 – 3 – 21.1
Street Address: 2 Dering Woods Road, Dering Harbor

Building permit application for new construction of a 2-story dwelling, garage, and swimming pool.

Jack Thilberg expressed thanks to the board for their guidance in this process. He summarized the process that Anmarie has gone through in seeking approval for their house. He pointed out that the law that she referenced in designing their house is not old. It is from 2020. He also referenced Mickey’s letter in terms of their choice of the roof and in support of their decision for choosing asphalt.

Questions from the board:

    1. Mickey had a question about the roofing. He asked the applicant if they had considered any other material, like slate. Ms. Seddio said they did consider other materials but she heard opposition to those as well, including slate.

There were no public comments.

Comments from the board:

    1. George stated his opinion that when the ARB looks at a design, they have to take everything into consideration, including the entire house. He thinks that the other examples of houses in the village that have asphalt roofs are pre-war and have other redeeming architectural qualities. He does not like the choice of asphalt or the precedent that would be set of they were to approve the use of that material in a new construction.
    2. Susannah said she agrees with everything George said.
    3. Mickey added that he loves cedar shake roofs but thinks it’s a personal choice and he said he would hate to see the application be denied because of this. He further added that he doesn’t think that it’s a matter of what each board member likes and doesn’t like. It’s a matter of what has been published as appropriate in the village. To publish that 17 out of 30 houses in the village have asphalt shingles, but then say it is not an appropriate material, is hypocritical.
    4. Bridgford that he doesn’t think it’s fair to turn down this application because of an asphalt roof when we are all sitting in a building with an asphalt roof.
    5. Stephanie commented that she does not like the choice of asphalt as a roofing material in the village and was prepared to vote no on this application on that basis. However, in light of the approval of the last application, in which a chain link fence was approved (a material she thought was prohibited in the village), she needs more time to consider whether she still thinks asphalt is not an acceptable material.

Jack Thilberg pointed out that it was his and Annmarie’s understanding that the Design Principles were meant to help guide them to design a house that would be acceptable in the village. He also commented that on 3 acres of property, where the house will be surrounded by natural woods, how much of the roof are people really going to see? Several members disagreed with him on that point, including Stephanie who pointed out that the woods may not always be there, that there is one code that needs to be applied to the whole village, and an example of a house where you can see the detail of the roof from the road.

Further discussion was had on other materials that the applicant could consider, other than asphalt or cedar, that would be a more acceptable material in the village.

At the applicant’s request, a motion to keep the public hearing open and adjourn until the May 14th meeting was made by Susannah and seconded by George. All Board members voted in favor.

  • Next meeting date- May 14th, 2022.
  • A motion to adjourn at 1:39pm was made by Susannah and seconded by Mickey. All Board members present voted in favor.