Greenport officials have adopted a temporary moratorium on all development approvals...

Greenport officials have adopted a temporary moratorium on all development approvals and building permits within the village. Credit: Newsday/William Perlman

Greenport has adopted an administrative moratorium that places a temporary halt on development approvals and building permits within the village until officials vote later this month on potentially expanding the building freeze to six months. 

The village’s board of trustees voted 5-0 at a special meeting on Friday on a resolution to set a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Dec. 22 on expanding the freeze. As part of the resolution, the village also put in place a temporary freeze on all development applications in the village’s waterfront commercial, retail commercial and general commercial zoning districts until the Dec. 22 meeting, when the board is expected to vote on extending the moratorium to six months. The Friday meeting was held at the Third Street Fire Station. 

As part of the process, Greenport Village Mayor George Hubbard will appoint a seven-member Waterfront Advisory and Planning Committee, which will review and recommend changes in the village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program — a document that gives Greenport a framework to address village waterfront issues and how to pursue and complete planned waterfront improvement projects. The document has not been updated since 1996.

“We can’t get a regular consensus from regular board members on exactly what we want, so we’re trying to include stakeholders to get public comment on the whole thing,” Hubbard told Newsday on Monday.

Residents have pushed for a moratorium out of concerns that overdevelopment has been occurring in recent years along the village’s waterfront where developers have applied to build several hotels and condominiums.

The administrative moratorium will start the process of finalizing the six-month moratorium, as well as starting an environmental assessment required by the state Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA, according to village officials. The village will also have to send the resolution to the Suffolk County Planning Department before voting on the moratorium.

Most of the residents at the Friday meeting spoke in favor of the moratorium, including Stacey Tesseyman, who has lived in the village since 1995.

“Right now, we have some really interested, very smart people wanting to dive deep into this issue, and I think we should take the opportunity to let them work,” Tesseyman said.

Village trustee Mary Bess Phillips told Newsday she feels the community has made their opinions clear supporting a moratorium.

“They’re looking towards the future for future residents to protect the waterfront and the business district,” Phillips said.