Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When will new renderings be available?
A: As the Village Trustees complete their work on the Overlay District, we are gearing up to get back into the design process. The architects and engineers will be provided with the updated conclusions and move forward with design in the first quarter of 2022.
Q: Do you intend to conduct additional informational meetings?
A: Community engagement is a process. We will continue to sit down with our neighbors, business owners, residents, and taxpayers. We will continue our engagement recognizing that this an opportunity to ensure a nationally respected theater remains strong in our community, and that we can continue to fulfill our mission as a community center supporting the residents of this region and their needs.
Q: You speak of transparency regarding your motives but we don’t know who your partners are in Friends of Bay Street.
A: The largest funding for the new Theater will be coming from Bay Street Board of Trustees whose members are publicly recognized. Other foundations and individuals will also provide funding. As a part of our donor recognition plan we will ask our donors if they wish to be recognized – and we will honor their requests. As the campaign unfolds many names of donors will become public and will be recognized in the new theater facility. It should be noted that many people who donate sizeable gifts to not-for-profits are often reluctant to be publicly acknowledged. Case in point: The recent campaign that raised money to rebuild the Sag Harbor Cinema was successful because of significant anonymous gifts.
Q: Over the years, communities across Long Island have too often been taken in by developers who proclaim their altruistic motives only to find later they have been duped into allowing them to create projects that reap enormous personal profits. Most people feel this has already happened with the new single-family condos that now nearly completely block the view of the waterfront. Convince us this isn’t one of those card games.
A: Friends of Bay Street was created by the Bay Street Theater board of Directors to build a new theater and turn it over to Bay Street Theater to own and operate. Bay Street Theater thrives here because of the support of the community. We are more than just a robust cornerstone of the business district – indeed we are an important part of Sag Harbor’s unfolding history and identity. Securing a permanent home will be an existential milestone for the Theater and the Village.
Q: This seems to have gone far beyond acquiring a permanent home for Bay Street. Adam Potter seems to have positioned himself—intentionally or not—as a mini-master planner for Sag Harbor. Affordable housing, waterfront and park access, rededicated public parking—and then there is the Theater: Shouldn’t planning for Sag Harbor be the jurisdiction of Village Hall and the people who elected them?
A: Yes, there has never been a question as to who is responsible for planning in the Village of Sag Harbor. Friends of Bay Street have a simple mission—to build Bay Street a new home. That is it. Bay Street firmly believes that the goals of sustainability, the protection of the waterfront and its views, as well as the possibility of affordable housing down the road, would all be good for the Village.
Q: If the village modifies your Theater design, does it kill your plans to permanently locate Bay Street in Sag Harbor. And if that happens, what happens to the property you have invested in? And if the development moratorium is extended, at what point do you have to drop these plans?
A: We can work within any number of constraints due to code or other reasons. It would be inappropriate for Bay Street Theater to negotiate those modifications through a forum such as this. However, in direct answer to your last question: if a moratorium were to be extended for an indefinite period of time, yes, Bay Street Theater (and probably many other development projects) will be forced to explore solutions elsewhere.