Responding to concerns about incoming development, Greenport officials are considering a six-month moratorium that would halt all development approvals and building permits within the village.
The village’s Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting Friday at 7 p.m. at the Third Street Fire Station to discuss the issue. A moratorium would put on pause any applications for development in the village’s commercial retail and waterfront commercial zones. Some board members want to enact the restrictions next month, which some trustees oppose.
Mary Bess Phillips, a village trustee who support a moratorium, told Newsday the village has been considering it since June amid concerns from residents that too many hotels and condominiums have been applying in recent years for development along the village’s waterfront areas.
“They see a big change that could be coming that could change us forever, and a lot of them don’t want that,” Phillips said. “That’s not why they invested in their homes here.”
Greenport Mayor George Hubbard told Newsday that while he doesn’t want to see rampant overdevelopment in the village, he is concerned a moratorium would discourage new businesses in the future from investing in Greenport and be economically harmful.
“We still need to change our Chapter 150 zoning code, and I wanted to continue working on that before the moratorium,” Hubbard said. “I want people to still look at Greenport as a place to invest money and create jobs, and a moratorium scares people. I want people to come out here and see if they want to invest…but getting a consensus from the board on how to accomplish that has been a stumbling block.”
Residents at a village board meeting on Monday spoke mostly in favor of a moratorium. Some told the board a moratorium was necessary to update the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program — a land use plan that gives Greenport a framework to address village waterfront issues and how to pursue and complete planned waterfront improvement projects. The plan was last updated in 2014.
Kevin Stuessi, a village resident, presented the board with a petition with 200 signatures he collected in support of a moratorium.
“It’s people who are young, it’s people who are in between, it’s business people who are in support, as well,” Stuessi said. “It is a very wide spectrum who wants to hit pause on development in this community.”