Closer Look Podcast: How house size changes community character

Property owners with lots larger than 3/4 acre can build a bigger home in Southold than in any other town on the East End.

While towns and villages in East Hampton, Southampton and Shelter Island have set tighter restrictions on house sizes in recent years, Southold and Riverhead towns have not. 

“How house size changes community character” is the title of an event being hosted by the Orient Association at Poquatuck Hall on Village Lane at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 20.

“It’s actually one of the biggest issues we have,” said Orient Association board member Bob Hanlon. “We have an Orient Plan that was put forth to the community … one of the issues that was most important to the community was building size. The concern was that houses stay in scale; that houses weren’t so massive that they dramatically change the community character. When we put it before the community as a question of whether they wanted some form of limitation that would keep houses in scale, we got an 80 percent support for a limitation of that sort.”

Sunday’s event will include a screening of the documentary “One Big Home,” which depicts what happened on Martha’s Vineyard as homes became out of scale with the village community and character.

The 2 p.m. screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals chairperson Leslie Kanes Weisman, Glynis Berry of Peconic Green Growth and Mr. Hanlon that will focus on how house size is becoming an issue on the North Fork.

Times Review Media Group digital content director Grant Parpan and executive editor Steve Wick sat down with Mr. Hanlon this week to talk about the film, the event and the issue of house size on the North Fork for the latest episode of our podcast, Closer Look.

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