In the news: click box to read full article


Ann Chwatsky

A Harbor Village Resists Outsiders
The New York Times:  August 12, 2007

SAVE Sag Harbor” and “Stop CVS” signs are posted on several storefronts in this two-square-mile historic former whaling port...
Sag Harbor residents fear CVS, condos threaten village vibe -
a blog in the New York Forum
Hamptons Real Estate Blog
Sag Harbor Development - Growth can be good…to a point...
No Safe Harbor for Sag’s Shops: Land grab brings worries.   
New York Magazine: September 17, 2007 
By S. Jhoanna Robledo
The encroaching Hamptonization of the erstwhile whaling town of Sag Harbor...
Sag Harbor Residents Hope To Stall Development As Comprehensive Plan Takes Shape September 13, 2007 
C. Bellini
Sag Harbor - Community efforts to “Save Sag Harbor” marched onward Tuesday evening...
The Clinton Foundation: Saving a Historic Community/Save Sag Harbor!
by Helen Samuels
Threatened with the massive takeover of our beautiful little whaling village on the eastern end...
Saving Sag Harbor   Why a Lively Small Town Whaling Town Artist Town Fights For Its Life 
Dan's Issue #26, September 21, 2007
By Dan Rattiner
If you walk down Main Street in Sag Harbor from one end to the other....
Sag Harbor vs. CVS   Round Two
Dan's Issue #26, September 21, 2007
By Mike Vilensky
Sag Harbor's fight against big box businesses has even made its way to the pages of last week's New York Magazine....
Hometown Gig Raises Funds For Save Sag Harbor Campaign Monday, October 08, 2007
By Christine Bellini 
Sag Harbor - “Size Matters,” the tongue in cheek slogan of the Save Sag Harbor (SSH) campaign, was
well illustrated by the robust turnout at The Whaler’s Church Sunday...
Save Sag Harbor
Plum Hamptons: October 8th, 2007
It's been a great couple of months for Sag Harbor. After celebrating its 300th anniversary all summer and following up in September with Harborfest and the Charity Cup, the marine village partied on this past weekend– all for the cause of keeping it as special as so many people consider it to be– at the Save Sag Harbor benefit.
Sag Harbor Trustees Move Swiftly To Extend Moratorium Another Six Months December 11, 2007 
By Christine Bellini 
Sag Harbor - In a unanimous vote cast not 15 minutes into its regular meeting Tuesday night, Sag Harbor Village Trustees heard a quick round of mildly mixed testimony prior to extending its building moratorium in the commercial district an additional six months, warding off applications from large box developers and small until which time a comprehensive plan is finalized and adopted by the Village.
National Trust Takes On Sag Harbor's Main Street Quandry: How To Grow? May 6, 2008
By Peter Neely & Christine Bellini 
Sag Harbor - Hosting representatives of the National Historic Trust at a community meeting which filled the seats of Bay Street Theater, one message rang out perfectly clear by evening's end - Sag Harbor may well be a community unlike any other.

Sag Harbor Express Editorial, April 10, 2008: Taking the Long View

As a village, we in Sag Harbor are fortunate to be home to a number of civic and social organizations that rally, sometimes rabidly, around chose causes, ideally serving our community as educational and communal resources for our very active residents.

Sometimes they are successful in this common endeavor. Sometimes they are not.

True success, we think, is found when these organizations provide real, substantive dialogue that informs the public in order to further our community – not misinforms in a show of zealotry.

Since its creation, we have watched with curiosity what the folks at Save Sag Harbor would do with their enormous popularity and financial support. The not-for-profit's membership is in the thousands, nearing numbers reached by established not-for-profits on the East End who have been around for over a decade.

But membership numbers and resolutions do not equal action, which is why over the course of the last three months we have been more than pleased with how Save Sag Harbor has evolved into a community organization with some real teeth.

Save Sag Harbor has put its money where its mouth is, unveiling a planning compendium meant to educate the public and complement the village's own zoning code revision. It came out in support of the restoration of the former Bulova Watchcase Factory – a decision we understand was not easy, nor popular in some factions of the community – after measured thought and debate on its own mission in the village.

Perhaps the most exciting development is the announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Program forum at the close of this month. This is a creative, worthwhile concept to stimulate dialogue about an issue everyone in Sag Harbor seems willing to get behind – preventing our village from being swallowed whole in the name of national brand development and preserving the historic character of this special place.

More important, and laudable, is the way Save Sag Harbor has chosen to chart its course with a deliberate goal of creating dialogue and seeking what is possible, without heavy handed mandates and decrees. We hope they continue this philosophy as the organization continues its evolution.

