All Port Washington residents should have just received a Port Washington guide sent to you by the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District Association, Inc. (BID). In this guide on page four, there is an aerial photo of a row of marinas on the south coast of Manhasset Isle. It is this stretch of Marina-occupied land where the E-2 Overlay District is being proposed by the Village of Manorhaven. Under the picture there is a column named "Planning for Port Washington's future." In this column it says, "The (BID) received a $200,000 New York Main Street Grant Award to renovate Manorhaven's Downtown Business District. It will create a more upscale, pedestrian-friendly nautical look that reflects the village's waterfront history." Nowhere in that column did it mention building on our waterfront. It does mention the Port Washington Peninsula Shared Vision plan initiated by the Town of North Hempstead. I know that parking and traffic problems are a major concern of this plan. I'm sure it's not in the vision plan to build on and block up our waterfront like what was done in some locations in the past. If this E-2 District were passed, I might also mention the lack of consideration for the residents living on houseboats that have decided to make this area their home and plan on staying here for some time. Any houseboats in the area will have to leave, because the code says no houseboats are allowed in this E-2 zone. People in our community have been living on houseboats for over 200 years. Aren't they a part of our waterfront history? There is way too much traffic in this town. Shouldn't we be restricting building whenever possible? If you mimic these concerns, or would like to voice your opinion on this, please come down to the Manorhaven village hall July 11, 7:30 p.m. If you don't read the paper by July 11, please come to the July 25 board of trustees meeting at 8 p.m. when this issue might be up for a vote. If you check out the website (http://www.pwguide.com/) and click on aerial photos you will notice that most of the aerial photos are that of Manorhaven's Marina district. Photos # 006,011 show all of Manorhaven's Marina District and # 007 shows that most all the marinas on Manhasset Bay are located in Manorhaven. In photo # 001 you can see the vacant 11-acre Thyphin Steel property where 96 condos will soon be built. Behind this vacant lot and to the right is the strip of marinas where the Village of Manorhaven wants to allow the building of more condos. That's a lot more cars. I don't know about you, but I do not like the idea of having to leave my house in the morning an hour to an hour and a half earlier because that's how long it takes me to drive five miles to the expressway. Our administration has not allowed building on the waterfront in place of marinas, because our rationale is to promote working marinas for a greater public use. To preserve our waterfront history we should not change its esthetics, or restrict its public use by allowing the building of private condos on it. In photos # 003, 010 they show a section of waterfront that was blocked when administrations in the past have allowed some condos to be built. With that said, I and many other residents find this proposal to be inconsiderate of the community's concerns over more building and more traffic in our neighborhoods. It is a dangerous situation for our children and the elderly. Just driving around town is becoming a hazard in itself. Every year there are more and more accidents and even deaths. What about our residents, don't their concerns matter? What about our waterfront history, that doesn't matter either? There used to be many more marinas along Manhasset Bay in the unincorporated sections, but they have been replaced by building in the past. Some of the marinas along Matinecock Ave. were purchased by developers who want to build condos, but as of right now like in the past it's never been zoned to do so. If this E-2 Overlay District is passed, all our marina owners will eventually sell to the developers and our community will become known as the town by the bay where you can't even keep a boat unless you purchase a million dollar condo. If we let this happen, it won't take long before you look across Manhasset Bay from Shore Road and see condo after condo all along the waterfront. We need to enforce the codes presently on the books for that area, so it can be cleaned up. We do not want to create new codes, so the developers can benefit. The community needs to stand together. You have a chance now to shape the future of our community. See you on July 11 or July 25 at 7:30 p.m.
John M. Di Leo Jr., Trustee
Village of Manorhaven,