Save The Date: Main Street Visioning

The event will be held on Sept. 20, 7 p.m. at Schreiber

North Hempstead's Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio invite all residents to attend the “Main Street Visioning” public meeting to discuss the latest proposed zoning changes and streetscape enhancements for Port Washington’s Main Street. Further details will be posted on De Giorgio's Portal 2 Port website

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

Jack Sinkinson August 28, 2012 at 09:55 AM
The buildings on Main Street are not exactly crumbling. Let's be careful not to lose our unique character as a town. If a sleeping train rider woke up at the Port station, there would be no doubt what town he had arrived in......at least for now.
R Miller August 28, 2012 at 10:18 AM
My vision is promote business to start up and stay in Port Washington in this incredibly tough times. Part of that is expedite permits to a reasonable time not years.
Richard Brody August 28, 2012 at 03:50 PM
How many attempts at "visioning" for Main Street does that now make? When do we see implementation of a plan that keeps Port's uniqueness, while enhancing the viability of businesses on Main St, and elsewhere? This is being done successfully elsewhere-- Just look at how towns like Doylestown PA have preserved their unique look, while encouraging business, and I might add, attractively and rather successfully. West Hartford CT is another one that successfully transformed its downtown in a different manner, appropriate to that area. It can be done, but not if it remains rhetoric-- There is a time for timely and well thought out action.
jonathan winant August 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Richard I agree that there have been many attempts to re-vision Main Street. Just paving the road and installing new crosswalks (which are already showing their age) did not do it. The entire plan should be put together at the same time. Piece by piece just does not work. Besides visioning Main Street we need to look at Shore Road. Residents also have to take a little more pride in the town they live in in order to make it more appealing to visitors and residents. Cleaning up garbage and dog droppings seems to be a thing of the past as is keeping store fronts neat and clean. Empty store fronts are often left in a slum like condition by landlords who do not realize the effect this has on possibly renting the property. There is a long way to go if we are to revision or revitalize our community which has a lot to offer and could offer more. Maybe more residents should post their suggestions.
jonathan winant August 28, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Scott As I have been saying for a long time current business owners have a great stake in keeping business in P. W. unfortunately only a handful have considered this. Several store fronts have been renovated and some owners clean the sidewalks. Promoting business is a key element for this town as are restaurants which I feel need to diversify more. We have too many restaurants duplicating the same cuisines. I am curious as to some of your ideas to promote business and bring in new business?
jonathan winant August 28, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Obvious whatever Main Street looks like businesses are moving out. WHY? I do not think it is just due to the economy. Residents have writen many comments about why it is becoming increasingly harder to patronize businesses in the area. Parking issues have been addressed and are being corrected. Still there are a lot ore issues needing to be looked into.
Nassau Taxpayer August 28, 2012 at 05:02 PM
What are "Residents" selling this time?
jonathan winant August 28, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Nassau Taxpayer Please explain your last post. Residents are selling nothing, but they have the ability to make the community more pleasing to the eyes of those visiting and spending money in our community. Without shoppers and people who use our restaurants the community would be a ghost town. Would you go to a town which looks run down or has numerous vacant stores and looks decaying? Would you go to an area where you do not feel safe on the roads? If parking was not available would you still shop in town? This is what we are up against. Great Neck lost a lot of business when parking became hard to find and traffic in and out of the area was usually at a stand still along Middle Neck and Lakeville Roads.
Nassau Taxpayer August 28, 2012 at 09:00 PM
If you recall, "Residents" sponsored a Library-based "visioning" information session, got quite a bit of constructive criticism as well as some outright criticism over altered mixed zoning, parking, traffic, building bulk, size and setbacks, then played their unaltered "vision" as having gained "community approval" based on the Library airiing, the next time they advanced their agenda, whereupon the smackdown was audible. So, to repeat, what are they "selling" this time?
