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St. Gabe’s dock application not yet ready for prime time

JULIE LANE PHOTO Developer Richard Hogan (left) discusses his concept for a community dock to serve homeowners who buy lots at the former St. Gabriel’s site. Looking over the conceptual proposal at Monday night’s Waterways Management Advisory Council are (from left) Marc Wein, Mike Anglin and Alfred Loreto.

JULIE LANE PHOTO Developer Richard Hogan (left) discusses his concept for a community dock to serve homeowners who buy lots at the former St. Gabriel’s site. Looking over the conceptual proposal at Monday night’s Waterways Management Advisory Council are (from left) Marc Wein, Mike Anglin and Alfred Loreto.

There’s no pending dock application yet, but developer Richard Hogan got some advice from the Waterways Management Advisory Council (WMAC) Monday night about what might hold water as he considers “a concept” for a community dock in Coecles Harbor.

His planned development for five houses on the shores of Coecles Harbor calls for a single community dock that remains his preference. But he has had inquiries from potential buyers of lots about their putting in their own docks.

What won’t work is for each lot owner to apply for a private dock, WMAC members said. A community dock serving at least three lot owners could be built beyond the 100-foot allowable length. Lots at the extreme right and left of the development might be allowed to have private docks, although they may have to be built to town code specifications.

Mr. Hogan owns a dock in the area that he would move to the development and expand to serve as a community dock with six finger piers.

A proposed boathouse is planned, Mr. Hogan said. The dock itself would need to have access to electricity and water, he added.

Because the community dock likely would be allowed to extend out further into Coecles Harbor, Mr. Hogan said he’s hoping that would be an incentive to lot owners to use it rather than seek their own shorter docks.

As for the rest of the development, while it’s not within the WMAC’s purview, Mr. Hogan said plans to have two tennis courts within the community would likely block individual lot purchasers from requesting their own.

As for the future of St. Gabriel’s Chapel, he said he’s giving those who have spoken about raising money to move it to another site time to do so.

Silver Beach Lagoon
Although long-desired dredging of the Silver Beach Lagoon has been completed, those who keep their boats there aren’t entirely happy with the look of pilings that have been placed.

They would prefer pilings that are less than 6-feet long and would like pilemates, which protect moorings, to be less visible than those that have been installed.

“It’s just horrendous,” said Stephen Koller of  Silver Beach.

Pointing out that the current views are without boats, WMAC chairman John Needham got agreement to delay any change in the pilings and pilemates until the boats are in the water.

They can always be cut back, Mr. Needham said.

The other issue was what gear to require of those using the lagoon. Crowley Marine is going to place the gear within the next couple of weeks, Mr. Needham said.

But the committee is recommending the use of anchors that are at least 135 pounds, but will allow a 100-pound minimum as long as it holds a boat in place.

The argument came from Ken Pysher, who said he could get a 100-pound unit for hundreds of dollars less than it would cost him to buy the Crowley-recommended gear.

The WMAC agreed to inform owners to purchase a “suitable” size for their boat with that 100-pound minimum requirement. The gear must be available within the next two weeks so that Crowley can handle the installation.

The WMAC is paying $1,500 for the installation, while boaters are responsible for providing the gear.

Eel grass
A plan being shopped by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to protect eel grass got a brief introduction from Councilman Jim Colligan, one of the Town Board’s liaisons to the WMAC.

He presented a single page outline for developing a plan to protect eel grass, saying there are questions to answer about funding for implementation.

Councilman Paul Shepherd, the other liaison to the WMAC, said the town would need expertise to understand what is needed locally to protect what he believes are small beds of eel grass. It’s likely a DEC official would be invited to speak with the WMAC.

Mr. Hogan told members that Cornell Cooperative Extension has information about eel grass and how it’s affected by water temperatures and other factors. He suggested the WMAC reach out to Cornell for advice on developing a town plan.

Dock application
It’s back to the drawing board for Michael McLean of 44-46 Tuthill Drive, who wants to move an existing dock to make it easier to access his boat with grandchildren in tow.

The WMAC had previously asked Mr. McLean for a hardship letter explaining the need. What they got was a letter explaining the expense of moving the dock, but that doesn’t qualify as a hardship. What the WMAC wants is a letter explaining why the applicant believes the existing nonconforming dock needs to be moved.

With one absent member, three agreed to give Mr. McLean another shot at the hardship letter. One voted “maybe” and two abstained — Mr. Needham because he is involved with the project and Mike Anglin, who has recently returned after a winter away from Shelter Island, saying he was not up on the issues surrounding the application.

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