Save Sag Harbor seems to be taking the long view in its decision making process – a view not easily taken when trying to tackle emotional and difficult issues. We commend its board for their leadership. Whether or not we actually save Sag Harbor, we are at least pleased to have Save Sag Harbor in it.

Sag Harbor's New Zoning Code Tries To Hold Back The Tide May 20, 2008 

By Christine Bellini 
Sag Harbor - What to do, what to do? As Sag Harbor's planners wrap-up their year-long campaign to draw up a new zoning map for the downtown commercial district and shopkeepers and commercial property owners begin to sift through the 160-page proposed Chapter 55 zoning code...
Proposed zoning code evolves in Sag Harbor
Southampton Press Online: July 16, 2008

By Oliver Peterson
Southampton Town News - The Sag Harbor Village Board held the most recent in a series of public input sessions on proposed and evolving changes to the village zoning code on Saturday morning, meeting at the unusual time to allow summer residents...mailto:oliverp@pressnewsgroup.com
Code Gains Footing At Weekend Forum: 
Sag Harbor Express Online: July 17th, 2008

By Kathryn Menu
Sag Harbor - The proposed revisions to the Village of Sag Harbor’s zoning code has not been without controversy, as business and building owners alike have crowded meeting after meeting expressing concern that the changes could have a negative impact on their businesses. In turn, the village has made a number of changes to the planning and zoning document...
Sag Harbor Looks To New Zoning Code To Safeguard Vitalilty Of Its Commercial District  July 17, 2008

By Christine Bellini
Sag Harbor - Addressing an overflowing assemblage of Sag Harbor's faithful, Mayor Greg Ferraris opened Saturday's public session on the proposed zoning code revision with a wry smile. The room was packed liked sardines with faces he has come to quickly identify...
Business owners in Sag Harbor have jitters about new code
Southampton Press, August 6, 2008 

By Oliver Peterson
The Sag Harbor Village Board held another public meeting to review proposed changes to the zoning code Monday evening, and while members were busy discussing specifics it became clear the village’s business community is fearful that increased restrictions and government control might adversely affect property values....mailto:oliverp@pressnewsgroup.com
New Village Code Moves Towards Public Hearing
Sag Harbor Express Online: August 7th, 2008

By Kathryn Menu
Sag Harbor - Despite over a half-dozen public meetings on the proposed changes to the Village of Sag Harbor zoning code, and subsequent revisions, the code is now just about to embark on a public hearing process after village officials said this week they will likely complete any major changes to the draft code in the next couple of weeks...
Save Sag Harbor Reaches Out to Young Activists
Sag Harbor Express, August 8, 2008 

By Kathryn Menu
Like many bored teenagers, when Samanthe Lobosco, was in high school she and her friends would entertain themselves by driving around Main Street, Sag Harbor. Despite the standard jaded, teenage feelings about small-town life, Lobosco says she would never want to see the small village she grew up in morph into another Village of East Hampton where one is more likely to track down a Gucci bag than a spool of thread....mailto:oliverp@pressnewsgroup.com
Another Condo Proposal: Units would overlook the North Haven bridge
East Hampton Star, September 25, 2008 

By Taylor K Vecsey
With the review of condominiums at the old Bulova watchcase factory completed and the construction of condominiums on West Water Street under way in Sag Harbor, the village planning board and the community have turned their attention to another proposal for condos...mailto:oliverp@pressnewsgroup.com
Catalog of Concerns Over Condos
Sag Harbor Express, September 26, 2008 

By Kathryn Menu
It was as if Jeff Bragman said it all.
Despite the fact that over 100 people gathered at the planning board meeting in Sag Harbor on Tuesday night to discuss concerns about a proposed 18-unit condo project on the village’s waterfront, once Bragman listed dozens of his group’s concerns, only a handful of other residents seemed to have something to add...
Sag Harbor Cinema owner fights landmark designation
By Oliver Peterson  November 19, 2008

The owner of the Sag Harbor Cinema is fighting to keep his famous neon sign from being turned into an official village landmark.
The Sag Harbor Village Board held a public hearing on the proposed landmark designation on November 12...
Supporters Turn Out For Save Sag Harbor Art Auction 
Christine Bellini     December 2, 2008

Sag Harbor - Organizers for Save Sag Harbor were all smiles Saturday evening as crowds filed into the basement of the Old Whaler's First Presbyterian Church on Union Street in Sag Harbor to cast a bid or two on donated artworks graciously submitted by members of the Sag Harbor art community for the benefit of Save Sag Harbor campaigns...

