Manorhaven extends waterfront development moratorium

Stephen Romano
Four cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Manorhaven. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Manorhaven)

The Manorhaven Board of Trustees on Thursday extended the village’s waterfront development moratorium, halting building for another six months.

The law, which the board approved 4-0, was first passed last June and extended in January to stop development on the waterfront while Mayor Jim Avena’s advisory committee discussed plans for the land.

Trustee Rita Di Lucia was not present for the vote.

After months of meetings, with committee members and residents laying out ideas for the future of the waterfront, the Board of Trustees will meet with the waterfront committee at the village’s work session on July 13 to discuss its plans.

The topics will likely include waterfront property zoning, parking, evacuation issues, the village’s sewer system, the village’s marinas and the 11-acre Thypin Steel property.

The future of the Thypin Steel property on Manhasset Isle, which once held a metal fabricating plant and hangars for Pan Am planes, has been the hottest topic of debate because the owner has been trying to speed up its development.

The property was approved for a 96-unit development in 2003.

In December, Michael Sahn, the lawyer representing the owner, Richard Thypin, told the Board of Trustees that the waterfront moratorium, which is halting Thypin’s development, did not meet legal standards, saying “there is no basis for a moratorium.”

Sahn said Thypin was not threatening legal action in December.

Manorhaven village Attorney Steve Leventhal at the time rejected Sahn’s argument.

In March, residents at a public meeting urged the village’s Waterfront Advisory Committee to continue the waterfront moratorium, maintain the current zoning and allow access to the waterfront.

The Manorhaven Action Committee, one of the most outspoken civic groups on the preservation of the waterfront, also submitted a list of ideas and things for the board to look into at the hearing, including zoning, the nature preserve, global warming, the village’s marinas, the old Bill’s Harbor Inn property and more.

In January, the Waterfront Advisory Committee members presented their ideas for the future of the waterfront.

The committee agreed that it would like to see the waterfront be used for marinas and similar developments, and disagreed on whether marinas and other maritime uses will be viable in the future.

“I think the committee agrees on a lot of things,” Donald Badaczewski, the committee chairman, said in January. “In many cases, we broadly agree on the types of uses that would be best for the waterfront, but some members disagree on the scope of issues the Board of Trustees wants us to consider.”

Committee member Gary Maynard said the sewer system and roadways should be the village’s first priority.

“They should both be reevaluated before any further building is proposed,” he said. “There are flooding concerns, evacuation procedures and everyday usage on the one road in and out of Manhasset Isle that needs to be thought out and then acted upon.”

In his submission, Guy La Motta, the  former committee chairman, suggested additions to the Commercial Marine District (C-1) zoning sections, saying “these additions will not only benefit the C-1 properties but will also benefit and enhance the properties in the surrounding area districts and the Village of Manorhaven itself.”

La Motta suggested that the maximum density of these developments be two dwelling units per 5,000 square feet of gross area, not exceeding 34 feet and three stories in height, and each should have a boat dock.

Other committee members said the board and committee need to hire professional help.

The village has hired an engineering firm to conduct a survey of the village’s sewer system to improve it.

At Thursday’s Board of Trustee meeting, the board authorized preliminary plans to begin studying the sewer system and authorized the issuance of $250,000 in bonds.

Share this Article