Waterfront panel set to meet for 1st time

Waterfront panel set to meet for 1st time

The Manorhaven Waterfront Committee was scheduled to meet on Sept. 7, two months after a six-month moratorium on waterfront building was issued.

The meeting comes after local citizen groups and residents criticized the village for not calling a meeting sooner.

“I don’t believe there’s been any delay,” said Trustee Ken Kraft, who is also on the Waterfront Committee. “It was hard to get together because there’s so much going on, especially with the changes in government and reorganization.”

Mayor Jim Avena created the committee, and Kraft said it will focus on the rezoning of the waterfront on Manhasset Isle. 

Five of the 10 committee members met privately last week to get acquainted and discuss plans for the first official meeting, Kraft said.

Kraft said he hopes the committee can focus on adopting a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, which makes it harder to obtain zoning changes.

The Manorhaven Action Committee, a residents group, has held several meetings to discuss waterfront rezoning. 

In an email sent to public officials, the group raised concerns  that developers would build condominiums  on Manhasset Isle.

The email, sent on Aug. 31, said, “We have been told that the Village Board’s waterfront meetings will be open to the public, but no dates have yet been announced.”

The village clerk, Sharon Natalie Abramski, confirmed the Waterfront Committee’s Sept. 7 meeting date. However, the Manorhaven Action Committee had already scheduled a meeting at the Port Washington Library for the same time and date.

Because no meetings were called in the last two months, residents said they were concerned over what would happen if the moratorium ran out and no plans were in place for the waterfront zoning.

On Manhasset Isle, the areas that could be developed are along Sintsink Drive West, Sintsink Drive East and along the southern tip near Tom’s Point.

In July, residents of the Haven Marina on Manhasset Isle were forced out of their houseboats because the owner was selling the property. Residents speculated that they were being removed so the marina could be transformed into condominiums.

Kraft said that there are many issues that need to be discussed at the meeting, including a number that he and many residents have been discussing over the past few months.

The sewage system, Kraft said, remains one of the biggest concerns  in Manorhaven. 

“We have a sewage system that I don’t think could withstand a large amount of waste if many buildings were built,” Kraft said. “It’s probably the biggest concern I think about because it has been there for over 60 years.”

In 1986, a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan was drafted, but never officially applied, according to village records. In the action committee’s email, it said that the 1986 plan could possibly be implemented if it were altered slightly.

By Stephen Romano

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