Featured Story

Wetlands permit approved for 123 Sterling Avenue to replace bulkhead

The Greenport Village Board approved the final portion of a wetlands permit for the property at 123 Sterling Ave. last Thursday evening, with a condition.

The permit, submitted to the board by property owner Paul Pawlowski, allows for the replacement of 132 linear feet of bulkhead, raised 18 inches in height.

As per prior recommendations by the village Conservation Advisory Council, the permit will expire Jan. 23, 2022. The applicant must install a pump-out station that is accessible to the public, and “any required fill material shall come from site material previously removed and currently stored on-site.”

The condition prohibits boats from docking on the east end of the bulkhead facing the channel toward Stirling Creek.

The board created the condition after Greenport residents commented on the dredging of the entrance of Stirling Basin and how Mr. Pawlowski plans to use the space surrounding the bulkhead, located at the entryway to the basin. 

The village recently received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the mouth of the basin between September and December, which hasn’t been done in decades. Bad shoaling in the area has made it difficult for the more than 500 boats that use the basin to navigate. 

Greenport resident Dave Berson asked questions about the dredging that he said community members recently brought to him. He asked what the cost of the project is and who is responsible for dredging and moorings in Sterling Harbor.

Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said roughly 30 percent of the moorings are removed annually by Richard Albanese and other village employees. There are currently no plans to dredge the inside of the basin, he said. 

The dredging work will be paid for by Safe Harbor, which owns Brewer’s Yacht Basin and Stirling Harbor Marina, two of the largest marinas in Greenport, both located in Stirling Basin.

Mr. Berson then said: “Since I have gone into Stirling Harbor over 21 years about 30,000 times, I’m very intimate with that entrance and exit there … does the person or owner of that company plan to bulkhead or put any boats on that outside bulkhead which will diminish the effect of any kind of dredging at all?” 

Mr. Hubbard said at a previous public hearing on the wetlands permit, Mr. Pawlowski said he has “no intention of placing boats on the outside bulkhead.”

However, Conservation Advisory Council member John Saladino referenced an ad in The Suffolk Times this week, which advertises 109 feet of bulkhead available for rent. Although the CAC already made a recommendation for the permit, he asked the board to edit the provision by prohibiting the rental of dock space along that bulkhead. 

After the meeting, Mr. Hubbard said if a boat were docked in that location, another vessel could have difficulty entering the basin.

“Some new information has come to light and I think we might have to reconsider this,” Trustee Julia Robins said. “The property could turn over to any owner at any time, then we’re dealing with another person, and we can’t necessarily accept the word of somebody to do something that will have, I think, an environmental impact on the area.”

In November, the board approved a wetlands permit application for the property that did not include the bulkhead. At its Dec. 26 regular meeting, the Village Board approved a separate Wetlands Permit for the property that would alter the bulkhead within the basin. 

Village attorney Joe Prokop advised the board to approve the resolution with the additional stipulation requested by Mr. Saladino. 

The resolution was amended and approved unanimously. 

Correction: Safe Harbor owns Brewer’s Yacht Basin, not Greenport Yacht Yard.