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Main Street Visioning Presentation in Port Washington

The meeting takes place Thursday.

North Hempstead's Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio are hosting a “Main Street Visioning” public meeting to discuss the latest proposed zoning changes and streetscape enhancements for Port Washington’s Main Street. 

The public meeting will be held at Schreiber High School Auditorium, September 20 at 7:00pm. For more information, call 311.

The event will be webcast live on www.northhempsteadny.gov/portal2port. A recording will be available for review on the website a week after the meeting.

Laura Johnson September 18, 2012 at 04:52 PM
For those that will not be able to attend the public meeting, please consider writing a statement through the "contact us" tab on the Port Washington Voice website (www.portwashingtonvoice.org), and I will make sure that one of our members reads it into the record on your behalf.
Donna Rice September 18, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I hope there will be some discussion on what the plans are for the "Shields" building. What a disgrace to have in Port Washington. How can we even begin to revitalize Main Street with that building still standing.
Local Resident September 18, 2012 at 08:23 PM
At last November's presentation, RFMBPW proposed the Shield's Property to have a large "TBD" sign in front. So, being that the ToNH has recently stated that funds are not currently available to complete the Shield's transaction, I doubt we can expect much more than another "To Be Determined".
George D September 18, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Sorry folks Town's priority is to first pay for cronies and no show jobs, .Services for the tax payers are dead last on the list.
Local Resident September 18, 2012 at 09:34 PM
New Cassel may be a good example from an infrastructure perspective, but its hard to imagine a worse example aesthetically.
Craig Baines September 18, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Cracked filthy sidewalks, broken curbs and deteriorated catch basins that date back to the 1920s, insufficient drainage system, a Hodge podge collection of conflicting, useless traffic regulatory signs creating visual pollution and high density zoning is going to fix all this? Only a governmental novice would buy into this theory. How about doing what the town did in New Cassel last year in Port Washington which was a complete main street infrastructure replacement with all the modern municipal enhancements, now that might bring some new tenants and investment. Don't we pay enough taxes to expect this? Shouldn't this have already been done? How is rewarding campaign contributors and builders with new expanded development rights going to fix the aforementioned? Aren't we built out enough? Don't we have too much density already? Don't developers already have too much say in town government? When the Horowitz, Mc Girr, Standard and Plaza buildings have been renovated, remodeled or preferably fully restored and fully occupied with what these fools think will be drawn to their new proposed "cool downtown" come and see me. Regards Craig
jonathan winant September 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Repaved upper Main St. and was promised owwer Main Street was next so it's been over one year what happened? Re0-did crosswalks up and down Shore Road but only tackled several crosswalks along Main Street. Maybe we need more or bigger trash receptacles along Main Street. Could use better Policing so people can safely cross the street. Could use Police to ticket drivers who do not know how to park and stick out blocking traffic. Store owners need to take more pride in the outside of their establishments by cleaning up both the sidewalk and store fronts. More residents need to stop dropping trash every where except in the garbage cans. Patrons of the Clearview Theater need to throw trash in the garbage so it does not end up all over Belleview Avenue. I could go on and on, but there's not enough room on this site
Local Resident September 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM
New Cassel may be a good example from an infrastructure perspective, but it's hard to imagine a worse example aesthetically.
bob young September 19, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I never realized how petite Dina Degiorgio was until I saw a picture of her standing next to the needing to be replaced No Hempstead supervisor
Local Resident September 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Obviously nothing has happened...until now, all proposed beautification ideas for Upper Main Street were tied to the rezoning efforts being championed by RFMBPW. Hopefully, on Thursday we will find out that Port Washington can be beautified and revitalized without being turned into Queens and losing it's small town charm. But, not holding my breath.
Laura Johnson September 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Beautification - Yes! Rezoning - No! How is it that some property owners along Main Street have successfully renovated and rented out their buildings without the benefit of rezoning?
Anon September 19, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I lived in pw my whole life n the area they want to change is the ugliest. Who wouldnt want more green-space, new sidewalks and buildgs highlighting our proximity to the water and heritage? The town is going down-hill fast. We have lots of positive aspects(most notably our proximity to the bay and NYC n our storied past as a summer vacation hotspot for wealthy new yorkers) but so much detracts from it.Pw should aim to be the Hamptons of nassau county(as opposed to the senior citizens center of ny state).we should be attracting tourists for day trips from NYC to our waterfront and restaurants, should be a destination for 20-somethings as a cheaper alternative to NYC. Also, pw is the worst nightlife town with the most potential. We should have bars on the water that attract boaters and tourists.Young people move to towns like long beach or NYC, and in turn that only worsens the nightlife here even more. If we can keep them here, not only will the nightlife be better, thus making it more of a destination for outsiders, but also will decrease the number of vacant store. I don't see how it could be worse than leaving it the way it is. Bottom line, I'm all for beautifying main street, making changes in order to attract tourists via train/boat, revitalizing the town by attracting the younger generations and making a name for PW that is more than just "once hot vacation spot for the celebrity and wealthy, now sleepy dead-end town getting worse and worse."
