In a more than two-hour Zoning Board of Appeals hearing Wednesday night, December 14, James and Linda Eklund moved a step closer to landing a deal to sell the Chequit Inn to Cape Advisors Inc. of Cape May, N.J. The deal is contingent on the Eklunds gaining ZBA approval for setback variances to allow for a swimming pool and patio and the relocation of the “Summer Cottage” on the property.
At issue for neighbors who packed the hearing room was whether noise from the proposed pool area off Washington Street could be contained or would become a nuisance in the nearby residential neighborhood.
An acoustic specialist hired by Cape Advisors and one hired by the Shelter Island Heights Property Association (HPOC) both spoke at the hearing and, despite some disagreements, said local concerns could be addressed as the two work out a sound containment plan.
Greg Greenwald of SoundSense LLC of East Hampton, hired by Cape Advisors, and Bob Schmidt of Acoustic Dimensions in New Rochelle, hired by HPOC, had met before the hearing to compare findings and try to reach compromises. They publicly agreed at the hearing to continue their conversations after the hearing.
“I think we’re one draft away,” Mr. Schmidt told board members.
With Zoning Board member Peter Ruig recusing himself from the discussion because he’s a Chequit neighbor, board members appeared inclined to grant the requested setback variances if the two sound engineers can submit a noise plan acceptable to the board.
Board member Phil DiOrio initially wanted to keep the hearing open for further public discussion but the board eventually closed the hearing except for written comments, which will be accepted through January 18.
Board members ultimately agreed they thought they would have sufficient information by late January to begin their own internal discussions of covenants and restrictions they would want impose as conditions on any variances.
A full story will appear in The Shelter Island Reporter December 22.