Might Greenport borrow a page from the Southold Town Board, which last week suggested using New York State Liquor Authority requirements to enforce some of its codes?
That’s one route the Village Board could take in trying to enforce compliance with its noise ordinance. That measure bans businesses in the downtown sector from amplifying music, which is disturbing to an increasing number of residents, board members said at their Monday night meeting.
Under state law, a business seeking a new or renewed liquor license or a business that’s expanding its operation is subject to the liquor authority’s jurisdiction. And while the SLA has no obligation to consider input from local communities, according to village attorney Joseph Prokop, it’s possible that a license might be refused if there’s evidence that a business has failed to comply with regulations concerning noise or traffic or has a history of violations related to the serving of alcoholic beverages.
The next step is for the Village Board to decide whether to hold its own hearings on businesses seeking new or renewal licenses or to simply post their applications so residents can comment on them either through the village clerk or directly to SLA officials.
Another set of complaints from residents voiced at last month’s Village Board meeting dealt with alleged violations by owners of some bed and breakfast establishments. That’s something Greenport is trying to crack down on by having building inspector Eileen Wingate and village administrator David Abatelli visit the B&Bs to check their operations and determine how many rooms are being offered to guests.
Village code limits B&Bs to three guest rooms, although a resolution is pending that would increase the number to five, in line with state and Southold Town codes.
REBUILD OR DEMOLISH?
After three years of delays, the North Fork Housing Alliance finally received approvals to restore one of two Section 8 houses on Second Street that caught fire in the summer of 2008. One house, which was destroyed and later leveled, is targeted for eventual rebuilding, but the second house has remained standing and has been not just an eyesore, but a danger, Mayor David Nyce said. Unless work on its restoration begins by late July, the mayor said he’ll ask to have the building declared unsafe and order its demolition.
Work is slated to begin by the end of this month.
Trustee David Murray took on those who are working to renovate the American Legion Burton Potter Post 185 on Third Street when he complained about the newly installed roof.
“It’s a rubber roof and it looks terrible,” Mr. Murray said, insisting that although he’s a contractor, it wasn’t sour grapes on his part because he hadn’t bid on the job.
But he called on his fellow board members to appoint an architectural review board to oversee construction in the commercial district, most of which is outside the village’s historic district.
If there were others at the table who agreed with Mr. Murray’s assessment and suggestion, none spoke.
BETTERING THE B-BALL COURT
Mr. Murray asked board members to consider a project to resurface and enlarge the Third Street basketball court, an undertaking he estimated would cost about $25,000. At the same time, he’s looking to residents who live in the area to get involved with the effort.
He and Mr. Nyce have met with representatives of Forever Young, an organization launched by Crystal Anderson to honor two young villagers — Corey Freeman and Jefferson “Naquawn” Treadwell — who died in motor vehicle accidents last year. That group has raised money and done some work to spruce up the court and its efforts are supported by youth in the area, Mr. Murray said. But there’s no indication from neighbors who live on Third Street that they support the project.
Without community support, it’s questionable whether the project will get off the ground, Mr. Nyce said.
Registration for Greenport’s summer camp program is down to about 40 children, and Mr. Murray suggested that a program being run by Community Action Southold Town may be the reason. Longtime village recreation director Linda Ortiz, who ran the village camp program, is now director of CAST. The village has hired a new recreation director and camp staff, but village administrator David Abatelli said some families may be opting to follow Ms. Ortiz rather than register their children in the ongoing village program.
JOIN THE HARRY PROJECT
Mr. Nyce asked Village trustees to consider joining the Harry Project, launched by staff and students at Suffolk County Community College to help wheelchair-bound Harry Lewis, who lives alone in a house on Main Street, restore the building and make it fully handicapped-accessible.
In May, a group of Mr. Lewis’ colleagues from SCCC spent a day clearing brush from his yard and starting the process that would enable him to eventually rent the second floor of his house.
But volunteers realized the project was massive and have reached out to the village and the community at large to help the Harry Project become a reality.
The board is expected to act on a resolution next week to support the effort.
BIG SHIPS, BIG BUCKS
If Mr. Nyce has his way and can secure sponsorship to pay the costs, Greenport could entertain four to six large sailing ships during the Memorial Day weekend next year. The mayor met recently with officials of the American Sail Training Association in Washington, D.C., to discuss the possibility of the village becoming one of the ports for the celebration. It’s something former mayor Dave Kapell was able to arrange during his administration and something Mayor Nyce would like to repeat.
But garnering the needed sponsorships would require major fundraising, Mr. Nyce said. It would cost $18,000 just for a contract with the association to host the boats and another $20,000 to $40,000 in appearance fees for each sailing ship.