Greenport on NY’s North Fork Looks to Suspend All Development

21 Stirling Cove (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, Getty)

21 Stirling Cove (Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, Getty)

A North Fork village popular with tourists and weekenders is considering hitting pause on all development.

Trustees of Greenport passed a resolution last week calling for a public hearing on a potential development moratorium, the Suffolk Times reported. The hearing, opposed by Mayor George Hubbard Jr., will give members of the community a chance to weigh in on the topic.

After a resident requested a halt on development, a trustee made a motion to enact an immediate moratorium for six months.

That wouldn’t have been possible, as such a move would require several steps. Greenport would have to propose a local law and hold a public hearing on it. The law would then need to be filed with the state before it could take effect.

A hearing, however, could build momentum for a moratorium, which presumably is why the mayor opposed it.

Greenport has become increasingly trendy in recent years, drawing investors to fix up hotels and restaurants within and just outside the walkable village. One developer even built an ambitious condominium project on the harbor, dubbing it Stirling Cove. Numerous historic homes have been fixed up by new buyers, and one architect built an award-winning passive house.

It’s not clear how a moratorium would affect pending projects, such as Paul Pawlowski’s four-building proposal for 40 affordable housing units, 12 offices and 120 parking spaces.

In September, the local planning board ruled his proposal needed further review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act. Residents’ concerns about the project included aesthetics, traffic, noise and even archaeology.

The project has faced resistance at each step, but Pawlowski has maintained a steadfast belief in the need for development. The local housing market has become increasingly tight, and the lack of affordable dwellings has made it difficult for businesses to hire staff.

Greenport is not the only place on the North Fork eyeing a potential development moratorium. The Town of Riverhead is considering an 18-month moratorium on industrial real estate development in Calverton. The hamlet also recently extended a 12-month moratorium on solar projects a second year.

— Holden Walter-Warner

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