Bayville’s mayor wants to stop a proposed seaside inn from being developed on the waterfront by repealing changes to the village zoning code enacted under the previous administration.
But the architect for the developer said they still have the right to build the four-floor, 14,273-square-foot, 23-room hotel with a restaurant and bar overlooking the Long Island Sound.
The village has scheduled a Nov. 26 public hearing to repeal the code. A divided village board, after a contentious hearing in 2016, enacted the changes that permit inns of from four to 30 rooms in the village's three business districts.
“We don't need a hotel,” Bayville Mayor Robert De Natale, who took office in July, said in an interview.
Gregory Andrea, the architect from Locust Valley designing the project, said the developers — Dobbs Ferry-based Ward Capital Management LLC, property owner Leonard Gross and Chappaqua-based Euroamerican Funding Group LLC — want to break ground as soon as possible. The project had been scheduled for a hearing before the village board last year to obtain permits, but the hearing was canceled because they needed to get approvals from Nassau County first, Andrea said, adding that the county process is nearly complete.
“We're 100 percent, full-bore, going ahead with the hotel,” Andrea said. Current work focuses on redesigning the entrance and pedestrian crossing at the request of Nassau County, he said.
Capital Management plans to invest $30 million to develop the new hotel and redevelop the nearby Tides Motor Inn. The two hotels on Bayville Avenue would operate as a single entity, Ward Capital Management chief executive D’Wayne Prieto said.
“It’s a beautiful location for an upscale hotel,” Prieto said. “We believe the area’s lacking places for families to come to enjoy the weekend.”
De Natale said his election in June on a campaign of opposition to the development of a seaside inn, condos and apartments demonstrated public sentiment against the project.
The new building’s size would be “totally overwhelming” and out of character for the village. “People moved here for a single-family community feeling,” he said. De Natale said he would like the land to be preserved.
“We could find better uses for that property,” De Natale said.
Former Mayor Paul Rupp said repealing the zoning code would be a mistake.
“You have to develop,” Rupp said. “Bayville is regressing. It's not moving forward. This will be a boon to the village. It would help the businesses out.”
Rupp said his administration had looked into buying the property but it would have meant borrowing as much as $6 million and unpopular tax hikes to pay off the debt.
Andrea said discussions with De Natale and other board members about the project have recently begun but they would still need to get a permit from the village to begin construction.
“We're not asking for anything that’s not in the codes and not permitted,” Andrea said. “There would be . . . no reason for them to disapprove anything.”