Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio has proposed a six-month moratorium on development on a portion of waterfront along Manhasset Bay in Port Washington.
The area that would be covered by the moratorium stretches along Manhasset Bay, just off of Main Street, between Louie’s Oyster Bar & Grill and the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in Port Washington.
The proposed moratorium, which would last 180 days, would prevent the approval of any building, demolition or special permits.
“It’s just really to preserve public access to the waterfront,” explained Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who represents Port Washington. “We still have thriving commercial businesses down there, we have lots of people who go there because they consider it a destination in Port, so we don’t want to lose those qualities.”
A hearing on the moratorium will take place during the town’s board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. Residents are encouraged to make their sentiments on the property’s future heard.
De Giorgio said she wants the moratorium because she hopes to that portion of the waterfront to remain a place for the public to gather.
A letter from town attorney Elizabeth Botwin announcing the proposed moratorium, states that it is intended to give the town an opportunity to change regulations “to better support water-dependent businesses… and preservation of the Town’s nautical heritage and history.”
The letter also says that any person or corporation found constructing or improving any structures on the property will be fined at least $1,000 or could spend up to 15 days in jail.
The councilwoman said she was concerned that the property might be developed for residential, or mixed-used residential, given its good views of the bay. But she said such projects would be to the detriment of Port residents.
“Port Washington is a waterfront community and preserving our access to the bay, and its magnificent views is a critical part of my job as councilwoman,” De Giorgio said.