James Lynch, an attorney leading the opposition to an employee housing complex at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club (GBCC) has requested a delay in a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing scheduled for May 26
Mr. Lynch is representing the Hay Beach Property Owners Association and his own family.
Although the ZBA meeting will be held, it’s unlikely to take testimony because of the written request for a delay from Mr. Lynch dated April 29, according to ZBA Clerk Kristina Martin Majdisova.
The club’s application calls for a special permit to construct a two-story staff house with 40 rooms, two kitchens, two lounges, a laundry room, storage janitor room and an unfinished basement with a second laundry room. If approved as outlined, it would have two patios, one covered and the other uncovered. A second one-story staff house would have four one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments plus an unfinished basement. The new structures would be served by three new nitrogen-reducing I/A septic systems and a new drinking water well.
In a letter to country club members, GBCC Board President Doug Sandberg said Rob Ferris, who heads the employee housing committee on behalf of the club, spoke with Supervisor Gerry Siller and said the Town Board “is supportive of our plan and will work with us to make it happen as smoothly as possible.”
“I never told Mr. Sandberg that the Town Board was in support of this project,” Mr. Siller said. The Town Board hasn’t spoken about the project and what Mr. Siller said he told Mr. Ferris was that the town would work with the country club to set up pre-meetings with whatever agencies would be involved.
He said he told Mr. Ferris he personally thought addressing the need for staff housing is a good idea, but never commented on the specifics of the pending proposal. He said he expects any opposition would come from club members who might not approve of the project.
Mr. Sandberg said he hadn’t spoken with the supervisor, but his words reflected what he thought Mr. Ferris had told him.
The staff housing was a subject discussed over the past two or three years and he thinks it is a service to the wider community for the club to provide its own housing so properties it has rented in the past can be available to others who might want to spend part or all of the summer on the Island.
With regard to how many staff members might need housing, he said it depends on how many local residents take jobs at the club. The housing is meant for off-Island workers, generally immigrants who work summers on special visas.
He denied a charge that had come from those in opposition to the plan that any part of that housing was meant to provide space for club members who are not Islanders to stay if they prefer not to travel home after events.