Extension proposed for Port waterfront moratorium

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Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio represents Port Washington. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

The Town of North Hempstead will hold a hearing on extending at waterfront moratorium in Port Washington at its Nov. 20 meeting.

If passed, the moratorium — which is set to expire at the end of the year— would be extended until July 1, 2019.

“It can’t be a moratorium forever,” Bosworth said during last week’s meeting. “I’m looking to see this come to a conclusion so we can let our residents get a sense of what the new zoning code will be, as well as the business owners.”

The moratorium covers a stretch of land between Manhasset Bay and Main Street, from the Town Dock to Dolphin Green. As long as it is in effect, no building or demolition will be permitted and no special permits are given out.

The board extended the moratorium at its last meeting in September, and has extended it several times since it was put in place in December of 2017. Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who represents Port Washington, said the time frame for a new zoning code was too short.

“I think maybe we were a little over-ambitious,” she said.

De Giorgio said that it was difficult to combine all the concerns of residents into new zoning laws. One of the biggest issues was whether the land would be zoned for mixed-use or strictly commercial.

“I think maybe we should rethink the mixed-use and go back to where we were before the code was changed in 2009,” she said.

Mixed-use allows the land to be partially used for residences, and residents felt that this would lead to more traffic and could create a situation similar to the Knickerbocker, a three-story hotel and condominium that has drawn complaints from local residents ever since it was constructed in 2015.

That development — and the sale of an adjacent parcel of land in 2017 — spurred North Hempstead to enact a moratorium.

She said a code should be ready for the public to view in the spring of 2019. When asked by a member of the audience why the hearing was being held two days before Thanksgiving, De Giorgio said the town was running out of time, and that the December meeting would also be only a few days before Christmas.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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