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Opinion

On Monday evening, a Port Washington North meeting was held at the Rimsky Theater, obviously because a huge turnout was anticipated. There should have been "Standing Room Only," not only from our village, but the community at large. We live on a peninsula-definition of this: a piece of land that is surrounded by water on three sides. In other words, once down in Port North, there is no way out! Just how much more construction, housing and commercial sites can this tiny peninsula stand? We listened and learned about a huge Grand Union coming into the Lewis Oil property, with two "pad sites" as well. What is a pad site you ask? It is a free standing building with surrounding parking. In this case two restaurants. Had the surrounding property adjacent to the newly proposed Grand Union had perhaps some quality clothing stores for children and adults, and quality shoe stores, I could see more of a service to our community. But restaurants? How many do we have on our peninsula now? Thirty, forty? Who will benefit from two more down on our peninsula? These restaurants have been called "Family Restaurants." Will there be liquor licenses available? And, if an Applebee's or similar low cost food establishment comes in, we will have late hours, lots of drinking and swarms of young drivers entering and exiting our peninsula at all hours of the evening! To me, a family style restaurant is "IHOP," and I certainly would be happy to see an upscale "Bryant & Cooper" type restaurant, if we really needed more restaurants; because youthful drivers have no interest in either of these type places. Our police blotter is dotted with driving infractions every week - should we wait for more problems to occur? Traffic is congested now, so that by the time we who live down in Port North drive up to Main Street and Shore Road, we usually have to wait for 2 or 3 traffic lights until we can enter Main. Grand Union is not overflowing with consumers now, nor is King Kullen. It all seems to work just fine the way it is. Why bigger?

How about the Lewis Oil site be proposed for an over-62 apartment complex? Perfect location near to transportation and stores. It could be gated, and more upscale, or neatly arranged in clusters. Then, many of our homeowners could stay in Port, not have great need for cars as they advance in age, and not impede on an already overly trafficked peninsula. Let's come together Port residents and work to create positive solutions for our beautiful town. Isn't that why we moved here in the first place?

Carol Arnold


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