ARB Minutes – January 15, 2022

Village of Dering Harbor
Architectural Review Board
January 15th, 2022, 12:00pm (via Zoom) 

  • Meeting was called to order at 12:03am
  • Attendance- Susannah Rose (chairperson), Bridgford Hunt, Mickey Kostow, George Birman, Stephanie Deutsch; Wayne Bruyn (village attorney), Vicki Shields (village clerk), Donna Ritzzmann (Tim Hogue’s stenographer), Annmarie Seddio (applicant), Jack Thielbierg, August Muff (Ms. Seddio’s architect), Rob Ferris, Eric Deutsch, Marian Brownlie, Brandon Rose, Mary Walker, Dennis Downes (lawyer from Sag Harbor), Alfredo Paredes, Alexander Jackson
  • A motion to accept the minutes from the December 11th, 2021 meeting was made by Susannah and seconded by Bridgford. All Board members voted in favor.
  • Old Business
  • 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.

August Muff (Ms. Seddio’s architect) presented his revised plans. He said that the feedback he received at the last meeting was very helpful. He then went on to to address people’s specific concerns:

-Karen Kelsey: regarding the garage versus the main house. Majority of the comments seemed to be that the garage was overpowering compared to the main house. In response, they changed the layout of the windows on the main house and by increasing the size of the windows on the main house, created a hierarchy between it and the garage. Additionally, they eliminated the peaks/hip roofs over the garage doors and reduced the height of the garage roof by 3.5 feet. They also lowered the height of the pass through. For the record, he stated that the house is +- 141 feet long, of which the garage is 73’-2” , main house is 74’.

-Rob Ferris: Hardi plank material. August stated that he believes it’s a very suitable material to use in place of wood. (NOTE: It was later cleared up by Stepahnie Deutsch that Mr. Ferris had spoken in favor of Hardi planks as a suitable material.)

-George Birman: concerns about the proportions of the main house versus garage. Those have been addressed in this revision, especially by eliminating the peaks in the garage roofline and lowering the pass through in the garage.

All changes were incorporated and reflected in the model Mr. Muff prepared for the meeting and Susannah shared her view of the model in the meeting. Mickey and George said they had gone to see the model in person the day before.

He went on to give more details about the materials they propose to use, including the siding (Hardi plank), windows (Anderson 44 Woodwright series), decking (Timbertech in dark hickory) and patios (natural marble stone in a crema color).

He also indicated where the pool equipment, HVAC, etc. will be located and went on to explain the landscape plan, including what fencing is planned for around the pool (Walpole “Chestnut Hill” fence line). Looks identical to what is planned for guardrails around decking.  He will be using a company called “Brickit” for the manufacturing of the chimneys.

He also explained more about the door dimensions

He went on to share pictures and samples of the different proposed materials.

Questions from the ARB:
-Stephanie had questions regarding some of the materials planned that are missing: driveway apron and exterior. August explained that a cobblestone apron is planned, both at the property entrance and where the direway meets the garage. Whatever lighting is proposed will be dark sky compliant and the style will be appropriate and in keeping with a colonial style. She asked if the windows will have spacer bars? August said no.

-Bridg had no questions.

-George asked about the roofing materials planned. It is the same material that was proposed at the last meeting. Annmarie had a sample and held it up.

-Mickey asked why 2 sidelights are not included, which prompted Annmarie to express her desire to eliminate the sidelights to allow for better symmetry.

Public comments:

-Susannah read a letter emailed to her from Ari Benacerraf. <<See attached >>

-Rob Ferris commended August for designing  a great house for Annmarie, and for the village, and said he really likes how the house looks. He had some questions and comments. He asked how the architect plans to have a divided light window without the spacer bar. August explained the process he uses. Annmarie commented that simulated divided light is not what she wants. She wants true divided light. Mr. Ferris said he really thinks the roof needs to be cedar and gave several examples of new homes and/or recent renovations that have included a cedar roof. It seems to him that is the direction the village is going with new construction and major remodels. He also suggested changing the orientation, dimensions of the garage and placement of the garage doors. Rob lso had a question about the cladding planned to use on the doors. He said that when he was going through the process of getting his house approved, the look of vinyl was really pushed back on from the ARB.

