The proposed “mega docks” might be harmful to the ecosystem.

The proposed mega docks might be harmful to the ecosystem

Two Nissequogue Village homeowners’ plans to construct docks more than 100 feet into Stony Brook Harbor have stirred up the tranquil waterfront neighborhoods of Nissequogue Village and Head of the Harbor.Beverly Sinkin plans to construct a 180-foot structure on her Spring Hollow Road property, including permanent stairs and a pier with a seasonal ramp and floats, according to Village Hall applications. Andrew Georgakopoulos would build a similar structure on Swan Place, about 136 feet from his boathouse to a harbor site with sufficient depth to moor a 19-foot Carolina skiff.

The structures have been called “giant docks” by locals who believe they would destroy the ecosystem and view of one of the most beautiful little bays on the North Shore.The Nissequogue Planning Board has not yet decided on Sinkin’s proposal, which is now being reviewed by state environmental inspectors.The motion by Georgakopoulos might be voted on in September, but the procedure is complicated. The Joint Village Coastal Management Commission, a waterfront body comprising of both villages’ residents, has already decided that the projects are incompatible with the towns’ water revitalization program.

Brookhaven owns a smaller portion of the land around the harbor than the other municipalities including Smithtown. Despite having average depths of just a few feet, throughout the nineteenth century it was home to shipyards. Then followed huge houses and dozens of other million-dollar homes. At the north end of the harbor, where it meets Long Island Sound, the principal commercial developments consist of a golf club and three marinas. Suffolk County 2020 images depict eight private docks.

The new docks would be among the biggest built in the region since the 1970s, according to Leighton Coleman, historian for both villages. Everyone who moved into the region did so because of its natural beauty. All of this structure… functions like plaque in your arteries.” In a public letter, he warned that “giant docks” may attract yachts and “jetskis.”

Attorneys and an environmental consultant for both applications refused to comment, but said during April’s planning hearings that their clients would float small motorized vehicles and kayaks.According to the Sinkins’ attorney, John Armentano, their riverside property came with the right to utilize the water. He argued that the length of the dock was necessary to attain “navigable depth” and that anything shorter would be ineffective since the water along the shore is too shallow.

In an April findings letter, Commission chairwoman Kaylee Engellenner said that the planned Sinkin dock, which would be constructed on top of intertidal wetlands, might irreparably harm a sensitive ecosystem.In a second letter, she claimed that the Georgakopoulos dock would impede beach walkers and harbor vessels. She said that it would impair the view from Smithtown’s Cordwood Park, which gives access to the ocean for fishermen and picnickers without beachfront homes.

During the hearings, environmental consultant Kelly Risotto argued that any impact from the docks would be temporary and that their design would reduce shadow on the ecosystem below. She minimized navigational problems by asserting that the Georgakopoulos pier occupied just “7%” of the port’s canal.

Lisa Blake, a member of the commission who lives in Head of the Harbor near Cordwood Park, has recused herself from the Georgakopoulos plan and is organizing a petition against the construction of additional docks. Richard Smith, the mayor of Nissequogue, who claimed he was not acting in his official capacity, suggested that the applicants moor their boats at a marina.

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September 26, 2022, 9:17 am

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