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Builders moving ahead with condos on Sterling Avenue in Greenport

Construction for the property at 123 Sterling Ave. in Greenport will follow its 2007 approved site plan, according to property owner Paul Pawlowski. 

A decade-old condominium application for the property came under fire at a Village Board meeting last Thursday after some residents wrongly speculated the property was not following guidelines in the building permit.

Village resident Stephen Weiss asked if the Village allowed the expansion: “Is the developer doing this on his own? Or has the village, in some way, indicated that he can do this?”

But Mayor George Hubbard Jr. confirmed the village has not granted the property owner permission to expand outside of the stipulation.

Mr. Pawlowski of Mattituck and Kenny Balloto of Westhampton purchased the vacant 1.72-acre property in spring 2019.

123 Sterling LLC, a group headed by Richard Raskin, received site plan approval for the project in 2007 as a result of the stipulation of a lawsuit filed by neighbors in the Sterling Basin Neighborhood Association. The stipulation also involved the Village Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.

The 2007 plan states the owner will construct a 45,000-square-foot building with three stories. The property will house 12 market-rate condos, five affordable rate condos for sale and one detached building for marina use with no perimeter landscaping. The plan also calls for 15,000 square feet of commercial space and requires 83 parking spots.

Mr. Hubbard said some residents who entered the village after the 2007 settlement may have conflicting opinions than those in the association.

“We’re getting three or four different stories,” Mr. Hubbard said. “Everyone is going their different ways. Even the developer or myself, we’ve had meetings and we’ve talked about it, and there’s no unified side from everyone who lives in the neighborhood of who wants what.”

In May, Mr. Pawlowski hosted a public meeting at the Third Street firehouse in Greenport to get feedback from the community before filing any formal new applications for the property, according to previous reports. That plan would diminish the commercial space use by 90% and build more market-rate housing on the property then its previous owners.

However, Mr. Pawlowski said Friday that he is only operating in line with what’s on the 2007 building permit.

“All work that’s being done is being done according to the building permit and stipulation,” he said. “If we do decide to make any changes down the road, it will be filed to the appropriate boards and go through the appropriate process with the Village.”

Board trustee Mary Bess Phillips said Friday that the stipulation operates as an outline on what can be constructed. The building permit was approved because it follows that outline, she said.

“Those plans have been reviewed by many people,” she said. “The village did its due diligence before the original permit was issued because they knew this was an issue that would raise a lot of concern.”

Mr. Hubbard advised all interested residents to form a group with one opinion.

“If one group, one voice can get together, it can be more constructive than five different groups saying five different things,” he said.

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