Public comment period was closed.

ARB comments:

-Stephanie apologized for not being at the last meeting but did listen to the recording so that she could hear everything that was discussed. She commented that she likes several things about the house- the architectural details, the archway, and the color scheme . She is concerned about the scale and size of the garage and windows. Without the shutters, the garage feels even longer and is concerned about the solid-to-void ratio. Regarding materials, she is not comfortable with doors with vinyl cladding and also is not comfortable with an asphalt roof on a house of this size. She noted that the examples given in the Design Principles of residences with asphalt roofs were put on either before there was an ARB, when the ARB was more ad hoc, or were put on without ARB permission. Asphalt roofs are not an architectural feature of note in the Design Principles.

-Bridg commented that he disagrees with changing the rules midstream. He thinks people should be able to put the roof they want to put on their house. He thinks the addition of the windows to the garage really works. And he said he would like to see this move along. He would like the applicant to be able to build their house.

-Mickey commented that even with the lowering the height of the garage, it still feels massive. He thinks the arch is still too big and thinks there are a number of ways the garage can be scaled down. He and the architect had a detailed conversation regarding this at MIN 1:15 of the Zoom recording. He also asked about the fence that is planned for around the pool. He wonders why they plan to use a fairly decorative fence if they still plan to plant around it on the inside. It’s still highly visible from the outside and most people in the village have opted to utilize a pool fence that basically disappears into the bushes.

-George commented that a lot has already been covered by comments from others in the meeting. For him, the garage is still a big issue for him. To him, it looks like a garage with a house and not the other way around. He doesn’t think the changes that they made to the design alleviates the problem of the lack of symmetry and proportion between the main house and the garage.  He believes that there are several ways to maintain the practical need for the garage space without having the massive out-structure that is currently in the design. In terms of materials, there are a lot of synthetic materials being proposed and the question is whether or not they will be distinguishable from natural materials. He expressed his reasoning for the preference of a cedar roof over an asphalt roof and encouraged the applicant to use as many natural materials as possible.

-Susannah commented that she agreed with many of the comments that have been made. For her, the scale and proportion of the house versus garage is very voluminous and thinks the size of the garage takes away from the beauty of the main house. She said she doesn’t love the pool railing and doesn’t think it’s something that has been used in the village before. She’d like to see another option for that. In terms of vinyl and roofing materials, she said she is in favor of natural materials. Regarding the shutters, she likes how the design looks without them.

Susannah asked Annmarie if she had any questions for the board.

-She and Jack Thielberg had several closing comments. Annmarie explained that what they are trying to do is strike a balance between authentic, historic, natural materials and sustainable materials. She agrees that some materials are acceptable and some are not. She did say it can be confusing as an applicant when board members give conflicting feedback. There are some things she is  willing to compromise on and some she is not, the roof being one of the things she is not willing to compromise on. George asked why her opposition to cedar for the roof. Jack Thielberg responded that it is a matter of safety.

-Jack went on to add his comments regarding the feedback they’ve received at MIN 1:30 of the Zoom meeting. He explained in detail the steps Annmarie has taken to address various concerns, and the thinking behind the different aspects of the design that they have chosen. Safety is a major tenant behind their choice of an asphalt roof and the type of fence they’ve chosen for around the pool. His understanding is that the purpose of the ARB is to make sure that their house fits and he and Annmarie believe it does.

There was a further discussion about how best to move forward with the application.

A motion to keep the Public Hearing open and adjourned until February 10th, 2022 at 10am was made by Susannah and seconded by Mickey. All Board members voted in favor.

  • Date of next ARB meeting- Friday, February 11th, 10:00am (via Zoom).
  • Motion to adjourn the meeting at 2:03pm was made by Susannah and seconded by George . All Board members voted in favor.