Plan to expand historic home faces pushback from neighbors

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHAMPTON -

A plan to renovate one of the oldest homes in Southampton Village is not sitting well with neighbors.

Lake Agawam in the village is surrounded by historic, multimillion-dollar homes, including some of the oldest houses in Southampton. An owner of one such home that was built in 1882 is seeking to add six bathrooms, a gym and a garage.

"To have such a 'McMansion' with 14-some bathrooms -- all the runoff from a septic system, no matter how good the system, is really going to tax the fragile system of the lake," says next-door neighbor Joyce Giuffra, who opposes the additions.

An attorney for the homeowner is defending the project, and says it will not negatively affect the waterway. He says two new, state-of-the-art septic systems will be added to prevent any possible pollution of the lake, and he says the main, historic portion of the house will be preserved.

But critics say the expansion will still significantly change the appearance of the house.

"The real concerns we have are changing the architectural style of that house, making it significantly larger, changing the roof lines," says Jay Diesing, of the Southampton Association. "Every direction that you look, you're seeing buildings that were well over a hundred years old."

A public hearing on the proposal is set for Thursday.

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