Monday, August 28, 2006

Special Inter-Municipal Park District Instead of Waterfront Condos?

At two recent hearings for the condominium apartment building proposed for a waterfront parcel in the Town of North Hempstead (TNH) portion of the Glenwood Landing, the public expressed a strong preference for open space rather than a multi-family residential development.

Many people in the standing room only crowd even expressed a willingness to put their money where their mouth is—that is, to pay tax through a bond or some other means that would specifically be used to reclaim and manage the property as parkland.

One obstacle to this approach is that the TNH portion of GWL is isolated from other unincorporated areas in TNH. Despite the fact that TNH derives a considerable amount of tax revenue from the utility properties in GWL, TNH appears reluctant to invest in a park that would be used primarily by residents of other municipalities.

To address this situation, TNH Councilman Fred Pollack has approached his colleagues in North Hempstead and Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) Supervisor John Venditto about the possibility of creating a special inter-municipal park district for the specific purpose of reclaiming and managing the Harbor Fuel / Hinfin / TNH site south of the GWL Power Station. This approach would permit the cost of such a park to be shared among the communities that would be most likely to use it.

The Civic Association believes this suggestion is worthy of serious exploration and urges both towns to do so. We also urge residents of both towns to contact the appropriate jurisdiction to express their view on the matter. If you live in GWL on the TNH side of the line, contact Sumpervisor Jon Kaiman (869-7700 / and Councilman Tom Dwyer (869-7696 /; the address for North Hempstead Town Hall is 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset 11030. If you live in GWL on the TOB side of the line or in Glen Head, contact Suprvisor John Venditto (624-6350); the address for Oyster Bay Town Hall is 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay 11771.

The parcel in question is located on the west side of Shore Road south of the GWL Power Stations. It contains 4.25 acres divided into three lots. Two of these lots are presently owned by TNH; the other is privately held. There is also a sloped, one-acre lot on the east side of Shore Road on a sharp curve.

Glen Harbor Partners has filed an application to rezone the property from industrial use to multi-family-residential use. A hearing on the application was held earlier this month; a vote is scheduled for September 13. An agreement between TNH and Glen Harbor Partners stipulates that, if the zoning change is granted, Glen Harbor Partners may purchase the town property.

The Civic Association has asked TNH not to grant the zoning change, or at least to delay voting, until questions regarding the sewer can be resolved, various aspects of the Environmental Impact Statement filed in connection with the site can be strengthened, a sewer feasibility study for subwatershed 8 (of which Glenwood Landing is a part) can be conducted, a plan for the entire TNH section of GWL can be formulated, and the possibility of creating a special inter-municipal park district can be fully explored and, perhaps, implemented.

No comments: