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Marina expansion delayed again
Irondequoit Bay, N.Y. --- The Daniele Family had hoped to open its newly expanded Southpoint Marina at the base of the Irondequoit Bay in early 2014. But now it appears the expansion wont happen and frustration with the process is beginning to mount.
"When you're a developer you take those chances and you take that time, said developer Danny Daniele. It just seems as though seven years to start, three years worth of meetings back and forth, over a year-and-a-half with the permitting process, $120,000 worth of engineering and biological studies it starts to wear on you a bit and you start asking yourself why am I in this particular business?
The latest news the Daniele Family received was about the Penfield Town Boards intention to pass a resolution requiring the project to address at least five additional concerns. The concerns range from the impact on wetlands, the bay and wildlife to issues involving dredging and traffic along Empire Boulevard.
There is a lot of sensitive area in and around the project so when we do it we want to do it right, said Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain. You have one opportunity to get it right, you want to make sure that you're doing it right. I recognize that whatever the final decision is not everyone is going to be happy about that but we want to get it as right as we can for the good of the whole.
The frustration from Danny Daniele comes in part from the numerous studies and issues he feels theyve already addressed, only to find out there are more things state and town officials want to examine.
"What makes it easier for us is when all of the agencies involved are very upfront from the beginning saying here's what you have to work with, are you willing to do that yes or no? Yes. Ok then make that happen, said Daniele of his view of the process. It's difficult when those things seem to change and when they're very subjective based on the interpreter.
"By 2014 we'll be able to get some docks in there. And we found out a couple of weeks ago that's probably not going to happen, Daniele continued. "This project will happen, that is a certainty. There are a few certainties in life; I'm going to die and this project is going to happen, hopefully it happens before I die.
The proposed marina expansion would take an approximately 180-dock marina and double it in size. The Danieles already reduced the original proposal that called for an additional 212-docks.
Early on the project caught a lot of attention for the potential impact to a Bald Eagles nesting area on Daniele-owned land nearby. That issue appears resolved as the marina expansion and the adjacent Southpoint Cove Apartment complex project are allowing a buffer of more than 650-feet while also abiding by certain restrictions on the use of heavy equipment at times when the eagles are nesting.
The Penfield Town Board meets again on December 4th and is expected to pass a resolution spelling out the additional concerns they would like the developer to address before approving the project.
"Realistically you could in fact see an approval come 2014, Supervisor LaFountain speculated. "This can be a win-win we just need to make sure we're doing it the right way and weve got to make sure we're not ignoring all those environmentally sensitive aspects of the property.
Danny Daniele said his team now needs to consider all its options before moving forward. They believe theyve already lost significant amounts of potential revenue if the newly expanded marina was able to open in 2014. It is not likely to open until at least 2015 assuming it does receive the necessary approvals next year.