Sag Harbor: Update on Bulova Condos

The Sag Harbor Planning Board held a public meeting on the Bulova Factory condos project last Wednesday, August 8 at 4pm.

From all reports, it appears that the planning board members are leaning strongly towards giving the developers what they want: carte blanch to build luxury housing units without any lower cost units which local public servants could afford.

Those lower income residents of Sag Harbor who make up the staff of the schools, police and fire departments were referred to by those who spoke for the developer as "the poor" who would not be able to afford the carrying charges, etc.

Suffolk County has told the owners of the Bulova Factory, "Sag Harbor Partners" to include 20% affordable housing on-site. Since the project is on Route 114 they have jurisdiction. But the Village Planning Board or Board of Trustees may be able to overide the County directive.

In place of constructing affordable units the developer has pledged to contribute $ 1.3 million to a housing Trust Fund announced by the Mayor only a day before the developer was said to have made the offer (according to the Sag Harbor Express).

According to a Sag Harbor resident who attended the meeting, "No one pointed out that the Village can't possibly provide 16 comparable units for that price."

The condo project as planned will have a pool, private on-site parking and a common area. The cost of the clean up of the contaminated area is said to be on the developer. Because of the great cost of remediation it is said that it would not be economically possible to build lower cost units.

A representative of the Group for the East End, Jeremy Samuelson said that the Village missed the boat when it failed to go to the Federal EPA for funds to do the clean up. The area between Rte 114 and Main St in downtown Sag Harbor was once used to fabricate the cases for time pieces made with radium, a naturally occuring source of low level radiation.

At the same time the Village Trustees are considering an Inclusionary Zoning ordinance with 20% on-site affordable housing. A coalition of community members organized by the Long Island Progressive Coalition's South Fork Chapter is proposing a four point plan. This includes a 25% affordable housing requirement for large housing developments, on-site ie. integrated low cost and market rate units, a density bonus for developers so that they have an incentive to build the units and a mandate for having the units 'affordable' in perpetuity.

Members of the Coalition are presently canvassing Sag Harbor village, collecting signatures in support of their plan. They are planning to be at the Sag Harbor Post Office and on Main Street Saturday mornings on August 25 and September 8. On Monday, September 10 at a Sag Harbor location to be announced an open meeting of the coalition will be held

If you wish to join this effort you are invited to contact the Coalition by phoning 725-1149 or emailing