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Tell Us: Improving Main Street

Do you have a suggestions for a 5-year plan?

Last week, nearly 150 people attended “Main Street Visioning” public meeting hosted by North Hempstead's Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio at Schreiber High School.

Many in the audience cited concerns about the current considerations, which include allowing building owners on certain blocks to apply via the Town Board for a special permit for a mixed-use designation to accommodate one story for business and two for residential. Among the audience members' concerns: more automobile traffic, increased enrollments in Port Washington Public Schools, and pressures on the community's infrastructure. 

Yet others have pointed out that doing nothing could mean deterioration for Main Street, and the inability to attract quality businesses to the peninsula.

Which has us wondering: what happens if the zoning code isn't changed? How do you think Main Street will look in five years? What do you think would help incentivize building owners to improve their properties? And how can Port Washington attract new businesses? Are there lessons to apply from the newly revamped Port Commons?

Tell us in the comments.

Laura Johnson September 24, 2012 at 06:53 PM
What kinds of stores/businesses/people are we looking to attract and/or retain? We need a business analysis, achievable specific goals, facts, and a rational, transparent discussion with the affected community before we start a redesign of Main Street beyond beautification. These decisions should not be turned over to a developer, especially If the Town is offering incentives. What are we getting in return?
jonathan winant September 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM
The whole issue was poorly designed and even worse was the way in which the residents were offered information or the lack of information. In my opinion there is very little chance that parking to accomodate new residential units will ever happen unless the ToNH has ideas that we are unaware of. Traffic will be the biggest issue and how the Town will handle it was never discussed. Disruptions to the lives of those who live near the area to be rezoned was never discussed. Policing which will have to be increased due to more residents and construction was never diswcussed by the Police Commissioner. Municipal and private sanitation removal which will probably have to be increased was never touched upon. Why? Why ? For some strange reason the most imporatnat issues which would determine how residents feel about rezoning were left unanswered. Unitl that time I feel that we the citizwens of port Washinton were bamboozeled!
jonathan winant September 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Laura Johnson: You have made some very valid and most of all important comments which if not addressed by the ToNH will possibly kill any chance of doing anything positive with Main Street and Shore Road. It is too bad residents do not see through the smoke screen we are being handed.
Local Resident September 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM
@jonathan winant...in your post above, when you refer to "residents", do you mean "residents" as in local residents of Port Washington, or are you referring to "residents" as in Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington?
jonathan winant September 25, 2012 at 09:42 AM
Local Resident: I said what I meant to say "Residents" those who live in the area and might have a so-called vote on the matter.
jonathan winant September 25, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Supposedly the RFMBPW and their efforts are separate from the rezoning plans. At least that is what we were told. That might be one smoke screen handed to us.
jonathan winant September 25, 2012 at 10:05 AM
Added Note: Yes it was nice to see Port Commons developed looks a lot better then before. Unfortunate is that the redesign might fall into the category of what several people talked about and did not want to see happen on Main Street. Someone mentioned developers buy bulk lots and making it look, like strip mall shopping.
Local Resident September 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Just to be clear, up until this last meeting RFMBPW were the local sponsors for the entire MODEL BLOCKS proposal, which included rezoning and beautification. RFMBPW made all the public presentations and were the ones pushing this down our throat. ToNH just recently took the reins. RFMBPW is in support for the rezoning aspects of the proposal as much as ToNH is. This should be quite clear in that everyone who stood up to speak IN FAVOR of the proposal (including those who clapped for those speaking in favor) were either members of RFMBPW or a member of its Board. Make no mistake, RFMBPW is extremely in favor of the rezoning aspect of this proposal, they have worked for years in trying to "bamboozle" the local residents regarding the benefit it will have for Main Street and its local residents. However, as local residents, we see through the smoke screen, we are on to both RFMBPW and ToNH, and it really is not that difficult. Both RFMBPW and the ToNH should be held responsible for this entire sham of a proposal.
sadeto September 25, 2012 at 01:41 PM
...and Port Commons' upgrade, while a major improvement, came with a higher price tag that forced some businesses out. Fortunately, the bicycle shop survived and is now closer to my home.
jonathan winant September 25, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The entire matter is poorly handled and presented to the public in a very deceitfull manner. I for one have no belief in that the RFMBPW is not connected to the Rezoning proposal. There is no way you can beautify the area when you have the distinct possibility that changes requiring major construction will be in the future if the ToNH gets it's way. If the RFMBPW was not connected to the towns proposal then they would done something proactive like getting more trash cans along Main Street, more garbage collections, tree trimming, getting store renters to clean their store fronts would have already been underway. Planting flower beds is commendable but it's a very small portion of what they could have and should have done through the years.
