Submitted by Clyde W. Davis
Board Attorney, Ocean Highway
and Port Authority
July 7, 2014 1:03 p.m.
The Ocean Highway and Port Authority [OHPA] is asking the City for a change in zoning on the future land use map for two vacant lots. Please look where they are. They are at the entrance to the Port, across the street from the offices of U.S. Customs – Homeland Security. The vacant lots are currently zoned for residential use. Mr. Chuck Hall has expressed opposition to the requested change and has raised a number of issues.
Let’s keep this simple and look at his issues:
1. Is OHPA asking for any industrial use for these two lots? No.
2. Are we asking for any commercial use? No.
OHPA asking for a change to governmental use. The tax payers own the property through their OHPA, and we’re a government entity. Call me crazy, but it makes sense that government property be zoned for government purposes. OHPA is asking the City to zone this taxpayer owned property for government purposes. We’re asking to use it for government offices. We’re asking to use it for parking. The location of the offices and parking would be between a residential area and the industrial port. Parking would be for U.S.Customs – Homeland Security, Port employees, and business invitees like Ship Agents.
4. Are we trying to remove the lots from the Historic District like Mr. Hall says? No. We’re not asking for it and there is nothing that is inconsistent between the purposes of OHPA and the purposes of the historic district.
5. Are we asking for any roads to be closed. Once again, the answer is “No.”
Your Port Commissioners are not in favor of wasting your assets. Right now, the lots are vacant. Until these lots are used, they simply represent a wasted government asset and a recurring maintenance expense.
Editor’s Note: Clyde W. Davis is a senior partner in the law firm Davis, Broussard, Martin, Bernard & Steger, P.A. He serves as board attorney for the Ocean Highway and Port Authority of Nassau County.