There was an issue on the agenda at the June 27 board of trustees meeting that is of concern to me, as well as some residents: The adoption of local law A - the creation of an E-2 overlay district along the waterside of Matinecock Ave. in Manhasset Isle. This would allow for the building of two- story cluster units (containing four condos each) along the waterfront each with its own boat slip (no house boats will be allowed). Although the public hearing was closed on this possible E-2 zone at the June 27 board of trustees meeting, it was determined that a new public hearing would be conducted and is scheduled for July 11, at 7 p.m. at the Manorhaven Village Hall. If you have an interest in our waterfront, or a concern with building on the waterfront, you will have a chance to be heard. Please attend this meeting and voice your concerns. Be sure to check for a possible date and time change for this meeting.
Let's try to understand this new overlay district. We already have an Enterprise Zone which is located right across the street from this proposed E-2 zone on the northerly side of Matinecock Ave. This Enterprise Zone (E-1) already allows the building of two-family homes on 50 x 100 lots and there is plenty of space available now as we speak to do so. So why would we need to build on and block our waterfront?
Last year, an applicant made an inquiry for development to the old Joe Whites Marina on Orchard Beach Blvd. They had asked for a change of zone to build houses on this property. They were turned down by the present board of trustees because we didn't want any more building on our waterfront. Our rationale was to promote working marinas, so why would we allow building, more specifically, cluster housing along the waterfront in Manhasset Isle?
The Thyphin Steel property isn't even built yet and we don't know what traffic effects this will create? Again, so why would we allow more building that is going to add to a possible traffic situation that in years to come can be unbearable for the people of Manhasset Isle?
Recently, within two years or so, one of the largest parcels of property in this proposed E-2 zone area was purchased by a local developer. Many of the smaller properties in this zone have been acquired or are owned by other known developers. If this E-2 overlay district were to pass, how long do you think it will be before there is building all along our waterfront? I'll bet you that area will be all built before the Thyphin Steel project is even started.
In the proposed E-2 zone law it says eligible parcels in the current C1 zoning district would be allowed to make attached or detached residential units in a cluster configuration. Each residential unit will be required to have a boat slip assigned to it, which could not be rented, leased or otherwise transferred by the owner or occupant of that unit. Any houseboats currently in that area would have to leave, because no houseboats are allowed. Thirty-three percent of all the boat slips must be available to the public for public use for a fee. How many slips are we talking about? Thirty-three percent of 50 or 200? Don't we already have marinas that are willing to rent boat slips to the public for a fee? The only difference here is that if passed it would be allowing the property owners to build condos on the waterfront along with restricting public use.
I can go on and on, however the fact here is there are too many loop holes in this proposed waterfront development proposal. In my opinion, this waterfront proposal does not benefit the residents of Manorhaven. It will forever change the face of our waterfront from a collage of marinas, to a multi-level cluster-housing nest. The face that exists in our local history books will be disfigured forever. I guess these waterfront property owners have a prerogative to apply, build and financially benefit, but at whose expense? I agree that the area is an eyesore, but if we enforce the present codes, within the current zoning, it would actually remedy the aesthetics of the waterfront for the betterment of the entire Port Washington Peninsula.
As a trustee of Manorhaven Village and lifelong resident of Manorhaven, I would like to preserve the waterfront qualities that have made our peninsula so desired. My waterfront idea is to retain the marinas for a larger public use. Remember, if this proposal is passed, our waterfront design will be changed forever with the result of limiting its use and restricting it to the public. If you have any input, or would like to voice your opinion on this, please come down to the Manorhaven Village Hall on July 11, at 7 p.m.
John M. Di Leo Jr., Trustee
Village of Manorhaven