The Sag Harbor Express Said It Best! Please attend the next meeting on February 13th at 5PM:

The Road Ahead

Posted on 23 January 2009

The new village zoning code might be one of the most important pieces of legislation ever to pass through our village hall. It has the capability to determine the future of our village - what it will look like, who it will cater to and how it will evolve. Because of the code's importance, we encourage community members of every creed to attend the January 29 public hearings.

One of the reasons our village is so beloved is because it still serves its many different residents. It caters to the second home clan who seek refuge from Manhattan on our Main Street. It serves the active close-knit local community as well through our series of 'mom and pop' shops, where you are bound to run into at least one person you know. This is a delicate balance, to serve members of a community that is populated by people who come from all walks of life.

The one thing we do share, though, is that we all have a vested interest in what happens to this village that we call home.

These hearings were established for the whole community. We are glad to see those dedicated people who continue to attend these hearings, but wish that a more varied sample of the village was present. We want to hear from the middle class residents who feel priced out of our Main Street or from the business owners who are confused by the code or still on the fence about it. The hearing is your time to inform yourself of the code and have your voice heard.

So, on Thursday, January 29, at 5 p.m., we hope to find you at in the Municipal Building ready to listen, learn, and share.

Questions on New Code Remain
Marissa Maier     February 5, 2009  from The Sag Harbor Express

Sag Harbor - It was 15 minutes before the public hearing on the proposed new village zoning code, but Sag Harbor’s municipal meeting room was already filled to capacity. Members of Save Sag Harbor and the Sag Harbor Business Association waved to one another as they took their seats. Others talked in huddled groups. When the mayor and village trustees took their seats, the crowd hushed...
Sag Harbor nearing decision on code changes
Oliver Peterson    February 4, 2009  from The Southampton Press
Sag Harbor - Opinions of Sag Harbor’s proposed and hotly contested village code revisions, which primarily target the downtown business district, were mixed during a public hearing held last week by the Village Board...
New Proposal for Ferry Road; Challenge to Parcel Ownership
Posted on 19 February 2009

By Marissa Maier and Bryan Boyhan
Developers for the planned condominium complex on Ferry Road adjacent to the bridge in Sag Harbor have proposed what they hope will be a plan that will satisfy local boards who have been skeptical and critical of previous incarnations.
At the same time, a local organization has commissioned a title survey for the property, the results of which challenge the developer’s ability to build as large a project as proposed...
Sag Harbor community notes

Mar 31, 09 2:14 PM  from The Southampton Press

... Those of us down here on the ground eagerly await even the slightest glimmer of economic recovery. To help it along, shop owners and restaurateurs have gotten creative, offering discounts, prix fixe meals and early bird specials. Members of Save Sag Harbor have added their voices to the “shop local” chorus in a recent e-mail...
Activists unite in Sag Harbor
By Michael Wright,  May 20, 09  from 27 East

Apathy is certainly not an issue in the Sag Harbor community.
That much was proudly on display in the basement of the Old Whalers’ Church on Sunday afternoon when the representatives and supporters of more than 20 local advocacy groups—pro and con—and public organizations gathered to simply highlight their existence and spread a bit of their individual gospel to others with a proclivity to mobilize for causes.
Community Forum Agrees On One Thing -- Activism Is Alive And Spreading In Sag Harbor
By Aaron Boyd,  May 19, 2009,

Sag Harbor - Community spirit is strong in Sag Harbor, if not always well-organized, as a wash of volunteer and activist groups inhabit the village to provide locals with a way to get involved. Realizing that some services and interests may be duplicated by the many community organizations in the area, the members of Save Sag Harbor organized a Community Forum on Sunday, May 17 to ensure that they were all working together, not in competition with each other.
Art Walk Benefits Save Sag Harbor
By Colin M. Graham  June 30, 2009, from

Sag Harbor - Despite predicted reports of continuing rain, the weather on Saturday, June 27 turned out to be perfect, if not a little muggy, for the Sag Harbor Art Walk and Save Sag Harbor Art Auction...
Finding a “Place” for School
By Marissa Maier January 22, 2010, from the Sag Harbor Express

The sky was threatening rain on Tuesday afternoon, but a diverse crew of community members, from Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano and 725 GREEN chairwoman Gigi Morris to school superintendent Dr. John Gratto, weren’t concerned with the weather. As the group toured the district’s campus with Fred Kent of the nonprofit organization Project for Public Spaces, they were engrossed in a conversation about the layout of the schools and how to address some concerns over inadequate parking for staff and public....
Sag Harbor Goes Wireless
By Kate Maier, August 19, 2010, from the East Hampton Star

