The developers of Mill Pond Acres advanced a comprehensive and technical presentation at a meeting of Port Washington North's Planning Board, in the hope of gaining preliminary approval of the project. The first half of the meeting, held July 2 at the Landmark on Main St., was rife with tedious technical presentations by the professional support staff of the builder and Port North's technical staff. The latter half consisted of a question and answer session by the public and planning board members. The major technical criticism was voiced strongly by the Chief of the Port Fire Department who criticized the builder for stating the fire department agreed with the fire safety aspects of the proposal.
The meeting, chaired by Thomas Imperatore, began with a statement that the issues entertained should deal solely with technical matters, a stricture occasionally ignored by those later wishing to draw broad criticism of the project. The builder's panel, representing Sandy Hollow Estates and Dallas Realty, began with a description of the units planned, the demographic makeup of the residents, and land usage.
The builder's staff then answered questions from the planning board. The only vehicular entrance to the project is through one entrance/exit manned by a security guard 24/7. The units would be centrally air-conditioned with gas/hot air heat. There are two types planned. One hundred and six town house units of 1200 sq. ft. are estimated to sell in the price range of high $100,000 to $200,000. One hundred forty-four ranch house units of 1700 sq. ft., which include 400 unimproved square feet in the attic, are estimated to sell in the price range of mid $300,000. Questioners asking of taxes were told to compare market values with other houses in the village; monthly maintenance costs may run in the $150-250 range depending how much condo management spends on maintenance items. An indoor pool is planned.
The planning board called on James Antonelli, Port North's engineer, who requested additional water storage capacity and drainage, more data on landscaping and more details on retaining walls in the project. The board was told there were no plans for basements nor sidewalks on both sides of the street. Issues and concerns about sufficient parking would be addressed in the future at the final approval stage.
In the public discussion phase, Chief Walter Trapp of the Port Fire Department, criticized the builder for stating that his department agreed with developers on a number of fire safety related issues. Trapp was especially disturbed that, with this project under consideration for five years, it was only several weeks ago that the builder first met with the Port Fire Department. It was agreed that these issues would be discussed in the near future and reported back to the Board. The builder said that the building covenant, included in the village's law, would limit ownership to spouses only, one of whom had to be age 62 or over. Survivors inheriting these properties from the original spousal couple who did not meet age/spouse standard, i.e. one spouse aged 62 years, would be required to sell the property.
The closing comments included concerns for strained ambulance service, the need for a better description of the 50 ft. perimeter buffer and concerns for the water supply. Residents will not be permitted to avail themselves of the commuter parking around the train station. The meeting concluded with a statement of intent by both parties to resolve the issues raised prior to convening for final approval. The Port North Board pledged to discuss the comments made at this evening's meeting along with those received by mail.