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Northport halts building plans after neighbor complains

This is a view from the harbor of

This is a view from the harbor of the two Northport homes where owners are disputing building height. The homes in question are, from left, 175 Bayview Ave., owned by Richard Krulik, and 167 Bayview Ave., owned by William O'Shea. (Aug. 2, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The Village of Northport has stopped the building plans of two Northport Harbor property owners after one complained that the other's proposal to erect a nearly 5,000-square-foot home exceeded village height restrictions and would impair his harbor-front view.

The permit of complainant William O'Shea to add a second story to his home was revoked. Also, the application of fellow Bayview Avenue property owner Richard Krulik was put on hold after it was discovered the building inspector had incorrectly measured the height of both proposed projects.

The issue was brought to the village's attention when O'Shea appealed a March memo written to village officials by building inspector Loary Gunn, who said plans for Krulik's home complied with zoning codes, according to village documents.

O'Shea's lawyer, Christopher Modelewski, who is also the chairman of the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals, said that he and O'Shea had issues with several parts of the plan, including the house's height and its location.

"They placed the house in a way that most compromises the view corridor of my clients," Modelewski said.

O'Shea, Krulik and their attorneys spoke about the appeal at a nearly two-hour zoning board public hearing in June.

Krulik's attorney, Kenneth Savin of Northport, said at the meeting that O'Shea's appeal wasn't about height or fill. "Let's not kid ourselves, this is all about a 180-degree view," Savin said.

A few weeks later, the ZBA granted O'Shea's appeal, saying the building inspector had incorrectly determined the height of Krulik's home, according to village documents.

After the ZBA's decision, the building inspector sent letters to both parties. In her letter to O'Shea, Gunn said that his building permit was revoked because of its height -- an action Modelewski said his clients expected.

To Krulik, Gunn wrote that it appeared the height of his proposed new home exceeded the 30-foot maximum permitted, meaning that the submitted plans violated village code. Krulik had the previous home on the property demolished and lives elsewhere in Northport.

Savin said he and Krulik are reviewing several options, including appealing the decision, applying for a variance or changing the building design. He said Krulik is "extremely frustrated."

"He has been doing this process for over a year now."

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