Stony Point Planning Board Moves Waterfront Public Hearing to Zoom

By Kathy Kahn

 

Ongoing CoVid-19 concerns has moved Stony Point Planning Board’s October 22 public hearing on Monsey developer Eli Hershkowitz’s waterfront property back to Zoom.

During its own meeting on Tuesday night, October 13, Supervisor Jim Monaghan announced the decision to forego holding the upcoming public hearing on the Eagle Bay in the RHO building’s larger Senior Room to accommodate the public.

Planning Board Chair Tom Gubitosa agreed, citing concerns over CoV-19 mandates and his personal concern for members of the Board as well. He told The Rockland County Times he is working to arrange for the Zoom meeting to be held in public and allow a limited number of people and members of the press to attend in person. “It’s very difficult to show maps and renderings on Zoom,” said Gubitosa. “So, I hope we’ll be able to Zoom the meeting and do it at the RHO building so we can accommodate those who want to attend in person.”

Stony Point’s Town Board has resumed its own meetings at the RHO building in person and held a separate public hearing Eagle Bay’s request to lower the waterfront flood plain elevation from its current ten-foot requirement at its meeting  Tuesday night.

Concerns over any development on its waterfront have been highlighted since Superstorm Sandy swamped Stony Point’s coastline in 2012, wreaking havoc on homes in the Ba Mar waterfront community.

After that devastating hurricane, Stony Point upped the floodplain height requirements to a minimum of ten feet for any proposed development on its waterfront. (Simply put, the first floor of any living quarters built in the flood plain zone must be a minimum of ten feet off the ground.) Kevin Maher, the former Town Engineer, advised the Town during the meeting that the current ten-foot flood plain should be adhered to protect life and property.

The move to Zoom was welcomed by George Potanovic, President of Stony Point Action Committee (SPACE), who asked if the renderings used during the upcoming Planning Board public hearing could also be shown during that Zoom as well. Maher said it would be problematic to show maps and other large documents via Zoom and shared Gubitosa’s hopes that Zooming the meeting from the RHO building will be feasible.

The Town Board left its own Public Hearing on the request to lower the flood plain on the Eagle Bay project to its next meeting on Tuesday, October 27 at the RHO Building. That will give the Town Board time to see how the Planning Board handles the FEIS at its own public hearing.