A vacant house in Port Washington that has been boarded up for decades will be razed and replaced by a parking lot intended to ease the area's parking crunch, under a nearly $1 million land deal.
The North Hempstead Town Board, in a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, approved the plan calling for the Port Washington Public Parking District to buy properties at 5 Main St., 1070 Port Washington Blvd. and 6 Ohio Ave. for $898,000. The district would then construct parking spaces, likely reserved for the area's merchants and employees; bike racks and landscaping.
The district would receive a $15,000 credit from the owner for the $30,000 cost of demolishing the house, which has been vacant for more than 60 years.
The plan was first put into place last year when the owners of the properties and the district, controlled by the town board, entered into a yearlong lease with an option to buy.
But Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who represents the area, urged the board to delay purchasing the property to give her time to fine-tune her own plan to create 30 merchant parking spaces in existing town parking lots.
"There will be a significant impact to the Port Washington parking district as a result of that bonding," said De Giorgio, adding that the town's plan was created before she took office. "We're not in the same place we were in December 2011."
De Giorgio noted the action would remove the $56,000 in annual taxes from the sites.
But town Supervisor Jon Kaiman disagreed, arguing that the district impact would be minimal.
"We are certainly making commitments to the community to try and do this in a way that doesn't have a negative impact on their neighborhood, but to keep things in abeyance doesn't lead us anywhere," Kaiman said.
De Giorgio was joined by Councilman Angelo Ferrara in voting against the purchase.
Roy Smitheimer, executive director of the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District, said he was pleased by the town board's action and hoped both plans would succeed. "My hope is that this will all even out between her plan and the one that the town board ultimately supported and moved forward."