Greenport man’s swimming pool plans upset neighbors

10/24/2011 12:00 PM |

Some of William Rountry’s neighbors aren’t pleased with his plan to construct an in-ground swimming pool on his property at 157 Fifth St., but there may be nothing they can do to stop it.

At issue is whether the Greenport Zoning Board of Appeals will approve a request for lot line variances to allow Mr. Rountry to locate the pool where he wants it or whether he’ll have to build it to code.

Village code requires a 20-foot setback from all lot lines. The proposed pool would have a 15-foot setback from the north property line and a 10-foot setback from the west property line. There’s also a question about where the pool pump would be placed, since his original application called for putting it along the fence.

Two neighbors — one commenting in person and the other via letter — objected to the requested variances at the Oct. 19 ZBA gearing, expressing concerns about noise.

Katherine Byrne, whose Sixth Street house abuts Mr. Rountry’s lot, said the addition of the pool would compromise her privacy and reduce the value and interfere with her enjoyment of her property. She said there’s already a pool on the other side of her house where noise is a problem.

Similarly, Sixth Street neighbor Gretchen McKenzie wrote, “The serenity of the entire neighborhood could be destroyed.” Approving the variance would “set a disturbing precedent,” Ms. McKenzie said.

Mr. Rountry said he and his family are quiet and that he plans to build the pool with or without the variances, so even if his proposal isn’t approved, it won’t change the basic situation.

But ZBA members want him to submit a more detailed plan that will show fencing, landscaping and placement of not only the pool, but a proposed foot-wide bluestone walkway around it as well as the mechanical housing for the pool’s operation.

“It would be better for your prospects to provide a more detailed plan,” ZBA chairman Douglas Moore told the applicant.

The board accepted for review a proposal from George Sarkis of 144 Bay Ave. to construct a front porch, two-story rear addition and rear deck on his house. The proposal, seeking relief from lot line requirements and lot coverage limits, will be the subject of a public hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m.

There’s a delay in approving James Olinkiewicz’ request to subdivide his lot at 314 Center St. to create four housing units instead of one. ZBA members only received the proposed resolution drafted by village attorney Joseph Prokop on Oct. 19 and hadn’t had time to review it. Board members promised action at the November meeting.

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