Donna Rice September 19, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Changes like the ones PW is suggesting can be done without rezoning. If we allow the Town to rezone, we live with that forever. Change can be exciting! I personally am not afraid of change - I worry about the rezoning issue.
Craig Baines September 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Hey@PW we have numerous buildings that would make great candidates for just what your talking about right now without rezoning and it is not happening because Main Street has too many problems to list here in this space. I do not see the Town of Oyster Bay destoying the hamlet of Oyster Bay to save it. The Town has invested in countless projects and the hamlet has come screaming back to life with its original charm intact. More density is very seldom the answer to an ageing downtown and certainly not here.
Local Resident September 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM
@PW...Yes, everyone does want "more green-space, new sidewalks and buildgs highlighting our proximity to the water and heritage". I think everyone is in agreement with this. However, what is being proposed for Upper Main Street is MORE DENSITY and MORE TRAFFIC, the complete opposite of "more green-space". If it was as simple as new sidewalks and nicer storefronts, then we would not be having this discussion. Sign me up, but don't make these improvements contigent upon the rezoning of Main Street. And if "Hamptons of Nassau County" and better nightlife is the goal of this proposal, I am glad I have a "For Sale" sign at the ready.
Seymour September 20, 2012 at 02:26 AM
What a Laugh, Revisionimg- Dina you lead a campaign in Manorhaven to take the Cell Tower Down. Don;t the Residents of PW deserve the same?
george September 20, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I have followed Kaiman's actions for years , every thing he does is to benefit himself and those who keep him in his position . the disastrous results are paid for by the tax payers for years to come.
Anon September 21, 2012 at 02:33 PM
If we want less density then why are we putting senior-condos in literally every available space we have? Also, taller buildings doesn't mean less green-space, as nobody was planning on having green space on top of the buildings anyway - so adding another story or two does nothing to that. Also, although most of the people in this town are 150 years old, not all of us are, and those who are not would like something to keep us here before its too late and we have to ditch the town we grew up in for something else (like every other 20-something year old is doing and has been doing) - so if that means a few affordable apartments on main street then im all for it. Plus, the shields property is perfect for adding more parking spaces. Also, how come we cant/didnt put a second level of parking at the lot next to cedars shopping center? put a second level and open it up for non-permit parking from, say, 6pm to 6am, and then you have extra parking right near where the proposed additions would be. Or, make the shields lot into a two-tiered parking building (probably too small). Also, the traffic issues are on main street and coming from the north along pwblvd, if these added people are living on main street then they would be walking along main street to go places, not driving, and if driving, probably going south. Im not saying increase the density in the residential neighborhoods, im agaisnt that, in fact i say take 2 houses down and put 1 up, but we're talking main st
Donna Rice September 21, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I was very surprised last night to find out that the Town wants to rezone a second section of lower Main Street - Although a great number of residents oppose the rezoning on upper Main Street, the Town is trying to expand on the idea. What are they thinking?
Anon September 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Everybody always complains "but what about parking, but what about traffic" but when they tried to add a whole parking lot by harbor deli and add a second traffic lane, everybody was crying "oh the spots along main street are gone, oh the traffic is too close to the sidewalk" and now that actually turned out to be a pretty good thing, in my opinion. Also, ports "original charm" definitely does not lie in the first few blocks of main street from the east (especially the south side of main street). It lies everywhere else, especially lower main street. I would never say do anything to lower main street, except that the new storefronts they are putting in the old buildings do look great. Trust me, im a huge history buff and lover of pw, and i wouldnt want anything historical and charming to be damaged or removed. The area in question is not historical or classic pw. In my opinion, everything from Jacks stationary east on the south side of the street can be changed. Yes its only one block, so if they started off only doing that one section then that would be good. (not sure how far they were planning on going)
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 03:10 PM
It's not about less density...it's about creating more density and therefore more traffic in an already extremely dense part of town. Of course, parking is an issue and it will always be an issue. Limited parking is a peril of living , shopping, and conducting business on and around Main Street. The reality is that not everyone can park directly in front of the store they want to go into, there may be a walk involved. Even with a multi-tiered lot, there would still be people complaining about parking and having to walk to their destination. This is a no-win argument and it will always be an issue. What can be controlled is density...changing zoning to allow owners to build up and add residential apartments (and it's not a few apartments, it's more like 80-90 additional apartments) is just crazy at this point in the discussion. I also doubt the idea behind these proposed new apartments is to be "affordable" housing. The Owners will be looking to get the maximum rent they can and "affordable" is probably not the idea.
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
A few buildings on Main Street are already 4-stories with 3-floors of residential apartments on top of ground floor commercial. These buildings are being referred to as "existing, non-conforming". Per last night's discussion, the maximum allowable building height would be ground floor commercial with two-floors above for residential, for a maximum of 3-stories. So technically, after all the talk about trying to make the "existing, non-conforming" buildings conforming...this is being cited as one of the major reasons given for changing the zoning...these existing building would still be "existing, non-conforming" due to their height. How does this get resolved?
Donna Rice September 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM
The existing buildings would not have the required parking spaces either.
Anon September 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM
What's in the presentation attached as a link below looks awfully good to me. Obviously, if we could split it from the rezoning and worry about that separately then I'm sure we would, but If "[o]ur application is more likely to be approved if it is the context of a larger 'Downtown Revitalization' project", as De Giorgio said in her article, then maybe this is just the way its gotta be. They are really only talking about adding a story or two to some of the buildings here and there, not making all the buildings one big singular uniform building that is 4 stories high all through main street. As far as i'm concerned, to have such improvements going on everywhere is worth a few extra stories on SOME upper main street buildings. If they say they are going to work out parking, then let them work out the parking. Don't tell them "no its not possible to figure out the parking." If they say they can do it, and it HAS to be figured out before this goes through, then give them a shot to figure it out. I'm tired of people like "you cant do it, it cant be done... it wont work, blah blah blah." The people that do this planning and set the parking requirements, etc do this for a living, let them figure it out. If they say it will work, let them make it work. Also, theres already 71 apartments in the area they are talking about so to get it to 90 is not much. http://www.portwashingtonvoice.org/images/MainStreetBackgroundFiles/planninganddesignguidlinesformainstreetfebruary2012-1.pdf
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Is that the proposal that was talked about last night? I don't know, I didn't see a presentation? Nothing was shown, it was all talk. Who knows how much of RFMBPW's proposal the ToNH is keeping. And the design guidelines established in RFMBPW's proposal are merely that, design guidelines, not design guidelines required by law. It's possibly 80-90 ADDITIONAL apartments (and possibly more as I may be conservative in my estimate)...and who is to say that one developer doesn't consolidate entire blocks and builds a continuous 3-story building on the entire block...and what if that happens on all four blocks on both the north and south side of Main Street. What's to prevent that from happening? No one has been able to (or willing to) show this worst case scenario...it's always been presented as the best case scenario, which is not how professional town planning should work. No one is saying "you can't do it, it can't be done...", all we are saying is have a real, thoroughly developed plan...not a plan that has big holes at basic levels such as density, parking and traffic.
Anon September 21, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I dont know if it was talked about, i wasn't there. I just know this (and De Giorgio's article) is what im basing my opinions on. The design guidelines should be 'requirements.' I know other towns have rules regarding signage, so i'm sure there are ways to make it happen. Also, what is preventing one developer from consolidating entire blocks now? That hasn't happened yet, whats to say it will happen if this passes? However, one way to combat this is to designate some buildings in the middle of large rows of buildings as one-story only or two-story only, as the case may be, and not permit variations, this way it could never be developed all the way across. Yes, parking and traffic may be an issue, but to me not as big an issue as everyone makes it out to be, and i'm sure they know they have to figure something out to make it work and i'm sure they are working on a plan. If we only worry about the "worst-case scenario" and block everything then we will never achieve the best-case scenario. Yes, we have to be weary of some things, but if we can address them and put adequate blocks in place to prevent our fear (which, to me, are minor concerns) then we should be in favor of this plan. If we can get state grants to pay for certain things then we should do everything we can to take advantage of it. They want to help the town. They are on our side. We can make it work.
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 05:15 PM
The reason why one developer hasn't yet consolidated properties is the current zoning, that's the point. The area is currently zoned to allow commercial on the ground floor, with 2 floors of commercial space on the upper floors. Or one could now develop more senior housing. The Owner would also have to meet parking requirements as per code. Obviously there is minimal market for that much commercial space and meeting the existing parking requirements would be difficult. So once the area is rezoned for two floors or residential, it's not a stretch to think properties would be consolidated. Just so you know that we aren't all killjoys...last November, it was asked about limiting the number of buildings per block that could be developed up to 4-stories (which was being discussed then), 3-stories and 2 stories. It was immediately shot down by the presenters (I think it was BFJ) saying you can not spot zone like that. If something like that scenario could be agreed to and be written into the code, then we would not be having this discussion. That would solve many of the density concerns we have. Regarding parking and traffic..they don't have a plan. It's been asked many times and parking will up to the individual property Owners. We are not only worrying about the worst-case, we want Port Washington to be beautified and vitalized, we just think it can be accomplished without rezoning right now.
Local Resident September 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Anyone think not presenting an actual proposal was a key factor in deciding to record and webcast the meeting? Riveting, must watch TV.
Laura Johnson September 21, 2012 at 11:38 PM
The proposers should be figuring out the implications and impacts of the zoning change before making it, including the parking. That exercise is called "planning." The wait and see and trust them attitude is dangerous. Go to the back of the proposal and note that they are encouraging the consolidation of properties - that is basically the only way a developer can meet the parking requirement. The Town is not being straight with us. This should be a transparent planning process, not a exercise in discovery.
Laura Johnson September 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Do you live in town? Have you seen the latest ToNH beautification efforts such as patching the sidewalk and curb in front of the Port Dry Cleaners with asphalt? Are they suddenly going to work out the big things when they have yet to get the little things right?

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