Local Resident August 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Although the plan may be a bit watered down compared to what was originally presented in November, it's a continuation of the same "revisioning" plan of Main Street. Due to the amount of criticism and backlash RFMBPW received about the plans for Main Street, the ToNH has taken over the plan and will apparently be making the presentation on September 20. It is my understanding that this presentation is one of the final hurdles prior to a vote by the Town Board, so it is critical that everyone inform themselves of the prior plans and attend the meeting to voice their concerns. By the way...RFMBPW was (is) "selling" the visioning of Main Street...they headed up the entire planning and presentation of what was shown to the town at the meeting in November and they received alot of criticism about the plan (or lack thereof). There were many discussions on Patch.com regarding the Main Street Model Blocks plan and all comments were clearly against RFMBPW's plan.
Amanda Z. Lambertoli August 29, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Not quite sure what rezoning has to do with beautification. can anyone explain that to me?... and how did the hardware store on main street at bank of america corner do such a great job on their improvements without any help or direction from the town?...
Local Resident August 29, 2012 at 01:37 AM
No one has explained why the rezoning proposal is tied to the beautification ideas...the rezoning of Main Street was the main (but not only) problem with the plan presented by RFMBPW. For some unknown reason, Main Street cannot be beautified without rezoning...or at least, this is how it was being presented to us.
Nassau Taxpayer August 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Some property owners are self-motivated to beautify, and we all benefit. Others think they can wait for the Town dole. It's quite clear who they are. Why anyone should reward that behavior is beyond me.
Nassau Taxpayer August 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM
It's all about the money. Property owners who have failed to maintain or improve their properties while employing willing third-parties ("Residents") to argue for a Town dole should not be rewarded through rezoning = subsidy = greater revenue potential = higher property value. Follow the money, both to property owners and to those willing third-parties.
jonathan winant August 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Revisioning Main Street should not just be about the physical changes which might be needed. One very important problem is that there are too many duplication of businesses. How many Nail salons are needed? Do we need any more Japanesse restaurants? There are numerous other types of businesses which Port Washington lacks causing residents to shop outside the commuity. What can be done to correct this trend? Port Washington lacks a good sit down deli with corn beef, pastrami, kinishes etc. Maybe an Old Navy or Gap type store would keep shopping in town. Port needs an office supply store so we do not have to battle traffic in Manhassett. Viet Namese, Korean, Portugese are several types of cuisine missing in our area. Anyone else have a idea jump right in. By the way I have already contacted Office supply stores, Old Navy, Trader Joes an alerted them to vacanat building in the Stop and Shop strip mall.
jonathan winant August 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM
The problem is not just about re-visiong Main Street but rather about re-visioning the entire shopping district in Port Washington. Both work hand in hand to attract business and customers and to try to keep residents from having to sdjopp elsewhere.
Nassau Taxpayer August 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM
This goes for Shields, too. In spades.
Richard Brody August 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Jonathan-- A sit-down deli was attempted here several years and failed. Larger chains make decisions on demographics and access,and Port's access is less than optimal. Issues such as parking,convenience and community support,as well as the draw from outside the immediate area are other concerns.Before the economic downturn,Staples considered moving to Soundview Shopping Center.Look at all the extra regulations(=costs) that businesses incur because of either TONH or Village regs.There are Italian,Japanese,BBQ,Chinese,Seafood,American restaurants in Port,but the desire of residents in the past has been anti-bigger store,etc.It is NOT what people may want,but what businesses are willing to locate here,take the financial risk,and choose Port as compared with many options. Just look at how many delays a movie theater wanting to move into a previous movie theater has undergone.
jonathan winant August 29, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Richard The movie theater issue is all due to Bankrupcy court procedings which must follow procedures otherwise the theater would have been opened a long time ago.
Local Resident August 29, 2012 at 06:47 PM
@jonathan winant...the "revisioning of Main Street" at this point has little to do with the beautification of or physical changes that may be needed. "Main Street Revisioning" is the new name for the RFMBPW sponsored Main Street Model Blocks plan that landed with a complete thud in November. The "revisioning of Main Street" has absolutely nothing to do with the movie theater, or Soundview Shopping Center, or whatever other businesses we may feel Main Street needs. It actually has very little to do with the actual beautification of Main Street...the beautification ideas originally proposed are unlikely to happen because of cost (ie: the burying of utility lines). It has everything to do with the rezoning of Main Street to allow for ground floor commercial with 2-3 floors above rezoned for residential. This would allow for increased density on Main Street, more cars, more traffic, etc. None of the proposals thus far have effectively dealt with the parking other than a confusing "shared parking" concept.
