06/25/13 2:00pm
06/25/2013 2:00 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Fire Fighter is moving to the railroad dock.

Despite objections from residents and two board members, the decommissioned New York City fireboat Fire Fighter is moving from Mitchell Park Marina to the railroad dock.

During its regular meeting Monday, Greenport Village Board members approved the mooring of the historic boat at the Suffolk County owned dock, which Village law reserves for commercial fisherman.

The motion passed by a 3-2 margin with Trustees David Murray and Mary Bess Phillips in opposition.

The contract between the village and the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum to dock the vessel at Mitchell Park Marina expired earlier this month. Since its arrival in Greenport in February, the plan has been to ultimately move Fire Fighter to a permanent berth at the railroad dock near the East End Seaport Museum.

The relocation of the 134-foot ship, now a nonprofit floating museum, is pending a determination by Suffolk County on whether it can dock at the railroad pier. The county leases the railroad dock to the village for a token fee of $1 per year, according to Mayor David Nyce. In exchange, Greenport maintains the dock. The county, however, is the final authority on who can use the dock — which is intended exclusively for commercial fishermen — and it has the right to refuse any sublease agreement the village enters into regarding the railroad dock, the mayor said.

Greenport resident John Saladino disagreed with the mayor’s statements on the lease.

“No where in the lease agreement with the County is it required for the village to get County approval for a vessel to dock at the railroad dock,” he said in a statement after the meeting.” The first page of the lease clearly disputes Mr. Nyce’s contention the dock is to be used exclusively for commercial fishing boats.”

Housing Fire Fighter at the railroad dock has drawn outrage from fisherman who said the move conflicts with the Village’s law to support and maintain a working waterfront. Many have called the overall condition of the boat into questioning.

“I want to state up front that I am in support of any village project that offers residents something new and unique that attracts visitors from outside the village,” said Stephen Clarke, owner and operator of the Greenport Yacht & Shipbuilding Company. “I want to draw the board’s attention to things that might have been overlooked. It is not an inspected boat. The most routine maintenance has not been done on this boat in more than 10 years.”

After a previous meeting, Mayor Nyce said though the boat had not been hauled out, it was inspected last fall.

Although the now-expired contract had protected the village previously, the resolution passed on the condition that a $1 million insurance policy is taken out by its owner to protect the village from liability.

Board permits alcohol consumption on public property 

Board members Monday approved a permit allowing The Long Island Power Squadron to serve alcohol on public property at Mitchell Park Marina for an event running from July 25 through July 28 at Mitchell Park Marina.

Board members are currently reworking the regulation to formally allow the consumption of alcohol on public property during all special events, according to Mr. Nyce. If passed the amendment to the Mass Public Assembly Permit would authorize private organizations to serve alcohol at Mitchell Park.

The intent is to allow guests of the marina to use the park as a reception area, the mayor said.  The amendment would still prohibit the sale of alcohol and would restrict the events to an enclosed area, he said.

All of the events are subject to the approval of the Village Board regardless of its passage.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Sterling Street parking ban passes.

Sterling Street parking ban passes

Motorists looking to park on the waterfront side of Sterling Street will have to find an alternative spot.

Residents remained split on the issue for months, but board members ultimately decided the additional parking was a source of safety concerns and adopted the law prohibiting parking on a portion of the eastern side of Sterling Street.

The ban stretches about 50 feet and eliminates two to three parking spaces.

Mayor to Mexico

Mayor Nyce is headed to Mexico.

Board members approved a resolution permitting Mayor Nyce to attend the Hagedorn Foundation and Witness for Peace program in Mexico City, Mexico from July 13 through July 21.

The Port Washington-based Hagedorn Foundation supports social equality and champions immigration reform; while Witness for Peace works towards peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies, according to its website.

Mr. Nyce was said he was invited to represent Greenport because of the village’s diverse Latino population.

“The idea is to tie the history of immigration here to what’s currently going on in regards to [nationwide immigration],” he said.

The Witness for Peace program will compensate the majority of the travel costs, Mr. Nyce said.

The village will provide $200 for the mayor’s transportation to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport in Brooklyn.

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06/18/13 8:00am
06/18/2013 8:00 AM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | The proposed Clark’s beach energy park was discussed at the Greenport Village board work session Monday.

Greenport Mayor David Nyce continued his push to construct an eco-friendly energy park at Clark’s Beach during a Village Board work session Monday evening, requesting the village board’s approval to apply for the project’s first preliminary planning grant from the Regional Economic Development Council.

The grant would fund a study to measure the feasibility of building the proposed solar and wind-generating system on 8.7-acres of village-owned property on the Long Island Sound.

The plan calls for combining wind turbines and solar arrays, generating two to four megawatts of electrical power, which the mayor says could make the village energy independent and stabilize residents’ electric bills.

Mr. Nyce first presented plans of the eco-friendly energy park in March and has since been rallying public support for the idea.

Grant applications are due by August 17.

Board considers alcohol consumption on public property 

Board members are set to vote on a regulation that formally would allow the consumption of alcohol on public property during special events. The resolution is an amendment to the Mass Public Assembly Permit that would authorize private organizations to serve alcohol at Mitchell Park.

The intent is to allow guests of the marina to use the park as a reception area, the mayor said.  The amendment would still prohibit the sale of alcohol and would restrict the events to an enclosed area, he said.

All of the events are subject to approval of the village board regardless of its passage.

Public hearing set to regulate rentals 

Village board members have set a public hearing on a potential law that would set rental regulations for residential properties.

