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Board unanimously approves Vella project

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Hermann's Castle on Shore Road.
AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Hermann’s Castle on Shore Road.

After years of negotiations with the Town of Shelter Island, Zach Vella was granted permission to build his dream house on Shore Road.

On Friday, February 26, the Town Board unanimously approved a resolution to allow Mr. Vella, a New York City-based real estate developer, to demolish the white, idiosyncratic three-story structure rising above Shore Road next to the Pridwin Hotel, and build a two story house with 11,615 square feet of living space.

One of the final sticking points in the years of back-and-forth discussions with the town and Mr. Vella’s representatives was a third story “observation room,” which the board rejected.

Known as “Herrmann’s Castle,” it appeared nearly half a century ago, conceived and built by German immigrants Walter and Ingrid Herrmann as their fantasy Bavarian chalet.

Contractor Michael Burns has estimated that the project would take about 18 months to complete.