February 12, 2014

More Review For 7-Eleven

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It's not a done deal yet. According to town officials "new information" that arose may trigger site plan review of the proposed 7-Eleven site in Amagansett after all.

As reported first in The Independent last week, earlier this month Chief Building Inspector Tom Preiato, after reviewing the proposal with the town attorney's office, issued a building permit allowing Villa Ristorante Incorporated -- comprised of members of the Principi family – to create a retail use on property located at the eastern edge of the downtown business corridor in Amagansett.

Confronted by hamlet residents disturbed by the news of a chain convenience store in their hamlet, last Thursday night Supervisor Larry Cantwell first noted Preiato's comprehensive review of the building permit application was undertaken with cooperation from the town attorney's office. The developers are "going from a permitted use to a permitted use" he said, explaining that under the current town code the applicants are not required to undergo a more full scale site plan review.

Later that evening, however, the supervisor said he received a note from Town Attorney Elizabeth Vail informing him "new information" may prompt another look. Vail declined to outline the new information, but acknowledged the building permit could be rescinded. She also said she was aware of the liability inherent in such a move. The town could be "exposed" to legal action if a do-over is required.

The "new information" isn't exactly new. Town Planning Director Marguerite Wolffsohn explained that a review of the property's files dating back to the 1980s revealed a discrepancy between the number of parcels the owner thinks he has and the number the town believes exist. An approval was given to divide the 7-Eleven site and adjacent lands into three parcels in the '80s, but it expired.

The desired parking configuration may not work, if it turns out it straddles property lines delineated in 1981. The land was subject to site plan review to create the restaurant in the late '70s and recieved approval, but, said Wolffsohn, "I'm not sure it's valid."

As of press time, the planning department was still looking over old files pertaining to the site. "Nobody's saying they can't be there," Wolffsohn emphasized.

The applicants may just have some inconvenient hurdles to clear before they can open a chain store.


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