A view of Front Street in Greenport as seen on Aug....

A view of Front Street in Greenport as seen on Aug. 2011. The village is mulling changes to its zoning code that would impact businesses in the downtown area. Credit: Randee Daddona

Greenport Village Mayor Kevin Stuessi revised parts of a zoning proposal that would set new rules for parking and entertainment in the village — the final pieces before a likely board vote on Oct. 10. 

The modifications relating to parking fees and rebuilding within the waterfront commercial district were announced at the village meeting Thursday, where the board again extended a public hearing on the changes for a fifth time.

Officials have been working since January to revamp the code in an effort to ease friction between residents and businesses as the growing tourism industry has prompted noise complaints at night.

A development moratorium has been in place since December and officials say it will be lifted once the changes are approved.

The proposal would bar new hotels, bars and restaurants in the waterfront commercial district.

The first modification was made, Stuessi said, after restaurant owners within the waterfront commercial district raised concerns they would not be able rebuild in the event of a calamity such as a fire, hurricane or flood. The revised code would provide a restaurant six months to file a building permit to rebuild, and then to start construction “in true due diligence” within six months of obtaining the permit, he said. There are currently no hotels in the district.

The second revision relates to proposed tougher parking laws that would apply to new, large developments. Officials had said projects that can’t provide enough parking could be required to make a payment in lieu of parking, set at either $25,000 or $50,000 per space, depending on how many are required.

Stuessi said Thursday they’re looking to allow a business to request a parking study that would be specific to the proposed project.

The study would be reviewed as part of the planning department application, he said.

Matthew Michel, who has a pending plan to relocate his restaurant, 1943 Pizza Bar, and add retail and a residential component to 400 Main St., said at Thursday’s hearing he feels like he’s being “targeted” since he's proposed a larger project than what the village proposal would allow. The building he purchased in 2018 had previously been a pizzeria. 

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said the changes are not targeting anyone, adding they would allow “more opportunity for discussion and ideas at the planning board stage.”

Stuessi said he expects the board will vote at the Oct. 10 special meeting. 

Separately, the village board approved a resolution Thursday allowing the East End Seaport Museum to reschedule the Maritime Festival, which was scheduled for Sept. 23-24 but canceled due to inclement weather.

The festival will be held Oct. 21-22.

Members of the Greenport Business Improvement District expressed concerns about rescheduling the event, citing added costs for businesses in the event of poor weather again, as well as lack of communication from the museum.

Trustee Julia Robins called it a “rushed decision” but voted in favor of granting the museum a public assembly permit.

Paul Kreiling, chair of the museum board, apologized for the apparent lack of communication and said the upcoming festival would be smaller than normal.

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