Board not ready to vote on salt shed

Board not ready to vote on salt shed

The Manorhaven Board of Zoning Appeals said on Tuesday it wasn’t ready to vote on whether to issue Dejana Industries a special use permit to build and maintain a salt shed. 

The special use permit would allow the company to build a structure around an existing salt and sand pile at 12 Manorhaven Blvd. in Port Washington.

Dejana Industries is also seeking a variance from the village to build a roof on top of the structure that would be 28 feet 1 and 7/16 inch high, exceeding the village code height of 15 feet.

“The board and I feel uncomfortable rendering any decision until we see the location of the site and where the structure will be built,” said the board’s chairman, Stephen Thomsen. 

Dejana Industries, which does construction and provides a variety of other services, wants to build the salt shed as part of a  plan to prevent  storm water from running off into a wetland, said Howard D. Avrutine, an attorney representing the company.

The proposed salt shed would fall under a section of village code that deals with E-1 districts. In the code, structures that are permitted include buildings that are associated with arts and craft, nautical research, indoor sport use and other leisure activities.

 Self-storage facilities are listed in the code, but a special use permit must be approved, and the code states “trucks serving such facilities shall have a gross weight of no greater than 20 tons.”

The board said that it wasn’t convinced that trucks operating near and in the shed would be less than the designated weight.

The public hearing was held even though the state  Department of Environmental Conservation has not decided whether the project complies with its standards.

The board and Avrutine agreed to allow the board members to walk through the property and view the salt pile and where the proposed structure will be built.  

 Thomsen asked Avrutine what Dejana Industries would do if the board deinied the special permit and variance request. 

Avrutine said that he believes the company would consider lowering the height of the proposed roof to a more acceptable height.

 When the hearing was opened to public comment, many residents of Manorhaven wondered whether allowing a company to break village code would set a precedent for future developments. Thomsen said he wondered the same thing, too.

“You’re almost asking us to rewrite that part of the zoning code,” he said. “The more I listen, the more I feel as if this was a self-created problem that we have to fix.”

Pat Valente, a Manorhaven resident, said  the meeting was held prematurely because facts are missing and there hasn’t been approval from the state environmental agency.

“This whole situation is very short on facts and very large on opinions,” Valente said. 

The board said that the public hearing will continue at next month’s meeting.  

By Stephen Romano

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