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Village of East Hampton Adopts New Sanitary Code

The Village of East Hampton enacted a new code provision on February 7, 2019, adding Chapter 233 (Sanitary Systems), which requires Innovative and Alternative On-Site Wastewater Treatment (I/A) Systems to be installed in connection with the construction of any new residence or any substantial improvement of an existing residence. 

The new legislation is effective February 19, 2019, and requires, under Village Code Chapter 233-2 (A), that all construction of sanitary systems shall conform to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Standards for Sewage and Waste Disposal Systems and to all applicable wetland setbacks of the NYSDEC and the Village of East Hampton.

In addition, as per Village Code Chapter 233-2 (B), the following circumstances will now require the installation or upgrade to an I/A System: (1) all construction and/or reconstruction of a new single family or multi-residence or any structure capable of being used as a residence; (2) any construction that increases the gross floor area of an existing single family or multi-family residence or other building capable of being used as a residence by twenty-five (25%); (3) any construction that increases the number of bedrooms beyond the number of bedrooms authorized by a permit previously issued by the Suffolk County Health Department.  This new legislation does not apply to a project with a current, valid, unexpired permit from the Suffolk County Department of Health issued prior to February 19, 2019, the effective date of this law.

Procedurally, the property owner is required to obtain a building permit from the Code Enforcement Office and pay a fee prescribed by resolution of the Village Board.  Code Enforcement may, at any time, require a monitoring report, engineer’s report and/or other performance report showing that the proposed system complies with Suffolk County standards. A violation will be issued by Code Enforcement if there is reasonable grounds to believe that operations are being conducted in violation of Chapter 233 or the issued permit.

Fees schedules have not yet been prescribed, and the new Village Code and the new legislation does not specifically provide information on rebates. The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance from this new code section upon a showing of good cause, which must be based upon a showing that compliance is impossible due to the physical limitations and lack of an approved Low-Nitrogen Sanitary System to address and accommodate such limitations.  In determining whether a variance should be granted, the Zoning Board should consider whether a covenant applicable to heirs, successors and assigns should be required to provide that the owner will upgrade the system if a future Low-Nitrogen Sanitary System is approved by the Health Department to accommodate the physical limitations of the property or upon availability of a Community Sanitary System that the property can be hooked up to.