The Waterfront Commission Marina Proposal was scheduled for a much-anticipated public hearing, held by the Village of Bellport Board of Trustees on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Bellport Community …
The Waterfront Commission Marina Proposal was scheduled for a much-anticipated public hearing, held by the Village of Bellport Board of Trustees on Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Bellport Community Center, located at 4 Bell Street in Bellport. All interested parties were invited to attend.
At the start of the meeting, Bellport Village mayor Ray Fell informed those in attendance that the waterfront hearing was cancelled. He also took this apt opportunity to address some commonly asked questions, concerns, and suggestions submitted by residents regarding this complicated undertaking.
“We had to adjourn the public hearing for tonight because Adon Austin is in no shape to leave his house, and since we don’t have final drawings, we had nothing to present tonight. The new timetable will be as follows: We will have the public hearing that should have happened tonight adjourned to next Monday, [Nov.] the 28th. We will then have a special board meeting to vote on the commission’s submission on Dec. 5, also a Monday,” said Fell.
The commission is working with Austin, of Rising Tide Waterfront Solutions, on the design of the project, which currently includes multiple options. He is also credited with helping to obtain the grant funding.
“I wanted to make a couple of comments about the various public comments that are coming into us—some by letter, some on Facebook—but I’d like to offer a couple of clarifications for the public, and hope that this will shorten and ease the public hearing next Monday,” Fell said.
No. 1, he explained, is that there has been some sentiment that the village has been rushing, and the whole thing should be adjourned.
“This is not possible,” he said, explaining that the grant requires submission of the proposal by Dec. 31. “It is unfortunate that the Waterfront Commission took as long as it did in submitting and finalizing the proposal, but that’s a reality, that’s history, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We are up against a hard and fast Dec. 31 deadline. Otherwise, we can kiss the $2.7 million goodbye.”
Fell then expounded further on other commonly raised issues to help assuage any additional public concern.
“Point No. 2, I would like to take off of the table for discussion: the concept of the rock jetty, on the one hand, and the sand-filled pier on the other. I’ve been advised by two potential consultants—one of them we attempted to hire tonight—that neither one of them are at all likely to fly with the DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] and we would basically be wasting our time in it.,” he continued. “So, I hope that we don’t spend a lot of time saying that either a rock jetty or a sand-filled pier is a way to go, because we’ve been advised that it’s really not possible.”
Also, he said a lot of people are concerned that the proposal will cut the main dock.
“This is, we are told, required, or will be required by the DEC, because of coverage of the mitigation for the additional coverage that’s being proposed, but that ties into my last point, which is that the proposal that will be submitted to HUD and then the DEC, the Corps of Engineers, and so on, will undoubtedly not be final,” he added. “All these agencies have a say in what this is ultimately going to look like. And it will undoubtedly require additional amendments to comply with whatever various regulatory agencies require, and that’s a general point that there is nothing final about what ultimately is voted upon and submitted.”
He also specifically referenced the hotly debated point about mitigations that would be cutting down the main dock. Fell stated that it may not ultimately require to be truncated at all. However, it’s a necessary component of the proposal for discussion going forward.
“I tried to cover the points that seemed to have generated the most discussion, at least discussion that has come to me, and I hope that that will help clarify and simplify whatever discussion occurs back here next Monday,” Fell stated.
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