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New plans submitted for Greenport proposal, including affordable apartments in separate building

The developers behind 123 Sterling Avenue in Greenport have once again tweaked their plans.

At a village work session Thursday, property owner Paul Pawlowski gave an overview of the modifications, which include site improvements and shifting the affordable housing to a separate building.

The current plan calls for 12 market rate and five affordable units in the main building. Mr. Pawlowski is instead proposing to offer the 17 units in the main building at market rate and relocate the five affordable units to a standalone building that would front Ludlam Place.

The move, he argued, will help the developers ensure they remain affordable in perpetuity.

“If we keep them in the main building…[homeowner’s association and potential common area maintenance] charges alone would not be affordable,” Mr. Pawlowski said. In a separate building, he said, they can be assessed independently.

He also proposed entering the affordable units into a village registry and following HUD guidelines to keep them affordable. He said that change will allow them to improve the property “for the long haul. For this generation and the next generation.”

The proposed one-bedroom units would be in a two-story building that Mr. Pawlowski said would be designed to fit in with the residential character of Ludlam Place while improving the dead-end road, rather than locating a parking lot there.

Other changes include installing proper sidewalks, curbing and landscaping and ensuring public waterfront access at the end of Sterling Avenue. In addition, parking along Sterling Avenue would be removed and relocated within the site.

Mr. Pawlowski said the changes were made after considering feedback received from neighbors over the last year.

The second building would take the place of an outbuilding currently proposed. “We wouldn’t build that. We would stick with two instead of asking for three structures,” Mr. Pawlowski said.

Greenport Village attorney Joe Prokop said the modifications will require the developers to apply for another revision to a 2007 stipulation agreement. 123 Sterling LLC, a group previously headed by former property owner Richard Raskin, received site plan approval for the project in 2007 as a result of the stipulation in an Article 78 lawsuit filed by neighbors in the Stirling Basin Neighborhood Association. Mr. Pawlowski and Kenny Balloto of Westhampton purchased the 1.72-acre property in 2019.

“When you modify a stipulation by law you have to have the same process that you did to approve the stipulation,” Mr. Prokop explained. “So it would involve a public hearing.”

Since the stipulation also involved the Village Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals and the property encompasses a portion of the historic district, those boards as well as the Historic Preservation Commission would also be required to hold hearings, giving the public a total of four opportunities to comment on the proposal.

Officials discussed the possibility of the involved boards partnering for a joint hearing, but trustee Mary Bess Phillips objected, adding that she wants to make sure the appropriate processes are not circumvented. 

“Each board does have a different function within this application,” she said.

Village mayor George Hubbard indicated that the board would begin taking steps to schedule a hearing for August.