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Opinion

On May 23, I appeared before the Town of North Hempstead's Board of Zoning Appeals in my role as Land Use Chairman for the League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset to speak against granting the variance request of Putnam Developers, Inc. for the construction of a Senior Development Living Facility at 320-326 Main Street, Port Washington.

The town's Master Plan, which was adopted in 1989 with the league's active participation, recommends the monitoring of local zoning patterns, land use and parking regulation. It was intended "to serve as a policy-oriented, long-range guide to the future physical development of the Town of North Hempstead." Among its goals, the plan provides a comprehensive approach to ensure relevant factors in land use are identified and considered. It acknowledges that recreational needs are important for enhancing the quality of life in North Hempstead.

Based on the plan's guidelines, the League of Women Voters believes that the project would be detrimental to the community because of its location.

The Senior Living Facility would be across from the waterfront, taking up a large part of the last space available for the development of waterfront activities. It would also prevent more appropriate water-related commercial development on the lots it would occupy and discourage desirable development of adjoining properties as well. All waterfront property should be reserved and/or developed for use by the majority of the residential population in keeping with the Master Plan.

The Master Plan also recommends that large buildings not be built on roads that serve as main traffic arteries, like this road, so as to prevent further overburdening of the roadway. Lower Main Street already is one of the worst traffic-congested and safety-problem areas in Port Washington.

The League of Women Voters urged the board to deny all five variances requested by Putnam Developers, Inc. This location should not be burdened with this structure.

Susanna Fitzgerald

The League of Women Voters is a civic nonpartisan organization dedicated to building citizen participation in the democratic process and to fostering government that is responsive to its citizens. It takes positions on issues but supports no political candidates.


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