Moratorium extended on Port Washington waterfront

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The Knickerbocker Hotel along Manhasset Bay, a stretch of waterfront that is under the BW moratorium. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

The North Hempstead Town Board voted last Thursday to extend a moratorium on development on the Port Washington waterfront that will run through the end of the year.

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 given out. Before the meeting, the moratorium was set to expire on Nov. 1.

The pause on development was spurred by the construction of the Knickerbocker, a three-story hotel and condominium that has drawn complaints from local residents ever since it was constructed in 2015. When an adjacent property was put up for sale in late 2017, the town moved quickly to enact a moratorium, which was formally established during a meeting on Dec. 19, 2017, and extended on June 5.

At the June meeting, Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio — who represents Port Washington — said she expected to have the code revised by the end of October. The new code for the waterfront was supposed to incorporate feedback from a meeting with the community in July that drew over 100 residents and dozens of comments. But the town was unable to meet the October deadline.

A spokesman for De Giorgio said the council agreed to the extension because it would give the public additional time to review any proposed changes to the district.

It appears likely that the moratorium will not end at the start of 2019. De Giorgio said during the meeting that she would like to extend the moratorium again so that an additional community meeting can be held in Port next year.

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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