Friday, March 10, 2006

GWL Waterfront Scores as County Priority

Public acquisition of the KeySpan parcel on the west side of Shore Road south of Tappen Beach has been endorsed by the Nassau County Environmental Bond Act Advisory Committee. Other recommended bond act priorities for Hempstead Harbor include stormwater improvements at Scudders and Roslyn ponds and in the vicinity of Skillman Street and Lumber Road in Roslyn; improvements along the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail, located on the western side of the harbor; renovations at Hempstead House, Sands Point Preserve; and acquisition of property in the vicinity of Red Spring Lane, Glen Cove.

Ken Arnold, Sanitary Engineer IV, Nassau County Dept. of Public Works, and the county’s representative on the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee (HHPC), reported the news earlier this week at HHPC’s regular monthly meeting.

Voters overwhelmingly approved a bond for county-wide stormwater upgrading, open space acquisition, and park improvements in November 2004. In the weeks leading up to the vote, the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association distributed 2,000 flyers about how the Glenwood Landing Waterfront in particular and Hempstead Harbor in general might benefit if the bond passed.

The inclusion of the KeySpan parcel on the county priority list increases the likelihood that the lot may be brought into the public domain sometime before our grandchildren have grandchildren. Public acquisition also has been endorsed by the United Civic Associations of North Oyster Bay, the parcel is among the priorities included on the Town of Oyster Bay’s (TOB) environmental bond act list, and TOB has received a grant from the NYS Dept. of State / Division of Coastal Resources to help fund the acquisition.

More details from Ken’s report are included in HHPC’s March 8 minutes, which will be available on the HHPC Website (see link, right) late next month after the minutes are approved.

Until recently, the KeySpan parcel was used for an underground gas storage facility. According to the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, cleanup of the parcel is complete. There is some concern, however, about whether the proposed deal for a British firm to purchase KeySpan might interfere with sale of the parcel to a public entity (see KeySpan Buyout: Waterfront Implications, March 5 posting).

To be finalized, the advisory committee's recommendations must be accepted by the Nassau County Legislature.

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