Saturday, July 22, 2006

Full House at GWL Waterfront Condo Hearing

There was standing room only at North Hempstead Town Hall Tuesday evening, as more than 150 residents of Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, Sea Cliff, Glen Cove, and Roslyn Harbor attended a hearing to rezone the Harbor Fuel/Hinfin/Town of North Hempstead (TNH) property on Shore Road in Glenwood Landing from industrial use to residential use.

The zoning change has been requested by Glen Harbor Partners of Locust Valley. The firm has proposed a 60-unit condominium apartment building for the site (see Hearing Date Set for Waterfront Apartments, July 1; North Hempstead Accepts Environmental Impact Statement for Waterfront Apartments in Glenwood Landing, May 25).

Two items were on the agenda: the zoning change and findings based on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that has been prepared by Glen Harbor Partners as required by TNH. The findings must be accepted by TNH before the zoning application can proceed.

The hearing was continued to Tuesday, August 22, at 7:30 p.m. It is extremely important that as many people as possible attend. The town also will accept written comments (which may be sent to Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Town of North Hempstead, 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY 11030). Call the Town of North Hempstead (TNH) to confirm (869-7700).

Several residents said that the property should be developed as parkland. Others said they had not heard about the proposal until very recently and were shocked that an apartment building would be considered for this location.

Sally Sotirovich, a resident of Glenwood Landing, questioned the wisdom of building new housing adjacent to several generators, which are viewed by Homeland Security as potential terrorist targets. She said she had taken photos of KeySpan facilities to accompany her comments about the proposal. She said that soon afterward on two separate occasions she was contacted by law enforcement personnel and that one of these persons was from Homeland Security (see Environment of Terror, Newsday, July 20).

Ms. Sotirovich also said that she had not been able to locate the EIS or draft EIS at some of the libraries where it was supposed to be available. A spokesperson for Glen Harbor Partners said that copies had been delivered to each of the area's libraries. Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman said that the hearing would be carried over to ensure that libraries had copies of the documents and to give the public time to examine them.

The EIS is available on line at the TNH web site and in person at the Gold Coast Library. It should also be available at the Sea Cliff, Bryant, and Manhasset libraries. At least three other public hearings have been held in connection with the application over a period of about four years. On at least two occasions, TNH mailed notices to all of Glenwood Landing and part of Glen Head—an action that was far in excess of the town's legal obligation. The GWGH/GH Civic Association has distributed more than 6,000 informational flyers and newsletters about the proposal and commented at every step in the public review process.

The civic association believes that developing the subject property as open space would be the best use for the site. We also have been critical of the height and footprint of the proposed building, as well as the cost and logistics of constructing a sewer line to Glen Cove, a key component of the project. We have said that if a sewer line is constructed, the feasibility of hooking up other key parts of Glenwood Landing (such as lower Glenwood Road and the Shore Realty site located immediately south of the subject property) should be studied and that the line should not be built until such a study is completed. We also have said that if the project moves forward, open space and public access to the waterfront must be maximized—and protected with an ironclad conservation easement held by a nonprofit conservation organization such as the North Shore Land Alliance (see Civic to Stress Open Space & Water Quality at Glenwood Landing Waterfront Hearing, July 16.

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