After eight years of meetings and a landmark court decision, supporters of the East Hampton Library's expansion project found it frustrating that a final sign off was put off another few weeks.
The East Hampton Village Design Review Board insisted on seeing the final plans, which would include all the changes agreed upon in the past six months of meetings Library officials had hoped Wednesday night would be the final hurdle on the long road to approval to build a 6,800 square foot children's wing at the Main Street library. The board explained it is the normal course.
In May 2011, the New York State Supreme Court ruled in the library's favor issuing a special permit and two variances the library required to build a new children's wing, reversing a decision made by the East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals in 2010. The project still requires a determination from the village's design review board.
"We need something for the record," Carolyn D. Preische told library director Dennis Fabiszak and an engineer Jeffery T. Butler, during a public hearing on the addition's design, including a parking scheme and lighting design.
They said they met with the DRB subcommittee to go over final details on Monday and received correspondence from the village's consultant Ron Hill, but that there was not enough to get the plans done by Wednesday's meeting. Final plans will be submitted next week.
The board had some lighting concerns that Hill had addressed concerning the type of outdoor fixture and the bulb's output. Attorney Linda Riley said, "We just can't assume."
"Is all this holding it up over a light-bulb?," asked one older woman sitting in the audience who came with about 25 others in support of the library.
Riley explained that the determination that would allow the library to ask for a building permit would not be written until after the next meeting on March 7.
With no opposition voiced during the hearing, it was closed except for written comment until the March 7 meeting.
Tom Twomey, the chairman of the library board of managers, said it was a minor setback. "Instead of breaking ground the first week of March, we'll break ground the third week in March —hopefully."
The library has already raised $3.2 million for the estimated $4 to $4.5 million project. The official fundraising campaign has not yet begun, but the library has secured donations from donars, such as Alec Baldwin, who gave gave $250,000 to the project.
Ben Krupinski, who was at the meeting on Wednesday night and said he was disappointed by the setback, has donated his services as the construction manager for the project. He has already begun soliciting bids from plumbing and electric.