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Greenport campground seeking approvals for 20 cabins

The owners of a Greenport campground are seeking a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals that would allow for 20 cabins to be constructed at the property.

The 23-acre Eastern Long Island Kampground was purchased by business partners Sean Magnuson and Christopher Winter last year for $6 million.

Since taking the helm, the new owners have spruced up the campground’s recreation facilities, adding outdoor movies and archery as well as safari ‘glamping’ tents to the property.

They are seeking a special exception and size variance from the ZBA to remove 30 tent sites and replace them with 20 504-square-foot cabins. Town code currently restricts the cabins to measure a maximum of 450 square feet.

Project consultant Eileen Wingate, who is a retired building inspector for the village of Greenport, said the cabins were initially designed at 450 square feet.

“As we laid out the cottages, it became very difficult for us to work with the 450,” she said, since the owners wanted to offer different lodging options including one- and two-bedrooms, a dining area and other amenities.

“It was squeezing down the size of the cottages so much that we were pushing people outside to eat all the time,” Ms. Wingate said, which conflicts with what they envision to be a seasonal offering that stretches into the off-seasons.

The tent sites proposed to be eliminated are located in the woods on the southern portion of the property, according to Mr. Magnuson. “The tent sites that are outside of the woods will most likely stay,” he said.

The cabins, which will be heated, have already been approved by the Suffolk County Water Authority and will run on the village’s sewer and electric systems, according to Mr. Magnuson.

A virtual public hearing was held on the application last Thursday via Zoom, drawing no comments or questions from residents or board members.

Zoning Board chair Leslie Weisman said the board had already conducted a site visit.  “We’ve seen the tent sites, we’ve seen the property. We know exactly what it all looks like,” she said.

The applicants must also get site plan approval through the town’s Planning Board and a decision by the ZBA could come as early as their next meeting scheduled for Aug. 20.