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I join RMBPW, The Port North Civic Association, and others in seeking a beautiful waterfront without selling out to undermine other Port needs. Why has it become a political football that the two are mutually exclusive? Let's put things in perspective and not lose sight of the forest for the trees.

I must again state that we are totally committed to the environment, saving the waterfront, and open space. We pushed for and strongly supported strict waterfront zoning that would regain the waterfront.

What has the Port Washington North board done - signed a deal to clear the waterfront at what cost. The "bay lovers", referred to in this paper's editorial, will now have an unobstructed view from the water of the mega shopping center on the shores of Manhasset Bay. From the land side, we can stand with shopping carts in an asphalt parking lot and have a view of the water. The only difference between Port and Sunrise Hwy is that we put our mall on the waterfront. Isn't there a better use of this property than a mega food store and 650-car parking lot? If the board were more open to the public input perhaps better alternatives would come up. An inn, museum, limited senior housing or who knows what other uses would be considered that would better utilize a water view and enhance our waterfront. Waterfront zoning already protects the waterfront. The scare tactics are unreal since the list of uses for the water side of Shore Road is: playground, fishing station, swimming, boat launch, marina and boat related use, etc.

Today brownfield issues are the biggest concern throughout NYS and RMBPW just participated in a seminar on that subject. What has our board rushed to contract in opposition to the pleas of RBMPW? They contracted for a 69,000 sq. ft. food store right on top of our brownfield site. This is the applause that some give in a rush to campaign for the re-election of Tom Pellegrino. In contrast, many even question Port's need for a mega food store. Roslyn was able to get Stop & Shop to abandon its proposal there, likewise Manhasset is also fighting an unwanted mega store. But here in Port they even give a prime water view site. If we do need this store, three times the size of the current Grand Union, perhaps a better placement would be in the 41 acres. Why is the open waterfront contingent on ruining our town? Why the rush to bypass looking at the ramifications that the Full Environmental Impact Study, we have been asking for, will disclose?

Steve Kaplan


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