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The "great lawn" on Shore Road, fronts the 11-acre Danaher/Thomson Industries property.

Is there more housing on the horizon in the Village of Port Washington North, which is currently in the final stages of constructing 250 senior housing units? The village is in the process of holding public hearings to consider a project which would swap eight acres of property owned by the village, which is located behind Mill Pond Acres, the new senior development, for the 11 acre Danaher, new owners of Thomson Industries on Shore Road. As part of the proposal, the village would rezone the eight acres to allow for residential development, either 30 single-family homes or 40-45 luxury townhouses.

In addition to the "Great Lawn" on Shore Road, the exchange would include the Thomson headquarters and a smaller building on the back of the site known as the Woods building, which the village might use as a village hall.

Port North trustee Steve Cohen sees the lawn as a village green and the board is entertaining the idea of the larger building as a community center.

In a release from the village, Cohen, who noted that any potential development these days is a trade-off, gives his reasons for feeling the swap is a "win/win" for all parties. Specifically he writes,

* The village and the peninsula preserve an additional three-plus acres of open/recreational space.

* The village obtains an 11-acres parcel-across from the waterfront in the center of Port North-in a much more desirable location than the eight-acre parcel.

* The 11-acre parcel, across from the soon-to-be-revitalized waterfront "Baywalk Park," would be ideal for a community Village Green, village hall/club and other open/recreational space.

* The village's ownership of this land will prevent any "big-box" store from coming into Port, now or in the future. As a matter of fact, Port North just staved off the possible construction of a Home Depot, which recently floated an inquiry about the site, by amending its zoning code.

* The reduced density of proposed development is consistent with smart-growth.

Cohen also noted that the village has a special interest in the 11-acre site because it represents the last large piece of land near the waterfront in Port North.

However, new development is never smooth sailing because of concerns over more congestion, stress on infrastructures and adding students to school enrollments.

A robust debate is anticipated. Deputy Mayor Bob Weitzner said that he expects several public hearings on the rezoning.

The next public hearing is Monday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 71 Old Shore, in Stop & Shop Plaza, next to Petland.


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