Thursday, July 28, 2016

News About Greenport Gardens

Gossips did not follow the review process for Greenport Gardens, the controversial Mental Health Association housing project to be constructed on Joslen Boulevard at Green Acres Road, but since I was the only member of the press present at Tuesday night's Greenport Planning Board meeting, it falls to me to report what transpired at that meeting relevant to this project.

Christa Construction
The project was conditionally approved by the Planning Board on January 26, 2016. The conditional approval was for six months, during which time the project, because it would house people with mental disabilities, had to be reviewed by the New York State Dormitory Authority (DASNY). During that review process, changes were requested which, on the final day of the six-month period, were being presented to the Greenport Planning Board. The most significant change seemed to be eliminating the basement, making it necessary for all the mechanicals and planned storage space for tenants to go elsewhere. Eleven air conditioning units would go on the roof, and an additional 1,100 square feet for storage would be added to the project. In addition, there would be a 6,000 square foot reduction in patio space.

The Planning Board had to decide if the changes were significant enough to require a new application and a new review, or if they were insignificant, and the Planning Board could grant final approval. Virginia Benedict, legal counsel to the Planning Board, explained there was one other option: the applicant could ask the board to extend the six-month period and agree to a permissive public hearing. The applicant was unwilling to do this.

There was concern about noise from the rooftop air conditioning units, but it was determined that ambient noise levels would be within what was permitted by the Town of Greenport's noise ordinance. There was consternation that the applicant had waited until the last minute to present the changes in the site plan to the Planning Board. There was unease, given the contentiousness provoked by the project, that the public could not be informed of the changes before the Planning Board approved them. In the end, however, the board voted four to one that the changes did not require a new application and a new review, and the project was approved as amended.


  1. That's one grim faux-Elizabethan ungapatsch mess.

  2. Why are they removing the basement? Is there a water concern on that land, or do they fear an unknown water concern, like the 900 Columbia Street MHA fiasco where the basement is regularly pumped out and there has been talk of mold in the basement. That project is not completed since ground break May 2013.Take a ride up there and see mess they left for their neighbors to enjoy!

    1. Greenport Goddess, eliminating the basement and building on a slab was requested by the Dormitory Authority (DANYS). The reason was not made clear at the Planning Board meeting, but I expect DANYS would have been involved with the new construction at 900 Columbia Street, so there could be a connection.

      There was a letter presented to the Greenport Planning Board from Hirschberg & Hirschberg (architects? lawyers?) apparently outlining the changes to the original design being requested. That letter may provide some insight into why the basements were eliminated. Ed Stiffler made certain that the letter was part of the minutes from the July 27 Planning Board meeting and that it would be available to residents at Town Hall.

  3. Thank you. I am interested in reading that letter. I am certain there will be no reason for the changes in it. I find it astounding that with all the problems caused to the 900 neighborhood by an MHA facility, they are preparing for another. Their funders should make them finish one project before starting another. A government funded not for's a shame