05/28/14 3:00pm
05/28/2014 3:00 PM
Widows Hole Oyster Company owner Mike Osinski pleads with the board to let his application more forward. (Cyndi Murray photo)

Widows Hole Oyster Company owner Mike Osinski pleads with the board to let his application more forward. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Residents packed the Third Street Fire Station Tuesday night to protest the board’s decision to hold another public hearing on a matter trustees already voted on last year that would allow a 140-foot dock built in Greenport Harbor. (more…)

12/26/13 3:00pm
12/26/2013 3:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | The Greenport Village board held its last meeting of the year Monday.

The Greenport Village Board has unanimously approved a local oyster farmer’s wetlands permit that allows the business to build a new dock for storage equipment.

Widow’s Hole Oyster Company owner Michael Osinski is now allowed to build a 140-foot dock in Greenport Harbor near the bay side of his property on Flint Street, just south of the North Ferry, to store some of his equipment.

Prior to the vote, Trustee Julia Robins expressed concern about the oyster farm’s expansion plan because the business is located in a residential neighborhood. During a recent public hearing on Mr. Osinski’s request, some neighbors said that although they supported the idea of more oyster farmers in Greenport, they took issue with the business expanding closer to their properties.

Deputy Mayor George Hubbard said Mr. Osinski’s intentions of moving his company’s primary operation to the dock in the bay was “clear in the application.”

“The diagram shows that is where everything is going,” he said.

The Village Board then agreed to amend the permit, clarifying that the oyster farm will be “limited to those activities already permitted by the Village of Greenport and that any alteration of the permit via the Army Corp of Engineers the Village Board would be allowed to further review the permit.”

“It means that what you were already permitted to do, you can keep doing,” Mayor David Nyce said to Mr. Osinski after the vote.

PET WASTE LAW PUBLIC HEARING SET

The Village Board is looking into the feasibility of creating new pet waste regulations.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said before Monday night’s meeting that the code committee is in the process of drafting the law aimed at reducing nitrogen loading and meeting MS4 water quality standards. The legislation would require pet owners to curb their animals on village-owned properties.

“This is just part of the process that we would eventually have to do anyway, so we’re dealing with it ahead of time,” Ms. Phillips said.

The Village Board has scheduled a Jan. 27 public hearing to discuss the proposed law.

In June 2012, Southold Town adopted its own pet waste law, which included all animals considered as domestic pets, such as dogs, cats, horses, swine, donkeys and goats. Under the town’s law, violators face a fine of up to $250 for each offense.

VILLAGE DEFINES ‘FAMILY’

The Greenport Village Board has approved a zoning code amendment that defines “family.”

The amendment matches the definition of family listed in the village’s recently approved rental law, which states a family is comprised of “one or more persons occupying a dwelling unit as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit. More than five persons, exclusive of domestic servants, not related by blood, marriage or adoption do not constitute a family.”

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11/26/13 4:00pm
11/26/2013 4:00 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Michael Osinski, owner of Widow's Hole Oyster Company, responds to shouts from the crowd during a public hearing at the Greenport Village board meeting Monday night.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Michael Osinski, owner of Widow’s Hole Oyster Company, responds to shouts from the crowd during a public hearing at the Greenport Village board meeting Monday night.

A request by a Greenport oyster farm to move some of its operations to a different area of its property drew fire from neighbors during a nearly hour-long public hearing Monday night.

Those living closest to the farm said the business is ruining their quality of life with loud noises that violate zoning rules.

“The quiet and pristine tranquility of the creek feels shattered,” said Jenny Feder, who lives directly across from the Widow’s Hole Oyster Company on Fourth Street. “The whole business is way over the line, which they will continue to push unless we start to push back.”

Widow’s Hole Oyster Company owner Michael Osinski had filed a wetlands permit application to move some of his equipment to the bay side of his property on Flint Street, just south of the North Ferry.

He told Greenport Village Board members at their Monday night meeting that the application was designed to allow his business to expand while also moving the loudest equipment away from his neighbors.

“We don’t save a lot of money, but our entire intent here is to remove any annoyance that we’re causing to our neighbors,” Mr. Osinski said.

He added the family has spent three years trying to obtain the necessary permits.

“This has been an expensive venture,” he said. “We’ve already spent between $60,000 and $70,000 at this point.”

But while neighbors said they supported the idea of more oyster farmers in Greenport, they took issue with a part of the permit that they said appeared to show an expansion of the dock closest to their homes.

“The oyster industry is something that is near and dear to most people who grow up in Greenport … but I will [say], ‘Not in my backyard,’ “ said William Mills III, who lives directly behind the farm.

Mr. Osinksi, a former Greenport Village trustee, said the plans don’t expand the docks but offered to scrap that part of the application to appease his neighbors and smooth out the process.