Manorhaven to hold hearing on revisiting six-month building moratorium

Manorhaven to hold hearing on revisiting six-month building moratorium
Manorhaven village hall. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Village of Manorhaven is scheduled to hold a public hearing next week on again imposing a six-month building moratorium after approving one in October. 

Village officials revoked the previously approved moratorium in late November. Village Mayor John Popeleski told Blank Slate Media that the moratorium would be reinstated in December, saying at the time it was implemented to “preserve what [Manorhaven] has left.”

The village would not accept or process any special permits, site plan approvals, demolition or building permits during the moratorium. Subdivisions by any person or entity would not be permissible under the moratorium, officials said.

“We’re going over all our codes and laws and we want to see what’s right,” Popeleski previously said. “We do have a lot of antiquated codes that need to be updated.”

The public hearing is planned for 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at 33 Manorhaven Blvd. in Port Washington.

The village passed the moratorium under Village Law, Municipal Law, Home Rule Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations, the meeting agenda said. They used a similar justification in September when they expanded their zoning and planning boards to seven members.

Some had spoken out against the moratorium in October. Critics claimed that the short time span between its introduction and implementation was unfair to builders.

“This will have a significant impact on not just people who are planning to develop in the village,” Kevin Boroumand, a lawyer and developer in the village, said. “But actually people who have already expended considerable sums to develop in this village and by its terms.”

Popeleski previously suggested the idea of establishing a moratorium during a 2021 public meeting following a discussion on parking and construction issues in the village.

“Greedy builders are destroying the town and they are all about their pocketbooks,” he told Blank Slate Media in 2021.

In 2016, Manorhaven trustees unanimously voted to approve a six-month building moratorium on the development of waterfront property. 

Then Village Attorney James Toner said, “The village board of trustees and other village officials need the time afforded by the moratorium in order to comprehensively address the question of how to properly modify the restrictions in place along the village’s waterfront without further development proceeding.” 

If approved again, Manorhaven would join Baxter Estates as the other Port Washington peninsula-based village to establish a moratorium in the past year. Baxter Estates’s trustees imposed the district-wide building pause in 2021 and later extended it to the end of 2022 in June. Trustees lifted the village’s building moratorium in November.

They wanted to consider how land could be appropriately developed for multi-residential use. Mayor Nora Haagenson also said the laws were outdated.

Additional reporting was contributed by Steven Keehner

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