Following a recent neighbor versus neighbor conflict and the approval of a spec house, the Villageof Dering Harbor Board of Trustees on Saturday approved Mayor Tim Hogue’s proposal to hire a code enforcer.
The village will pay licensed code enforcement agent, Edwin Ward, who also works for the Village of Greenport, $50 per hour plus expenses to work on an as-needed basis. Mr. Ward will handle complaints about possible code violations and monitor compliance with building permits for construction and alterations on homes in the village.
Last week, Marion Brownlie lodged a complaint about a large holly hedge installed by her neighbors, Brad Goldfard and Alfredo Paredes, along their mutual property line. The Mayor reported to the board the shrubs had been planted without consent of the village as required by the village code.
Al Daniels, the village’s building inspector, had recently issued a stop work order on driveway repairs at the couple’s Shore Road home, the Mayor said, because a portion of the area where work was taking place is the subject of a lawsuit they’d filed against the village.
Mr. Golfard, in an email, called the actions “harrassment.” He and Mr. Paredes, along with Shore Road resident Martha Baker, have sued the village to determine ownership of narrow strips of land between their lots and the village roads.
“An attitude that was initially merely mystifying to Alfredo and me has begun to feel like a personal vendetta, and increasingly like discrimination,” he wrote in the open letter.
Residents have complained in the past about the potential for conflict of interest when disputes arise with neighbors who also are village officials or serve on village boards. Given there are just 32 homes in the community, it would be difficult to point to one that does have among its neighbors someone serving the village in some capacity.
Also on Saturday, the village Architectural Review Board approved plans for a spec house to be built at 1 Dering Woods Lane.
Plans by an up-Island company to build on the lot have been the subject of ARB scrutiny for more than a year. The approved house is modelled on a mansion built in the late 1800s that stood in the village until the mid-20th century. That house was owned by Adolph Schwartzmann, one of the founders of the satricial magazine “Punch,” who might’ve enjoyed all the fuss.