Richard Hogan wants to be a good neighbor, his attorney says.
Accordingly, the man who now owns close to 25 acres of the former St. Gabriel’s property, responded to a neighbor who was troubled by development plans for the site.
Neighbor David Kriegel wrote a letter outlining his concerns to the Planning Board that was discussed by Mr. Hogan’s attorney, William Fleming, at an October 13 meeting.
“I’m happy to see Mr. Hogan has made some peace with his neighbor,” Planning Board Chairman Paul Mobius said.
“I think we did find some common ground,” Mr. Fleming responded.
Mr. Kriegel had sent a copy of the letter to the Reporter, and then decided he didn’t want it printed because he felt it might upset some agreements he had made with Mr. Hogan.
At the same time, he said that while he has seen some revisions Mr. Hogan has made in response to his concerns, they are still talking and he hopes there will be other changes.
Among the issues Mr. Kriegel raised were:
• The width of a proposed access road and right of way to the property and an outlet onto Burns Road was “just beyond the apex of a curve and on the steepest part of the hill.”
• Location of planned community tennis courts that could result in disturbances to neighbors and the amount of parking near the courts.
• The “alarming pace” at which tree cutting was occurring at the site.
• Concerns about septic systems for the new development could result in leaching into Coecles Harbor and the need to carefully study the effects this could have.
• Questions about whether the new community might be gated, “something totally out of place on Shelter Island,”
No gates are shown, but Mr. Kriegel wanted information on how the community might control access.
Within an hour of sending his letter to the town planners, Mr. Kriegel received a call from Mr. Hogan to discuss the concerns.
The Planning Board reminded Mr. Fleming that no living trees were to be taken down without a town permit and the lawyer said only downed trees were being removed.
While there were not a lot of specifics of agreements between Mr. Hogan and Mr. Kriegel, Mr. Fleming said there would be vegetation between the tennis courts and private houses and doubted much parking would be needed since tennis players could be expected to want the exercise of walking from their houses to the courts.
Planner John Kerr said he thought a large oak tree that wasn’t debris had been cut and Mr. Fleming said he would look into that matter.
Mr. Kerr also raised issues about wetlands. He noted that as a long-time neighbor of the property, he thinks parts of several lots might not be buildable because of the wetlands.
Back in the 1940s, much of the site was created by dumping old cars and trucks there, Mr. Kerr said.
Planning Board Engineer Joe Lombard is to review the plans and within a month or two, the board should be ready to act on providing sketch approval for the development.
Then Mr. Hogan will have to move forward with variances needed from the Zoning Board of Appeals.