West Shore Residences environmental statement incompatible with Port vision: Planning board

West Shore Residences environmental statement incompatible with Port vision: Planning board
The potential appearance of 145 West Shore Road in Port Washington. The developer's Draft Environmental Impact Statement has been reviewed by the North Hempstead Planning Department. (Photo courtesy of Southern Land Company)

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for West Shore Residences did not sufficiently show how the project meets the goals of the Port Washington Peninsula, according to a Town of North Hempstead Department of Planning & Environmental Protection review.

The planning department examined the draft environmental statement, the public hearing transcript from Sept. 28 and all written correspondence. The review compiles pertinent questions and comments on the proposed seven-story, 176-unit residential development with a 29-slip public marina at 145 West Shore Road.

“The DEIS did not adequately demonstrate how the proposed action is consistent with or advances the goals of A Shared Vision for Port Washington Peninsula,” the board wrote. “Provide more detailed explanations of how the project addresses each of the five community goals as follows: walkable community, greener community, connected to the waterfront, defined by geography not municipal boundaries [and] maintain quality of life.”

The planning board also said that the developers, Southern Land Company, had not adequately revised the environmental statement to reflect a significant change affecting the project in relinquishing its prior claim to Tax Lot 6-53-1005.B.

“As a result, the project sponsor can no longer pursue the claim that its acreage of mostly underwater land may be transferred to the upland parcel as of right and can only be pursued by a variance,” they wrote. “As this was apparently discovered just prior to submission of the DEIS, the majority of the document still refers to Lot 1005.B as being in private ownership.”

Southern Land now has to complete a Final Environmental Impact Statement. If the Town Board accepts it as complete, they will set a public hearing date for their rezoning application.

“We are currently reviewing the compilation of pertinent, public comments provided to us by the Town of North Hempstead,” Joe Rossi, Southern Land’s Northeast director of acquisitions, said. “We are committed to taking the time to thoroughly address each one.”

Then-Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Fred Pollack announced in 2005 that the Town Board had approved two actions to incorporate the Port Washington Shared Vision Plan into the Town’s planning process.

The first measure made the vision plan a Town planning document. This meant that all departments would use the community’s goals when deciding to affect the Port Washington Peninsula.

Developers must also show whether any new proposed project conforms to or deviates from the vision plan when applying for site plan review.

Critics argue that allowing the project to proceed will alter Port Washington. Alongside signs being distributed and planted, an online petition against the project has also received over 6,000 signatures.

The petition says that the Port Washington Peninsula cannot support “more overdevelopment.” It adds that the proposed zoning change may set a precedent resulting in nearby buildings of equal scale.

Project developers say the proposal will have little impact on the school district and traffic patterns, while also having many environmental and economic benefits.


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