Sea Cliff Building code changes approved


On Sept. 11, representatives from Sea Cliff’s Subdivision Committee gave a presentation outlining proposed changes to the village’s code. Building Department Supervisor, Shane Dommin, said the changes would “enhance village processes” surrounding planning, zoning and building. Two of those proposals were approved at a public board meeting on Oct. 9.

Last week, the Board of Trustees hosted a public hearing to consider comments and concerns from residents regarding the proposed laws. The first law defines what is considered to be a steep slope. The law restricts development in these areas. The second codifies zoning restrictions to align Sea Cliff’s “Residence D district,” with the Town of Oyster Bay. While the laws are not limited to addressing overdevelopment, they were developed to regulate properties that have the potential to be subdivided.

Deputy Mayor Kevin McGilloway, who chairs the committee, said the group put particular focus on subdivisions to reflect the village’s current experience with “overdevelopment” from Glen Cove’s Garvies Point Project and Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor, which was recently purchased by real estate developer RXR. According to Village Administrator Bruce Kennedy, there are 30 properties in the village with “impactful subdivision potential.”

The steep slope statue amends outdated definitions and provides a clear definition of what a steep slope is. According to the legislation, “In determining compliance with the minimum lot area requirements, the following areas are excluded . . . any area located in the bed of any street or right-of-way; any area over which exists any easement or right-of-way; any area within, or deemed to be, a steep slope; and any area located in a tidal or freshwater wetland as determined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.”

Parts of Sea Cliff’s Residence D district exist on North Shore Country Club’s golf course, McGilloway said. The new statute keeps the village code consistent with the town’s code, which provides that “not more than 15 percent of the area of any lot shall be built upon. These laws provide clarity with a property subject to subdivision,” he added.

The Subdivision Committee was created to review and revise the village code to provide clarity, and strike a balance between healthy, developmental growth while maintaining Sea Cliff’s charm.

In its formative months, the group, which comprises members from the building department, planning board, zoning board and architectural review board, developed a three-pronged approach, aimed at: simplifying the building code; updating the 40-year-old subdivision code; and representing Sea Cliff in determinations with adjoining municipalities regarding “high-impact . . . projects.”

Both laws are available on the village website for residents’ convenience.