While I no longer live in Manorhaven, I did live in the Village for 20 years between renting and owning. I have been a lifelong resident of Port Washington and my family has been here for over 100 years. I attended the Village of Manorhaven’s Q&A session on March 3 regarding a recent engineering study on the zoning of all waterfront parcels because I care about our community. I have also attended several Village Board meetings, including those where the Village Board has voted to extend the moratorium on building on any waterfront property.
During the Q&A, some people questioned why the current state of waterfront properties can’t be left as they are. Oddly, some of these people have been following the Village government’s process regarding waterfront parcels and understood full well that multiple studies are needed to determine what impact any construction may have. This initial study was the first of many before any “shovels” will be put in the ground.
The biggest waterfront parcel by far in the Village is the old Typhin Steel property, which is a 10- or 12-acre plot with hundreds of feet of shoreline. That property is currently zoned residential so, once the moratorium is lifted, they will be within their legal right to build without offering any concessions to the Village. What Mayor Avena and his board are trying to do is secure public access to some of this waterfront property in the form of a park and water views in exchange for a building height variance. I for one would prefer to have a public waterfront park and water views between three-story buildings than neither and two-story buildings that are closer together, which is what the current zoning allows.
Mayor Avena said twice during the public meeting that he heard residents’ loud and clear that their biggest objection was to rezoning marine or commercial property to residential. He reiterated that this meeting was the first of many and was intended to get feedback from residents. The Mayor added that their board would review all comments and determine their next steps based on this feedback. Yet, I’m seeing social media posts that intimate the Avena administration has already changed codes or is using the study to do so. Maybe people need to be shown how processes like this work. But, then again, some of the people who were the most vocal opponents have served on local government boards and are fully aware they are intentionally misleading.
Debbie Greco Cohen