Port Washington Moratorium

Jackeline Fernandes, Staff Writer

As one passes by the Town Dock, they may be able to catch a glimpse of Port Washington’s waterfront, which is widely known as a symbol of the town’s nautical heritage.
“Every time I pass by the Port Washington waterfront, I become more and more drawn to the image of these huge, white ships scattered across the water,” said sophomore Misha Petrov.
However, over the past few years, new building projects by the waterfront have gradually started to block Port Washington residents from enjoying the view that the town has to offer as a whole.
On Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Town of North Hempstead proposed a 180-day moratorium on development along the bay at a hearing at the Town Hall. The moratorium suppresses the approval of any building, special permits, or demolition by the waterfront. The area from Dolphin Green to the Town Dock between Main Street and Manhasset Bay is included in the stretch of waterfront covered by the moratorium.
While the moratorium prevents overdevelopment along the bay, it also protects the businesses by the waterfront. Some of these waterfront businesses include restaurants like Louie’s Oyster Bar & Grille, as well as other businesses like the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. Many believe that it is important to preserve these businesses and prohibit the rise of new ones in the waterfront district to maintain the “small town feel,” in addition to protecting the businesses that were there first.
“The moratorium is a good thing since it allows for the preservation of small businesses near the waterfront, and that is an issue in today’s economy,” said sophomore Denise Faria.
The moratorium is also effective in preserving easy public access to the waterfront for both residents and visitors. Many town residents believe that anyone making their way around town should be able to access and enjoy what the community has to offer, especially the waterfront, with little difficulty. They consider this location to be a go-to spot in town due to the scenic view of ships on a sea of blue and the thriving local businesses that surround it.
“Although I don’t live in Port, I do love passing by the Town Dock just to experience the captivating view of the water,” said Manhasset resident Cami Furlong, a sophomore at Manhasset High School. “I also enjoy dining at Louie’s with my family every now and then.”
Most Port Washington residents feel that the town’s waterfront is worth preserving since it is representative of the nautical heritage. It is believed among many that it is a priority to salvage this history, and that the moratorium is a step closer towards its preservation for many generations to come.
“Our nautical heritage is something that brings the town together and makes us unique,” said sophomore Holly Bricault. “It’s great that the moratorium is preserving the waterfront since it serves in truly defining who we are as a community, and it is our job to keep that going for as long as we can.”