The proposal aims at eliminating illegal apartments within residential homes, which the board believes encourages the deterioration of the Village’s housing stock – leading to blight, excessive traffic, parking problems, an overburden on municipal services and general public health and safety concerns.

The law would establish minimum quality standards for habitation, including partitioned bedrooms and separate entrances, kitchens, electric meters and cable lines.

Homeowners that wish to lease space in their homes would be required to obtain a rental permit. A five-member board appointed by the mayor and approved by the Board of Trustees will review the application.

Those found in violation could face fines of up to $5,000 or imprisonment.

The hearing is scheduled during the board’s next regular meeting on June 24 at 6 p.m. at the Third Street fire station.

Board members to vote on Sterling Street parking ban 

Parking may soon be prohibited on a portion of Sterling Street’s eastern side.

The ban would stretch only about 50 feet on the waterfront side of Sterling Street and would eliminate two to three parking spaces.

Village administrator Dave Abatelli believes cars parked along the waterfront where the road curves have caused unsafe conditions for southbound travelers.

Opponents argue that a parking restriction would make it more difficult for them to access their boats docked in local marinas.

Board members are also set to vote on an amendment to local law during the June 24 meeting.

Stricter requirements for Hollywood filming? 

Greenport has become a hot spot for Hollywood filming in recent years, prompting board members to lay the groundwork on new regulations.

The board is looking to require stricter rules to govern filming to help mitigate traffic and parking concerns, while still enticing Hollywood to bring its projects to Greenport. Members agreed to work with the village code committee to establish the regulations.

“If we don’t encourage it in a controlled way, residents might start to get upset,” Mr. Nyce said.

The proposal comes on the heels of the filming of HBO’s hit series ‘Girls’ in the village.

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05/25/13 5:00pm
05/25/2013 5:00 PM

Sterling Street Greenport Village

Greenport Village Board members could vote as soon as next month on a proposed parking ban on Sterling Street, according to Mayor David Nyce.

While the proposal has drawn a considerable amount of comment in the past, a discussion on issue came and went without a peep from officials or the public during Tuesday’s Village Board work session.

If approved, the law would prohibit motorists from parking on the waterfront side of Sterling Street, expanding a parking ban already in effect on the residential side of the street. That would eliminate just three more parking spaces, according to the board.

The change was suggested by village administrator Dave Abatelli, said Mr. Nyce. Mr. Abatelli believes cars parked along the waterfront where the road curves have caused unsafe conditions for southbound travelers.

During a public hearing on the issue last month village Trustee Dave Murray advised the board to wait to evaluate the traffic situation during the busy summer season.

Opponents of the ban argue that eliminating those parking spots would make it more difficult for them to access their boats docked at local marinas.

Another public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. at the Third Street fi re station.

Following that hearing the board could choose to vote on the ban during its next regular meeting in June, Mr. Nyce said.

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05/20/13 3:11pm
05/20/2013 3:11 PM
SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | Greenport Village officials will discuss a proposed Sterling Street parking ban at tonight's work session.

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | Greenport Village officials will discuss a proposed Sterling Street parking ban at tonight’s work session.

Greenport Village officials will discuss a proposed amendment to a local law that, if approved, would prohibit visitors from parking on the eastern side of Sterling Street at tonight’s work session, which be held in the Third Street firehouse at 6 p.m.

At the Village’s last public hearing, Village Trustee Dave Murray recommended the board wait to evaluate the traffic situation until after the busy summer season before voting to amend the local law.

“I’m unfamiliar with the issue,” Mr. Murray said. “I think we need to wait and take everything into consideration.”

Mayor David Nyce has said the proposal came from village administrator Dave Abatelli, who said cars parked along the waterfront where the road curves have caused unsafe conditions for southbound travelers.

If approved, the parking ban would stretch for 50 feet along the waterfront side of Sterling Street, eliminating three parking spaces. A parking ban has already been enacted on the residential side of the street.

At previous public hearings, residents have argued that the parking ban would make it more difficult for them to access their boats docked in local marinas.

The full agenda for tonight’s meeting is available below.

Greenport Village Board work session, May 20, 2013

04/22/13 10:00am
04/22/2013 10:00 AM

Visitors to Greenport Village could soon be prohibited from parking on a portion of Sterling Street’s eastern side if a proposed amendment to a local law is approved.

A public hearing on the amendment is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Third Street firehouse.

Mayor David Nyce said the proposal came from a recommendation by village administrator Dave Abatelli, who said cars parked along the waterfront where the road curves have caused unsafe conditions for southbound travelers.

“I ride my bicycle down there all the time,” the mayor said. “It is a dangerous spot.”

The parking ban would stretch only about 50 feet on the waterfront side of Sterling Street. A parking ban is already in effect on the residential side of the street. The proposed amendment would eliminate just three more parking spaces, village officials said at a public work session Monday evening.

At least three residents have already reached out to the village with letters regarding the amendment, officials said. The letter-writers argued that a parking restriction would make it more difficult for them to access their boats docked in local marinas.

Several residents showed up at the Village Board’s previous meeting to discuss the issue, only to learn the hearing had been pushed back due to a typo in a previously published legal announcement. The hearing was then re-advertised and scheduled for Monday.

Mr. Nyce said it’s important for residents and boaters to understand the law has not yet been approved, and the public hearing will give them a chance to share their opinions.

“[The ban] is not necessarily going to happen,” he said. “We’re just going through the process.”

CHECK BACK LATER FOR MORE ON TONIGHT’S MEETING

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