Donna Rice September 25, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I don't believe that any local resident wants to sit back and watch Main Street deteriorate. I just don't believe that the rezoning and the beautification need to go hand in hand. And why did the Town add a second section to the discussion? Is someone showing interest in the property?
Local Resident September 25, 2012 at 04:10 PM
NO ONE should question whether or not RFMBPW is connected to the rezoning proposal...RFMBPW ORIGINALLY PRESENTED THE REZONING PROPOSAL AND ALL THE MODEL BLOCKS DOCUMENTATION HAS THEIR NAME ON IT. There is no question regarding their involvement...This is their baby...They are in up to their necks
Cindy Pfister September 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I no longer live in PW- due to illness- I had to move- and it broke my heart- still does 6 mos latr- I lived in PW over 50 years- I HOPE the MAIN ST remains quaint as I remember it used to be- no MODERN windows- etc- I still dislike to way the stores look on PW Blvd, too mod3rn for the wants of OUR TOWN---
Laura Johnson September 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Please be aware that the RFMBPW has a Development Committee, also known as the Smart Growth Committee, which was the original sponsor of the rezoning/beautification proposal. The RFMBPW led the presention at the PW Library last November 2011, and this plan featured 4 (four) stories of mixed use on upper Main Street. In this earlier proposal rezoning and beautification were linked due to grant requirements. Thankfully the ToNH has managed to de-link them.
Laura Johnson September 25, 2012 at 09:25 PM
However we are getting off topic. Is the relative lack of businesses owning their own buildings (tenant / owner ratio) a factor against a possible revitalization of Main Street? Are the tools needed for improvement different than if business owners owned their own buildings?
Nancy K September 25, 2012 at 09:55 PM
If residents of PW want to take any positive steps to improves main Street ,the first step should be to eliminate any involvement by Town officials . Experience has shown anything they touch is either disastrous or corrupt
jonathan winant September 25, 2012 at 11:40 PM
In a nut shell: The entire process and the last Thursday meeting stinks. Something is rotten in Denmark! I hope someone from the Town Of North Hempstead and RFMBPW Start to join the crowd and speak up. Until that time I am not going to cast any vote for or against the proposal. You must think residents (with a small r) are idiots.
jonathan winant September 26, 2012 at 08:41 AM
Reality is if your considering building or even minior renovations should the proposal go through you have to consider the tenant. Will I have to evict residents or business owners? Can I afford to lose revenue during the construictin work? I do konowe the legalities involved but this is my opinion. This is why hearing from property owners not business owners was an important step which was neglected by those drawing up any plans and holding meetings. After reading the posts I am not sure who is really in charge of this whole fiasco.
R Miller September 26, 2012 at 10:43 AM
All things considered I feel the new owner should be commended. People can say what they want but that shopping center has never looked so good in my opinion
jonathan winant September 26, 2012 at 08:10 PM
With everything that is being said it is no wonder numerous residents have nothing nice to say about the entire matter. What should have been a collaborate effort to better Port Washington and fill vacant stores seems to be everyone for themselves. The RFMBPW have their agenda (who knows exactly what it is), ToNH has their own agenda, Residents have their own views and hopes. Personally I would ike to see the vacant stores filled with quality businesses. I would like to see more exterior renovations or sprucing up such as what Baltimore Designs and the Movie and Port Antiques. thearter have done. Thats what I call beautification. We need sidewalks and curbs repaired and road markings repainted. Larger trash receptacles along Main Street might keep trash where it belongs. Restaurant owners need to clean up their sidewalks and pigeion droppings. Dog owners need to clean up after their pets ( I too am a dog owner and I clean up everytme the dog poops). Maybe we should have also focused on Shore Road who has it's own share of problems which does nothing to make P.W. attractive to visitors, potential business and residents(with a small r).
citizen September 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio - what are you planning to do in light of the incredible volume of negative feedback on this proposed re-zoning plan from the taxpaying PW community?
jonathan winant September 29, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Citizen I think that the ToNH is clueless about wht the commuity wants and what the town can or can not accomplish. What o you want to see done?
Port Citizen December 03, 2012 at 08:00 PM
PETITION LINK ATTACHED: STOP THE RE-ZONING OF MAIN STREET! To support the cause put forth by Port Washington Voice, which is "Beautify, Don't Destroy", please click the below link and electronically sign the petition. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-redevelopment-of-main-street-port-washington.html The ToNH and RFMBPW aren't listening. The are pushing the agenda of a few, and ignoring the pleas and concerns from many! Attend the Dec 11th ToNH meeting to express your concern.

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