Plandome rejects home renovation that extends on public property

Max Zahn
Plandome Deputy Mayor Ray Herbert

The Plandome Board of Trustees on Monday rejected an architectural firm’s redesign plans for a North Drive home that would have extended the property’s walkway and driveway onto public land.

“There was very specific and purposeful thought put into the village code to prevent structures from being built on the village berm,” Trustee Katie Saville said. “We would like to enforce village code.”

The firm, Peconic, is seeking to renovate the front entrance of the home at 1 North Dr. for functional and aesthetic reasons.

Currently, the walking path to the home’s front door and the driveway are adjoined.

“We propose a separation between the driveway and the pedestrian entry,” said Andressa Maia, the project architect. “We see this as important.”

“It will be encroaching onto the property line but won’t be encroaching any more than the existing structure,” she added, referring to the walkway and driveway. “It will be encroaching less than the existing structure.”

The walkway and driveway include 770 square feet extending beyond the property line, Maia said.

Saville said some old walkways were grandfathered in when the code was changed to prohibit any encroachment on public property.

Trustee Andrew Bartels suggested running the walkway alongside the driveway.

“If something is necessary we might give consideration” for an exemption, Bartels said. “[Here] there would be an acceptable alternative to give flow in but avoid encroachment.”

“Our concern is about creating precedents,” added Ray Herbert, the deputy mayor. “That’s a precedent we would have to defend later on.”

According to Redfin, a real estate website, the 1,430-square-foot home was purchased last August for $1,095,000.

The redesign plans also include a renovated terrace and an underground garage.

After reviewing the design plans, several trustees mentioned noncompliance issues that would likely arise with the village’s Design Review Board, but they reiterated that the only matter in front of them was the request for an exemption to build on public property.

The owner of Peconic, Evan Psylos, said he intends to make adjustments and asked if he should return to the Board of Trustees or go directly to the Design Review Board.

Bartels said if the plan still has encroachment issues the trustees may not deem acceptable, the firm should return. Otherwise, it can go directly to the Design Review Board, he said. 

Mayor M. Lloyd Williams was not present.

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