Waterfront committee members lay out plans

Stephen Romano
Waterfront members discuss plans for the future of Manorhaven's waterfront.

Members of the Manorhaven Waterfront Committee on Monday submitted outlines of their ideas for the waterfront’s future as the Nassau County Planning Board considers a new waterfront development moratorium in the village.

“I think the committee agrees on a lot of things,” Donald Badaczewski, the newly appointed committee chairman, said. “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.”

Badaczewski said the committee agrees that it would like to see the waterfront be used for marinas and similar developments, such as boating yards and sailing schools if they are viable. But some members disagree on whether marinas and other maritime uses will be  viable in the future.

Ken Kraft, a trustee and committee member, said the committee has not been able to fulfill its original eight goals, which include reviewing zoning plans, retaining consultants, evaluating the benefits of a Local Waterfront Revitalization, devising a plan for the Thypin Steel property and Morgan’s Dock, reviewing the sewer system and dredging and beautifying the waterfront.

Kraft said the committee lost “valuable time” because of the change in village administrations, but believes the committee should concentrate on “keeping some open spaces along what is left of our valuable waterfront.”

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 acreage, not exceeding 34 feet and three stories in height, and each should have a boat dock.

He also suggested that mixed-use buildings, residential and nonresidential, “shall be permitted so long as the nonresidential conforms to the C-1 zoning.”

La Motta, who owns the Manhasset Bay Marina, was replaced as chairman of the committee because he was not available in the winter and  there was concern about his personal interest in the waterfront.

La Motta was not at Monday’s meeting.

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 need to be thought out and then acted upon.”

Maynard also said low-density housing “would seem like the only option.”

“Condos and townhouses would only overpopulate the area and compound any existing problem,” Maynard said.

Matt Meyran said he is in favor of minimal coverage of Manhasset Isle and Manorhaven, “keeping 28 percent lot coverage, a maximum of two stories but allowing a height of 32 feet so as to give the commercial properties enough room to build a second-story living area above their existing businesses.”

Meyran also said each marina dwelling, no matter the square footage, should have a boat slip.

Richard Raskin, the committee’s newest member, said, like Kraft and other members, that the committee needs professional help.

“I think it is generally agreed that most members of the committee and residents of the community want to keep those waterfront activities that are doing well,” Raskin said.

Raskin said he believes Manorhaven already has enough access to the waterfront, including Manorhaven Park, Morgan’s Dock, waterfront restaurants and more, and if public access development is negotiated, it should be for “meaningful public access.”

Although some committee members believe the village’s hired professional help should consult with the board and the waterfront committee, Badaczewski said, it would be a waste of time and money.

“After receiving our recommendations the Board of Trustees will need to obtain professional advice from attorneys and engineers, so for our advisory committee to do so as well would be a duplication of effort and waste time and money,” he said.

The original waterfront moratorium expired on Dec. 22, and before the board can vote to extend it, the Nassau County Planning Board needs to approve it.

If the planning board denies it, the Board of Trustees can approve it with a supermajority of four votes.

Mayor Jim Avena said he supports the extension of the moratorium.

Bruce Migitz and Rita DeLucia did not submit plans.

Patrick Gibson gave a rough submission that was only for internal reference, Badaczewski said.

“I’m very pleased that members of the committee took the time to put down thoughts in an organized manner,” Badaczewski said.

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