Zoning: Chequit wants to move cottage, build pool

ELIZABETH LAYTIN PHOTO | Site of a proposed pool and patio on the Chequit property. The yellow building at left will be moved back as part of the plan.

James and Linda Eklund’s J & L Shelter Island Inns, Inc. has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals for variances to put in a pool and patio off Washington Street behind the Chequit Inn. Their plan calls for adding off-street parking spaces and moving back a building called Summer Cottage next to the pool site 9 feet from the street.

The Building Department on September 30 denied a permit for the project. Administrator Mary Wilson wrote the Eklunds saying three variances were needed — one for the patio, one for the pool and one for the relocated cottage — because their proposed locations didn’t meet the 40-foot frontyard setback requirement. She also said a special permit was needed from the board to approve an expansion of a pre-existing, non-conforming business use in a residential zone.

The proposed patio would be 10 feet from the front yard line on Washington Street; the pool would be 16 feet from the line and the cottage would be 11 feet from the line.

The Zoning Board of Appeals has set a hearing on the application for October 26 at its 7:30 p.m. meeting.

In their application, the Eklunds say will they expand on-site parking and erect a fence near the pool.

“We have been involved with this property for over 20 years,” the applicants wrote in their filing with the board. “Today’s difficult economic times make one have to work harder just to maintain, let alone increase one’s business. There has been an increase in local competition for the limited business in the area. If one does not attempt to change and upgrade with the times they are doomed to fail.”

They said moving back the cottage “as well as construction of the pool will reduce the encroachment into the setback substantially” and that more parking “will be an improvement to the area.” A new loading zone to be created as part of the work “will serve to significantly reduce congestion/obstruction in that heavily used area.”