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Bayville board will discuss proposal to build seaside inn

Bayville Deputy Mayor Joe Russo is shown at

Bayville Deputy Mayor Joe Russo is shown at a village board meeting at Bayville Village Hall on July 14, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Thomas Ferrara

A proposal before the Bayville Village Board to allow seaside inns has some residents worried about overdevelopment and others touting the plan as a potential boost to the North Shore community’s struggling business district.

The measure would open the way for a Manhattan-based developer to construct a 23-room inn and restaurant on long-vacant waterfront property. Under the proposal, inns with as many as 30 rooms would be allowed.

Deputy Mayor Joe Russo said the inn would bring customers to the business district along Bayville and Ludlam avenues, where the vacancy rate is about 30 percent, and put tax revenue in village coffers.

But former Mayor Victoria Siegel said she fears the inn would beget further high-density development, increasing traffic and causing environmental problems.

“We’re not talking about just one area,” she said. “Quite frankly, you open up the possibility of having this type of development elsewhere in the community. When you do this, you change the character of the community.”

The proposal is the latest battle over development in Bayville. In June, the board approved allowing apartment buildings of up to four units in the business district, amid vocal opposition. Russo said concerns about large-scale development, including, eventually, condos, are unfounded. Current law doesn’t allow condos, and inns would, like the apartments, be limited to the business district, where few developable parcels exist, he said.

But Rena Bologna, president of Save Bayville Now, said the apartment and inn measures — which the group opposes — illustrate the board’s willingness to change laws to allow more development.

Craig Kirsch, managing partner of the property’s developer, Euroamerican Funding Group, LLC, said he has worked to assuage community concerns. He said he scrapped plans for a potentially lucrative rooftop bar and banquet hall and dropped the number of rooms from 26 to 23.

“Over the past year, we’ve worked very hard with the citizens of Bayville,” Kirsch said.

The building, if approved, would be 34 feet tall along Bayville Avenue and 44 feet tall on the side facing Long Island Sound, said building architect Greg Andrea.

The size of the building is similar to a proposal a previous board approved for a spa and banquet hall, Russo said. The inn would be the village’s first in more than a half century, he said.

Village officials on Saturday canceled a public hearing on the issue scheduled for Monday. No new date has been set.

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