Wednesday, May 10, 2006

County Explains Role in Waterfront Sewer Line

Three area civics met today with County Legislators Diane Yatauro and Craig Johnson and Nassau County Acting Commissioner of Public Works Joe Davenport to learn more about the county’s role in a sewer line that may be constructed under Shore Road in Glenwood Landing. Jim Antonelli, an engineer with Sidney B. Bowne, the Town of North Hempstead’s (TNH'S) consulting firm, also attended.

The sewer line would carry waste from a waterfront apartment complex that may be constructed immediately south of the Glenwood Landing Power Station (on the site known as the Harbor Fuel/Hinfin property) to the sewage treatment plant in Glen Cove. The site is located in the TNH portion of Glenwood Landing. While some of the property is privately owned, a portion of the site is held by TNH; the project also includes a lot across the street.

A 40-unit apartment building or a 60-unit apartment building have discussed for the site. The plan also includes a public waterfront esplanade with access at both the southern and northern ends. The developer would fund the environmental cleanup at no cost to taxpayers.

TNH has mounted an active public outreach campaign and has held several hearings in connection with the proposal. The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, and Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor have provided comments at every opportunity. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected shortly. At that time, the town will hold another public hearing.

The sewer line would be installed under Shore Road, a county throughfare, and proceed through Sea Cliff. Two Sea Cliff routes have been discussed. One would run under certain village roads; the other appears to be entirely in the county right of way. It may or may not be possible for some commercial businesses in Sea Cliff to hook into the line. Officials have thus far dismissed the possibility of hooking up any part of Glenwood Landing to the sewer as financially and technologically unfeasible.

The number of apartment units constructed is largely dependant on the construction of a sewer line. It is the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association’s position that if a way to accommodate sewering at least a portion of Glenwood Landing cannot be found, then maybe the applicant should be limited to the 40-unit proposal, which would probably treat waste in an on site system. In any case, the civic association believes that the footprint of the building is too large, the height of the building is too tall, and the public space is too limited for this project to be feasiable in Glenwood Landing, especially along the waterfont. Interestingly, the renderings of the 40-unit alternative and the 60-unit alternative both seem to show a building with the same footprint and height.

Should the project be approved with a sewer line, road opening permits will be issued by the county. There will be no opportunity for public participation or notification at that point in the process. Rather, if the project moves forward, the opportunity for public comment about the sewer line and other matters will be through hearings held by TNH in connection with the Final Environmental Impact Statement and an application to rezone the property from industrial to multiple residential. The Nassau County Planning Commission also will review the application and hold a public hearing.

It is important to recognize that participation in the review process can help shape the project. If you do not participate, you forfeit your right to complain! TNH has done two mailings to all of Glenwood Landing and parts of Glen Head to announce previous hearings, and the civic association has moutned a massive education campaign at considerable effort and expense. If you have been unaware of this project, it isn't for want of trying. There is every reason to believe that TNH will continue to encourage public input, and the civic association certainly will continue to do so. For more information, contact the TNH Planning Department (869-7679), watch this site for updates as information becomes available, and please inform neighbors about the situation.

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