Sag Harbor Village has gone live, thanks to an initiative sponsored by the nonprofit Save Sag Harbor group that has set up a free wireless Internet network there...
Tar and Feathers: Groups collect natural materials for oil spill
Posted on 27 May 2010, Sag Harbor Express Online

When a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world, American citizens are often the first to dip into their pockets and write a check...
Neighbors and Save Sag Harbor Question Harbor Heights Expansion
Posted September 29th, 2011 by Sag Harbor Express Online

A group of neighbors filed a petition with the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board Tuesday night with 90 signatures calling John Leonard’s proposed expansion of the Harbor Heights Service Station on Route 114 “too ambitious.”...
Harbor Heights Debate Continues in Sag Harbor
Posted October 17, 2013 by Kathryn Menu in the Sag Harbor Express Online

Whether or not the expansion of the Harbor Heights Service Station is an expansion of a pre-existing non-conforming use, in particular because of the addition of a canopy over expanded gas station pumps, continued to be at the heart of debate at a Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing on the project Tuesday night...
Scaled Back Plan for Harbor Heights Service Station Presented to Sag Harbor ZBA
Posted on 18 September 2013 by Kathryn G. Menu in the Sag Harbor Express Online

In front of a room filled with residents and neighbors who have largely opposed plans for expansion, a scaled back proposal for the redesign and construction of the Harbor Heights Service Station on Hampton Street in Sag Harbor was presented to the village’s zoning board of appeals (ZBA) Tuesday night...
Save Sag Harbor Looks at Traffic Calming for the Village
Posted on 28 August 2013 by Kathryn G. Menu in the Sag Harbor Express Online

Jonas Hagen grew up in Sag Harbor Village, attended local schools and like most children in the 1980s and ‘90s, walked and biked his way around the village — a right of passage for most elementary and middle school students during that era.
But times change, and so has traffic...
Sag Harbor Trustee Calls for Audit of Havens Beach Remediation Project
Posted on 09 October 2013 by Kathryn G. Menu in the Sag Harbor Express Online

Sag Harbor Village Trustee Ed Deyermond, a former town assessor in Southampton, has called for a formal audit of the Havens Beach remediation project that was completed this summer...
Big Bulova Questions
Posted November 7, 2013 by Debra Scott in the East Hampton Star

Last week Save Sag Harbor, a not-for-profit group of volunteers, was able to persuade the developers of the Bulova watchcase factory to stop cladding the exterior of the project’s town houses with synthetic materials. But it’s too late to do anything about the scale of the buildings, which they argued were out of sync with the village’s architectural vernacular...
Homeowner Sues  Sag Harbor Village Over Moratorium
Posted November 5, 2015 by Stephen Kotz in the Sag Harbor Express

The owner of a house whose plans to expand it have been put in limbo by Sag Harbor’s building moratorium has sued the village in state Supreme Court, seeking to have both his renovation plans approved and the court to overturn the moratorium...
Save Sag Harbor Presents Board with a Little Light Reading
Posted November 15, 2015 by Stephen J. Kotz in the Sag Harbor Express

Members of the Sag Harbor Village Board on Tuesday found three large volumes stacked at their places at the dais, courtesy of Save Sag Harbor.
The books were an inventory of the 870 buildings that are considered contributing structures to the village’s historic district, which is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, a copy of the Secretary of the Interior’s guidelines for historic structures and a copy of the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program...
Sag Harbor Residents Concerned About Extent of  Development In Village
Posted February 25, 2015 by Alyssa Melillo in 27 East

Sag Harbor, known for its quaint, historic homes and small-town New England feel, has often been referred to as the “un-Hamptons,” one of the few places on the East End that went a long time without being overrun by mini-mansions and large commercial buildings.

But within the past year and a half, the little village has been bustling with development, and many residents are concerned that its fabric and integrity are being threatened—so much so that community members have begun to rally for change...
“Save Sag Harbor” Editorial in EH Star
Posted January 14, 2016

"Sag Harbor officials are moving ahead with new, tough rules to regulate the size of houses in reaction to a spate of super-sizing, which has left many aghast over changes to their beloved village. The changes are overdue and should, perhaps, be made even tougher. 
Unlike several neighboring municipalities, Sag Harbor's zoning code has been downright generous when it came to residential construction. This has allowed some speculative builders and well-heeled property owners to radically change several streetscapes. Profit is usually the motive for bloated fancifying; the more bedrooms and amenities, the more dollars a developer can make and the higher the market value. But an individual's bank account should not be the basis of community planning. A new crop of officials is proving willing to act in the broader interest of preserving the village's unique sense of place by saying, 'Not so fast!'"