jonathan winant August 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The story above does mention STREETSCAPE ENHANCEMENTS. Obviously the article was not just about re-zoning. All the streetscape enhancments will not bring any more business to the area if business owners do not take care of their own properties. Residential floors above commercial businesses will of course bring more parking issues but they might also add rent to buildings which need the money to survive. Sometimes reality stinks.
Nassau Taxpayer August 29, 2012 at 08:34 PM
A proposed giveaway to property owners who refuse to invest without subsidy.while enlisting willing third-parties ("Residents") to argue for a Town dole. Rezoning = subsidy = greater revenue potential = higher property value (probably with tax abatements, to boot). Follow the money, both to property owners and to those willing third-parties.
Bob August 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Jonathan - It should not take 6 months to get a contract that benefits everyone approved by the Court. Someone needs to facilitate this and just get it done. Wayne Wink - can you look into this?
Local Resident August 30, 2012 at 07:41 AM
Sure the story above mentions STREETSCAPE ENHANCEMENTS, and the article may not be only about rezoning. But in the most recent versions of the visioning proposals all streetscape improvements were linked to (and dependent upon) changing the zoning along Main Street. No one is charge of the original proposals (RFMBPS, ToNH) could, or would, explain why things like burying of utility lines, planting of new trees, new sidewalks, adjusted garbage collection times so garbage is not on Main Street at 5:00 PM, etc, could only be done if, and only if, the zoning of Main Street was changed to allow for residential above the commercial spaces. For some reason, you can not beautify Main Street without rezoning it. Everyone is for the beautifying of Main Street...Everyone would support these aspects of the proposal. However, thus far, no one has vocally supported the rezoning aspects of the proposal. In fact, it has be quite the opposite. There has been a huge amount of criticism regarding the rezoning of Main Street. Yes, sometimes reality stinks. Reality is that parking and traffic on Main Street stinks. You do not increase density (in an already EXTREMELY DENSE) part of town and add more residents and traffic. This exacerbates the problem. Do you really want Main Street to be a 4-story block of buildings for Port Blvd to the train station? This is what they have been proposing, Sure, proposals can change, but at this point I will believe when I see it.
Nassau Taxpayer August 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM
This is a pure "pay to play" proposal. Follow the money -- and the smell.
jonathan winant August 30, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Local Resident Very true before there are any changes made the public needs to hear ALL the facts and reasons why re-zoning has been connected to beautifying Main Street. How did the New Brick work at the train station go through if the status of the project had to first change? At one time I thought the project was about re-vitalizing business in Port Washington which also includes Shore Road and Port W. Blvd. The Patch and Newsday need to get all the facts and major questions answered. According to stories in the Patch a big issue was the rise in vacant stores. I aM ( and am certain many others) are baffled at how we can increase the number of residents before anyone at ToNH has discussed a possible increase in parking.
jonathan winant August 30, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Before making my stand I really have to know more about the plans which lie ahead. As I heard it (and it could be wrong) is that there would be changes to building restrictions which would allow construction of more floors or taller buildings. If so did anyone consider the disruption construction work would cause along Main Street and adjacent side streets? 3 Hour parking limits on some side streets and alternate overnight parking on several days need to be looked into as it limits parking in an already tight parking situation.
Adina Genn (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Please read an update provided by Councilwoman De Giorgio here http://patch.com/A-xzVM.
Local Resident September 07, 2012 at 12:42 PM
The update provided by Councilwoman De Giorgio is very informative and reassuring (not). Why is the proposal now called "Main Street Visioning" and not "Model Blocks"? Trying to separate from the RFMBPW disastrous presentation of last November?
Local Resident September 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Good morning Patch. This is an important meeting that could greatly affect Main Street and the daily life of every Port Washington resident. Can you keep this "Save the Date" notice on the home page? Every PW resident needs to be made aware of this meeting, this notice should not be buried.


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