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Marina questions

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Environmental questions and concerns continue to surround the Daniele family's plans to expand their marina in Irondequoit Bay. The latest: the Penfield Town Board says that the project needs a full-scale environmental review.

The board concluded at a meeting last week that the expansion could significantly affect the bay's biology and ecology, says Jim Costello, Penfield's director of development services.

Mario, Danny, and Anthony Daniele, who also own Bazil restaurant on the bay, originally proposed adding 225 slips to Southpoint Marina, along with a 2,700 square foot clubhouse. But after conversations with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, they've revised the plans, says Anthony Daniele.

The marina, which is adjacent to the bay, is near an active bald eagle's nest. The initial expansion plan extended the docks into a 660-foot state and federal buffer zone around the nest. The DEC wanted the docks out of that zone. The Daniele family complied by reducing the expansion to 183 slips.

"We couldn't really move them but we could eliminate some so that we're not getting as close," Anthony Daniele says.

Whether the project will require an eagle-related permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not clear. But Anthony Daniele says the family is "adamantly" trying to balance the project so they don't need the permit. The developers have no intention of "having an adverse effect on the bird," he says.

The latest plan also moves the clubhouse further inland to avoid state wetland buffers, Daniele says. And there will be public access to the waterfront area via a walking path, he says.

To start the environmental review, the developers have to submit a draft outline identifying the topics and issues they plan to cover. From there, the town will provide input and the public will also have chance to comment, Costello says.

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