Port North abandons law that would open up land for nursing homes

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Port North abandons law that would open up land for nursing homes
Port Washington Mayor Bob Weitzner. (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

A law that would have changed zoning in a part of Port Washington North to allow nursing homes was abandoned by the village during last Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Mayor Bob Weitzner said the property’s owner decided not to construct a nursing home in the district.

“Upon hearing that the owner of the property has decided to pursue a different angle for use, we didn’t feel a need to keep holding hearings that might not have a purpose,” Weitzner said. “Why change the law if the owners have no interest in that use?”

The law would have allowed nursing homes and assisted living facilities to be constructed in the Economic B District, which runs along Channel Drive. The bill has been on the agenda for every Board of Trustees meeting since June 2017, although it was rarely discussed at all during meetings. Often, the bill was mentioned only to be tabled until the next month.

“The reason we opened the hearing was to fact find and see if it could work in the community but we never got to the point of having people come in and talk about it in earnest,” Weitzner said.

The trustees also approved a conditional use application for a patio to be installed on the back of a warehouse by Safavieh Home Outdoor and Outlet. The owners still need to get approval from the village zoning board since the patio will take up several parking spaces behind the building, located at 2 Channel Drive.

“I personally don’t think there will be an issue since there are 200 or so parking spots,” Weitzner said. “I don’t think six spots are going to matter since its more or less temporary.”

The trustees agreed to rewrite the village’s street light maintenance contract, which will expire in the coming month. The village needs a company that can drill nonvertical wells called “directional drilling” to reach wiring underground.

The biggest concern is the wires underground … those are getting damaged more frequently than not by root intrusion,” Weitzner said. “It’s expensive, but we’re trying to incorporate it into the bid.”

To keep track of all the wires underground — along with pipes, street signs and trees — the village hired H2M to organize the data into a virtual map of the village that includes all of the utilities, buildings and village assets in Port Washington North.

Weitzner said the information will help the village plan for future projects and budgets.

“For example, if we find out there are five or six stop signs out of compliance, we will have to budget to replace them,” he said. “It’s also important for public works and the Building Department to have this map with all the layers. It’s very cool.”

The information will be gathered through a partnership between the village and the Town of North Hempstead.

The village also approved an agreement to get its gasoline from North Hempstead.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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