Building Team Meeting August 17, 2017

Irene Stewart, Suzette Reiss, Sherry Smith, Peter Young, Mark Sisson, Peter Marren

Excused: Beth Peterson Guest: Susi Young, as Board of Trustees President

Meeting called to order 7:05.

No minutes were available for previous meetings and so, were not approved or amended.

The Building Team heard a report from Peter Marren about his meeting with the Southold Town Building Department. Present at that meeting were Mr. Marren, Eugene Burger (builder the BT contacted for our project), Stacey Paetzel (landscape architect the BT contacted for our project), Bill Moore (attorney for 1st Universalist Church of Southold), Mike Verity and Amanda Nunemaker (officials of Southold Town Building Department.) Mr. Marren stated his assessment of the meeting as “very positive.” As he has noted, there are issues with our site that require a denial of application and subsequent submission to the Zoning Board of Appeals. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Zone RO (Residence/Office) has a requirement of a 50’ setback from the street. (Original church was 25’ from Route 25.) Mr. Marren related that projects should “echo the rhythm” of other structures on the street, and many have a significantly smaller setback than 50’.
  2. Tax plats for the parsonage (from now on, to be referred to as “the Parrish House,”) and the tenant’s house needed to addressed.
  3. Zone RO lot sizes require 40k square feet per building, and our lot is 54K square feet for 3 buildings (2 pre-existing, non-conforming.)

Mr. Moore originally proposed dealing with these, and other, ZBA issues individually, but concurred with Mr. Marren and Mr. Burger that they can be dealt as a “single package.” There will need to be public hearings, etc. but Mr. Moore and Mr. Marren did not foresee any troubles with this. Unfortunately, any hearings at the ZBA probably won’t be until December, 2017. Mr. Marren and the BT will continue with design development as if approvals are in place.

Mr. Marren reported that since our church has a projected occupancy of less than 300, and has sufficient exits, the need for a sprinkler system may be removed. It was noted that sprinklers are often to protect buildings, not people. The BT will need to address whether the significant cost of a sprinkler system will be worth pursuing. The BT will need to ask our insurance carrier what their requirements are.

Mr. Marren listed other options that may reduce costs of our project:

  • Solid doors throughout, where appropriate (vs. doors with several lights, i.e., glass panes.)
  • Simplifying the roof line of the Parrish Hall.
  • One long dormer on the east roof of the Sanctuary, instead of 4 separate ones.
  • Non-custom windows, including the option of non-operational ones.
  • Not having a full depth basement under the entire building.
  • Remove the so-called choir loft and staircase associated with the planned steeple element.

Number 4 and 5 above led to an intense discussion of what we can expect within our budget. It was decided that the BT should meet with Mr. Burger for additional information to make informed decisions going forward.

Mr. Marren reiterated that he, and the church design he is crafting, will work within Mr. Burger’s strengths as a builder and contractor.  But he also stated that Mr. Burger is “on board” with our project and fully comprehends the needs of our church, as well as the aesthetic and spiritual aspects, of the “Church on the Corner.”

It was decided that the BT would meet with Mr. Burger Monday, August 21 at 5:00pm and that we would meet Thursday, August 24 at 7:00pm (at Peter Young’s house) without Mr. Marren to discuss what we learned on Monday. (Note: the meeting with Mr. Burger was cancelled Monday and postponed until Thursday, August 24 at 5:00pm.)

Irene, and the BT, expressed our gratitude to Mr. Marren for all the work he has been doing on our behalf.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00.

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