By: Progress for Westhampton Beach
The March village board meeting began with a pleasant diversion from the regular business. Three long time residents of the village who were at, near or past the 100 year mark were given recognition for their contributions to our community. Jean Tocko, who turned 100 last August 31, John Comba, who turns 100 on March 18, and Rose Loos, who turned 100 on the day of the meeting, were in attendance and in fine fettle. To the surprise of all, members of the fire department came in dress uniform to make their own salute. The historical society was represented to briefly recount historic markers each had passed along the way to the one-hundred-year mark and to present bouquets of flowers. Each honoree received a proclamation and a key to the Village. The presentation concluded with members of the community singing Happy Birthday to Rose.
Whether it be Ponce De León searching for the fountain of youth; geneticists studying telomeres; or peddlers of yogurt selling fermented lactose; matters of longevity always seem to capture our imagination.
The meeting proceeded to regular Village business which included a brief public hearing on a change of zone, upon recommendation of the Planning Board, to move the business zone boundary on Montauk Highway ninety feet south to allow for the redevelopment of the old True Value store.
The Board of Trustees granted the special exception for the increase of commercial space within the long vacant 20,000 square foot bowling alley to permit one store with 10,000 square feet of space surrounded by smaller spaces for tenants fronting on Sunset Avenue and the north side of the building.
The Village attorney, through the course of the public hearing conducted over two meetings, and in a report to the trustees explained that the anticipated use of this space as a pharmacy that would compete with existing Village businesses was not a permissible ground to deny the application. See CVS Parts I to V.
A change in protocol at Village hall that has taken root over the last two years is the posting on the Village website of all resolutions to be considered by trustees together with the meeting agenda; print copies of the agenda, all resolutions, and documents in support are also available to all in attendance at the monthly meetings. The result — regular business receives full consideration, is open to the public (who are now able to more fully understand the matters being discussed and voted upon), and dispatched expeditiously. This month the Board moved through the 25 matters on the agenda without delay. Little to complain about there.
In the public comment period of the meeting a few modest observations/complaints were voiced to the Board of Trustees that were received for appropriate consideration.
An important reminder of a not-to-be-missed concert was reiterated for those in attendance:
With the St. Patrick’s Day parade being held in our village on Saturday the 12th, the Sunday concert is a nice way to finish off the weekend.