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Bayville waterfront inn proposal’s size divides community

The proposed Waters Edge inn in Bayville envisions

The proposed Waters Edge inn in Bayville envisions a four-floor, 14,273-square-foot, 23-room hotel with a restaurant and bar overlooking the Long Island Sound. Credit: Gregory Andrea A.I.A. Architect

Developers of a proposed seaside inn in Bayville said they hope to reschedule a public hearing for this month or June after it was postponed in March.

The Waters Edge project envisions a four-floor, 14,273-square-foot, 23-room hotel with a restaurant and bar overlooking the Long Island Sound in the North Shore village in Oyster Bay Town. The development would include on-site parking and additional parking across Bayville Avenue.

Before it can be built, the project needs to have zoning variances approved, according to the plans filed at Village Hall, as well as Nassau County approvals, Bayville Mayor Paul Rupp said.

“We are trying to build something that everybody could be proud of,” said Gregory Andrea, the Locust Valley architect who is designing the project. “We’re also trying to build something that could have financial viability.”

The now vacant property is owned by Leonard Gross of Oyster Bay Cove, who has an agreement to sell the site to Euroamerican Funding Group LLC — if it receives all the approvals needed to allow any construction, Andrea said. Public records show Euroamerican is registered to the Westchester address of Manhattan lawyer William B. Wachtel, who also signed financial documents filed with the county on the company’s behalf. Wachtel did not respond to queries this week.

Rupp, who supports the project, said developing the property would boost village tax rolls and help its finances. Audited financial statements show that from 2012 to 2016, the village’s revenue growth outpaced spending growth.

“Bayville needs a change and needs a face-lift, and it would definitely be a financial incentive for the village because it would increase the tax revenue,” Rupp said.

But Village Trustee Michele Principe said the inn’s size would be out of character for Bayville. The village’s zoning code restricts buildings to two and half floors for residential structures and two stories for commercial properties.

“The building is too big, not what we want in Bayville,” Principe said. “It’s going to bring in a lot of traffic into a small-volume town — we only have two lanes.” She said she was also concerned about its septic system’s impact on the environment.

Andrea said the project’s sanitary systems was being designed and engineered to meet village and county codes.

Rena Bologna, 67, a retired assistant schools superintendent and president of the group Save Bayville Now, said she believes the project is a Trojan Horse to put in condos.

“My biggest concern is that when it doesn’t work . . . then we’re going to be stuck with another monstrosity and then they can go to court and claim a hardship case and get multiple dwellings in there,” Bologna said.

Andrew said the building is being designed as an inn and “as of today there is no plan” to convert it to condos.

Bayville Chamber of Commerce president Vincent Moscato said the project would help local businesses.

“You’ll have a place for people to come and stay here when they have weddings,” Moscato said. “Because we have two catering halls and there’s no place for any families to stay.”

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