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North Haven can regulate waterfront

The Village of North Haven has gotten the power to regulate boathouses, docks and moorings within 1,500 feet of its shoreline, something local officials have wanted to do for a decade, according to State Assemb. Fred W. Thiele Jr.

The village’s board of trustees had asked Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) to introduce legislation allowing it to regulate its waterfront. The legislation was signed this week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Until now, waterfront homeowners in the community had to meet only the requirements of the state Department of Environmental Conservation to build docks of any size. Village officials told Thiele they wanted to control the size of docks and other waterfront structures to maintain the village’s rural character.

The legislation was necessary because the village has no Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, a state requirement for other villages that have regulatory power over waterfront uses such as docks. Thiele noted that those other villages have harbors with significant commercial use, while the small village of North Haven — it occupies less than 3 square miles — is almost exclusively residential and does not have the financial resources to develop a revitalization plan.

The only commercial operation in North Haven is at the north end of State Route 114, where the South Ferry Co. operates a dock for the cars and trucks it carries across the water to Shelter Island.

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