Robert Kraft Fighting With Hampton Officials Over Elevator For His Mansion

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We’ve found it: The First World problem to beat all First World problems.

New England Patriots billionaire owner Robert Kraft is at war with officials to allow a $2 million elevator in his $43 million beachfront mansion in Southampton.

Apparently, the Hamptons have some pretty Draconian zoning laws and architectural statutes. And before you can do anything to your home, a panel of rich people has to vote on whether the addition fits the aesthetic of their community.

I, personally, don’t have an elevator in my house, either. There are lots of reasons for that, but none of those reasons are zoning laws.

Robert Kraft Fighting With Hampton Officials Over Elevator For His Mansion
(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Kraft says he needs the elevator because he is “mobility impaired.”

And during hearing of the village Zoning Board of Appeals in January, Kraft’s attorney Mike Sendlenski said doctors have advised his client to “limit his traversing stairs as much as possible.”

But other Hamptons residents are calling BS. Because while Kraft claims he can’t climb stairs, he doesn’t seem to have a problem hitting the links or playing tennis.

“If you Google ‘Robert Kraft tennis’ and you see recent photos of him playing tennis and you get this feeling they are just willing to do anything to win,” one local said.

In an affidavit, Dr. Mark D. Price — The Patriots’ team physician — said it was his view that Kraft’s progressive knee pain was a “medical disability,” making the elevator necessary under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

And certainly a doctor on Kraft’s payroll wouldn’t be biased at all.

Robert Kraft Fighting With Hampton Officials Over Elevator For His Mansion
Robert Kraft courageously fights through knee pain to play tennis with his wife Dana Blumberg. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Robert Kraft actually got the green light to install an elevator.

In what was described as a “contentious 3-2 vote,” The Architectural Review Board gave the 81-year-old permission to put an elevator in his home.

The problem, though, is he wants the elevator on the outside. But the Board prefers he build the elevator on the interior of the gigantic home.

Kraft said an interior elevator would cost $2.47 million, while an exterior one would be cheaper at $1.16 million.

But what’s an extra $1.31 million to someone worth $10.6 billion?

(Facebook/Andrew Regan)

Anyway, apparently the snooty Hamptons people have had an issue with Kraft’s house for quite some time.

The modern style doesn’t quite fit the vibe of the village’s historic district.

In fact, there was a huge fuss when the home was built. The historic “A Wee Ly Mor” cottage from the 1880s was demolished in order to make way for the mansion, which locals called “overly large and inappropriate.”

But there are some people with common sense in the Hamptons.

Todd Shapiro, a PR executive in Southampton, said Kraft “pays a lot of money for taxes” and “should have his right to do what he wants to do in his home.”

And Zach Epley, son of former Mayor Mark Epley, said he didn’t understand what the fuss is about.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Epley said. “It’s an elevator.”

So there you go, fellow normal Americans.

Next time the HOA hassles you about something, just know you’re not alone. Even billionaires can’t do what they want in their own homes.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.


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  1. My middle class suburban neighborhood has an HOA that sends patrols around regularly. Several years ago, I installed a post to mount a small weather station. On the post, I mounted small license plates of places we’ve visited over the years, like they had on MASH.
    The HOA MANAGEMENT didn’t like that. I took my case to the normally idiotic HOA board and won my appeal. The post still exists.

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