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'Residents Are About To Lose More In Property Values'

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In response to an East Hampton Star article from the other week about revisions to Sagaponack's village code regarding lot coverage (amongst other things), one reader fired off a letter to the ol' Curbed Hamptons mailbox. In it, they claim that the mayor's comments regarding newly proposed setback requirements (45 feet!) that would "give breathing space around properties" and bring the village in line with other municipalities was just a little misleading. In addition, the negative effect this "breathing space" would have on home values would be felt immediately if implemented. Specifically, it would make the installation of tennis courts?which can add up to $1M in value to a home?impractical, if not altogether impossible.

"Sagaponack Trustees wage war on tennis courts and residents are about to lose more in property values.

I know several [residents who] have purchased lots large enough to build a tennis court. Some have not built a court right away but have planned their site to accommodate a court down the road or for re-sale. Having a lot large enough for a tennis court adds anywhere from $500,000-$1,000,000 to the value of a property. Typically these lots are an acre and half and up to 2+ acres. The Sagaponack Trustees are contemplating increasing the setbacks for playing courts by 150%. This will make courts on many lots impossible or impractical.

The Mayor's comment, that increasing such setbacks to align with other municipalities, is misleading to say the least. Sagaponack was up zoned nearly 30 years ago to 3 acre zoning. Our lot sizes are on average larger than East Hampton's and so EH has a valid reason to prevent over development of a small lot. The majority of municipalities are zoned 2 acres, which is why there are fewer homes and more farm fields in Sagaponack than anywhere else. Furthermore, Sagaponack is in the Town of Southampton and it has no plans to change the 30ft side and rear setbacks applicable to playing courts, which have been in effect for the last 30 years.

I ask you what does one achieve by increasing a setback by 15 ft other than to prevent people from building a court altogether. Even if the property is large enough to have a 45 ft setback, why stick the court in the middle of someone's backyard. Another element that reduces the value of a property.

The mayor did not allow public comment at this month's meeting on the pretext that the Board was only seeing the draft law for the first time. How convenient to postpone comment until next month's meeting on 10th. A Monday afternoon meeting will ensure that all the New York residents that are out here this month will have gone home."

· Sunday Construction May Be Banned in Sagg [EH Star]