Residents lay out plans for Manorhaven waterfront

Residents lay out plans for Manorhaven waterfront

Manorhaven residents on Wednesday urged the village’s waterfront advisory committee to seek to continue the waterfront moratorium, maintain the current zoning and allow access to the waterfront.

The committee members will submit their plans and residents’ plans to the Board of Trustees, which will review them, Donald Badaczewski, the committee chairman, said at a public hearing.

The advisory group was formed in June after the village passed a six-month building moratorium on all village waterfront properties.

The moratorium was extended six months in January.

Caroline DuBois, the acting secretary of the Manorhaven Action Committee, collected statements and plans from residents and presented them to the committee, focusing on continuing the waterfront moratorium, not changing zoning to allow condominium and senior housing developments and maintaining public access to the waterfront.

The Manorhaven Action Committee, one of the most outspoken civic groups on the preservation of the waterfront, also submitted a list of ideas and things for the board to look into, including zoning, the nature preserve, global warming, the village’s marinas, the old Bill’s Harbor Inn property and more.

Ken Magida, the commodore of the North Shore Yacht Club and a village resident for 14 years, said if high density housing is allowed, residents will be denied the waterfront.

“It will change the character of the village and bay and have very negative consequences to all of us,” Magida said.

Barbara Ruemenapp, a resident, called on the committee to halt its recommendations until the village conducts a comprehensive impact study.

“I don’t see how in good conscience this group can make recommendations on changes without an impact study,” she said.

Michael Sahn, the lawyer representing Richard Thypin, who owns the 11-acre Thypin Steel property, addressed the committee and residents, saying the property is almost ready to be developed.

The Manhasset Isle property, which has been a topic of discussion since the advisory committee’s first meeting, was approved for a 96-unit residential development in 2003.

In December, Sahn told the Board of Trustees that the waterfront moratorium, which is halting Thypin’s development, did not meet legal standards, saying “there is no basis for a moratorium.”

Manorhaven Village Attorney Steve Leventhal at the time rejected Sahn’s argument.

Sahn did not mention the moratorium at the meeting, but said a comprehensive environmental study was conducted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the development will meet safety regulations.

“We will be receiving the all clear for the development soon,” he said. “And there is a provision for public access along the waterfront in the plans.”

Sahn also told the advisory committee that Thypin would meet with anyone who wanted to to discuss the plans and would be open to input about revisions that would benefit everyone.

“He has been a very good citizen of the village for many, many years,” Sahn said.

Guy LaMotta, the former chairman of the village’s waterfront committee, said in September that the Thypin property was “the most important piece of land on the eastern part of the United States,” saying it had a valuation of $100 million.

If zoning was changed to R4 developments, multiple dwellings, or apartment buildings, at a maximum height of 28 feet, would be allowed.

Thypin Steel is zoned R3, which is similar to R4, but is zoned for residential cluster developments.

While many residents spoke against developing the waterfront, Guy La Motta Jr., the son of Guy La Motta, said he favors development.

Both La Motta Jr. and his father own and operate the Manhasset Bay Marina and La Motta’s Restaurant on Manhasset Isle where he said water is getting shallower, making it difficult to own a marina.

“We can’t afford to dredge,” he said.

A waterfront advisory committee was originally proposed by the prior village administration, but after the June election Mayor Jim Avena started his own committee.

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