The village board considers changes to accessory building legislation.

Changes Mulled For Accessory Buildings

The East Hampton Village Board of Trustees is considering outlawing the number of rooms, heating and air conditioning, insulation, plumbing, and crawl spaces or basements in accessory buildings, with the exception of garages.

Proposed legislation currently before the board prohibits additional rooms in accessory structures with the exception of garages, and limits the square footage of the gross floor area to 250 square feet. Other provisions of the law include the allowance of limited plumbing fixtures in a pool house or garage, with pool houses being allowed a sink plus a small bathroom, and garages a sink, but only on the ground level.

Code Enforcement Officer Ken Collum said, over the last year, there have been discussion about removing pool houses from the classification of separate buildings and also basements under the classification of accessory structures to make certain allowances.

“There were some concerns from some of the board members about maybe allowing basements under certain structures but only having mechanicals in those structures that service that structure, not to service another building,” Collum told the board of trustees at its work session last Thursday.

Part of the proposal is that pool houses would be carved out of the code’s classification of existing structures, he said.

“Nine times out of ten, when we go back to do an updated [Certificate of Occupancy], we find they have morphed into secondary dwellings, so that was the initial start of the discussion, to maybe have the pool houses be a separate entity unto [their] own,” he said.

From there, his department drafted some ideas and placed them before the board, but there have been some concerns that precipitated the current draft, he said.

Mayor Paul Rickenbach said he wanted additional time for the board to review the legislation.

In other news, Village Administrator Becky Molinaro Hansen announced at the work session that the breakdown of the costs associated with the village’s joint fuel facility with the Town of East Hampton came in very close to original estimates.

The village’s portion of the costs came out to just under 24 percent or about $8100. That is in addition to the gasoline that the village’s departments used, which varied over the year from $1.29 to $1.84 per gallon.

The town’s share of the facility came to about 76 percent, which was about three percent more than the 73.3 percent originally projected. Original projections had the village’s portion at about 26.7 percent.

The village’s original agreement with the town, which runs the roughly two-year-old facility at its Springs-Fireplace Road highway yard, contained a provision in which the village would be billed monthly. After the first year, a review of the administrative costs including items such as insurance and staff would take place.

“Obviously, it’s substantially lower than the normal target, so we feel that the facility and the agreement have been working really well,” Hansen said. “We have had no issues. It’s been operating satisfactory to all of our departments.”

The next step in the process will be for the board to review the documentation and then approve it.

Rickenbach said the joint fuel agreement is part of the larger picture that deals with shared services where different municipalities join into contracts together to the benefit of the taxpayers.

“In this particular instance, it looks like we are pretty close to the vision and assessment we had as far as operating costs,” he said.

Hansen said the village is also looking to do a shared service agreement with the town for its IT services as well.

Also in the village, there are two trustee seats up for election in June, including that of Bruce Siska and Arthur Graham. Graham was elected in a special election last June and Siska was appointed in October 2011 and was subsequently re-elected to his post.

So far, Graham has announced he is seeking re-election on the Fish Hooks party ticket along with newcomer Rose Brown, who is the former chairwoman of the village’s planning board. The deadline to submit petitions to run for the posts is May 15.