Pictured Above: A portion of Front Street in Greenport that would be rezoned from Waterfront Commercial to Retail Commercial under the village’s proposed zoning changes.

The Village of Greenport will hold public hearings at its 6 p.m. meeting Aug. 17 on a broad series of changes to the village’s zoning code designed to reflect the way residents hope to see the village change in the years to come.

The proposed code changes include rezoning a portion of the Waterfront Commercial properties along Front and Main streets as Retail Commercial — these are properties that do not have access to the water, most of which are currently being used as retail shops.

Bars, restaurants and hotels would be removed as conditional uses in the Waterfront Commercial zoning district, and would become conditional uses in the Retail Commercial District. Existing business would be allowed to remain so long as no “substantial expansion” occurs.

The changes would also include the rezoning of the Widow’s Hole Preserve, a former waterfront Mobil oil storage terminal donated to the Peconic Land Trust in 2012, from a residential zoning district to a park district, and would remove a section of the code known as the “arts district,” which allowed artist galleries, studios and dwelling space by permit in certain downtown zoning districts. Few artists have applied for these permits since the section was adopted in 1998 in the hopes that artists would play a role in revitalizing the village, which faced decades of economic struggles before its recent boom as a tourist destination.

The changes also include an overhaul of numerous definitions in the village code, the most critical of which is the definition of ‘marine industry,’ which was designed to encourage future maritime uses that are in keeping with the village’s history as a shipbuilding and fishing port.

Deputy Mayor Mary Bess Phillips, who has been chairing the Code Updates Subcommittee of the village’s Waterfront Advisory Planning Committee, gave an overview of the proposed changes at the Village Board’s July 20 work session. Here’s our coverage.

The Code Updates subcommittee has been at work drafting the updates this summer while the village is in the midst of a six-month downtown building moratorium, which the Village Board hopes to lift when the code updates are adopted.

The Aug. 17 hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at the Third Street Firehouse, which is at 236 Third Street at the corner of Third and South streets. All are welcome to make public comments.

Here’s the text of the proposed changes to chapter 150 of the code, and here’s more info on the parcels that are expected to be rezoned. The village is preparing a map of the proposed changes, which we will add to this post when it becomes available.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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