In a recent editorial section, Dan Garcia wrote a piece called, “When more means less” pertaining to the never-ending replacement of single- family homes with two-family homes and loss of parking in our village. Mr. Garcia “hit the nail right on the head” and I wish that he had run for office.
In May 16, 2019 during my four-year term as trustee from 2016-20, I submitted a “Proposal for Zoning Law Changes” for our village work session with copies going to everyone on our Board of Trustees that were never considered or addressed. I believed then as I still do now that it is time to make changes to our Zoning laws in Chapter 155 of our Village Code whereby we can still try to have a balance between our one-family and two-family homes by requiring 5000-square feet building lots for future two-family homes.
By doing so, hopefully we can preserve our enduring neighborhoods and also lessen the adverse results from future overbuilding that has been in existence for quite some time. According to longtime residents of our village, there was a 5000-square feet requirement for two-family homes that was eventually changed to 4000 square feet some years back. If you walk along Orchard Beach Boulevard, Sintsink Drive East, Sintsink Drive West or the hill bordering Ashwood Road and Sands Point Road, you will notice the tremendous amount of building that has occurred over past years. It is a sad commentary going back over the years, that past village administrations failed to address these conditions which sometimes seem like a domino effect (demolish a one-family and build a two-family). I had proposed ancillary changes in 2017 where we suspended alternate side of the street parking in the winter months which allowed our residents a little reprieve with our parking problems and then I proposed a “Parking Sticker Permit 2-Year Pilot Program” that I believed would also benefit our residents.
Unfortunately, our Board of Trustees decided to table my recommendation after a public hearing, however our new Board of Trustees should give this idea a lot of consideration. Over the past 50 years, many of our longtime residents have witnessed a major transition from one-family homes to two-family homes, apartment complexes and condominiums.
All of this construction in our densely populated village over the years has created a sizable parking problem for our residents not to mention the current strain on our 60-year-old sewer system and increasing student population in our Port Washington Public Schools.
I made many efforts during my four years as trustee to help improve the living conditions in this village that I love. I enjoyed updating and rewriting many of our laws in the village code and sincerely believe that our Board of Trustees reexamine my changes I made to Chapter 155-12 Residential Districts, Chapter 155-13.1 Residential District (R-1) and Chapter 155-14 Residential District (R-2) regarding 5,000 square-feet building lots for future two-family homes. I will provide copies of this recommendation and the aforementioned changes to Chapter 155 to our village clerk to disseminate to the trustees so as Garcia wrote, “It’s time new village leadership walks their talk.”