Nissequogue planning board postpones private dock decision

Nissequogue planning board postpones private dock decision

The Village of Nissequogue Planning Board put off a decision about a private dock in the village until Oct. 3. Photo by Rita J. Egan

The Village of Nissequogue Planning Board announced on the village’s website Tuesday that it would be adjourning an application for a private dock at Swan Place in Nissequogue scheduled for Sept. 6 until its Oct. 3 meeting at 7 p.m.

The proposed dock would be adjacent to the Town of Smithtown’s Cordwood Park, which is located in Head of the Harbor. The application has received criticism from neighbors and environmentalists, including state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and John Turner, conservation chair of Four Harbors Audubon Society.

At an Aug. 27 rally at the park, organized by Head of the Harbor resident Lisa Davidson, local residents voiced concerns over the possible construction of the 186-foot dock and the potential of another 200-foot dock a few houses away in the future. The footage includes a combination of permanent and floating docks. Because the harbor is shallow, the dock must meet New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements that it stands in 3 1/2 feet of water even at low tide, hence the lengths of the proposed docks.

Protesters and speakers, including Englebright and Turner, cited among their concerns the 186-foot dock spoiling the view of Stony Brook Harbor and restricting access to those walking along the beach or using their canoes and kayaks in the water. Many also feel it may encourage other homeowners to build similar private docks, leading to harbor pollution due to more or large boats.

Davidson, a member of the Joint Village Coastal Management Commission, a waterfront board of the villages of Head of the Harbor and Nissequogue, recused herself from the commission on the matter of private docks. The commission recently concluded that the Swan Place dock is inconsistent with Nissequogue’s waterfront revitalization program.

At a June 6 Nissequogue planning board meeting, George Jacob Turner, an attorney for the dock applicants Andrew and Maria Georgakopoulos, represented them along with a Land Use Ecological Services representative, according to the board’s minutes. During the meeting, representatives stated the proposed dock’s use “is in character due to other docks.” The trustees responded that existing docks were preexisting to the current requirements. The board members also questioned if public access would be impacted due to the applicants indicating “that the only public access will be by going under the dock.”