Monday, April 02, 2007

Civic Documents Architectural Styles of Glen Head & Glenwood Landing Homes

The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association has assembled and submitted to the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) a portfolio of some 150 photographs showing the architectural variety of the homes in Glen Head and Glenwood Landing.

At the request of the United Civic Associations of Glen Head and Glenwood Landing, a group made up of the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association, the Todd Estates Civic Association, Hill Terrace Civic Association, and representatives from the Plymouth Drive, Harbor View, and Radcliff Manor neighborhoods, TOB is conducting a zoning and planning study focusing on the residential districts in Glen Head and Glenwood Landing west of the railroad tracks (see March 12 posting, Land Use Research Underway in Glenwood Landing and Glen Head).

TOB has hired Frederick P. Clark, a planning firm that frequently works for the town, to conduct the study and asked the civic association to assemble the Glenwood / Glen Head photographic portfolio as a means of limiting cost.

The study ties in with land use measures that TOB recently adopted in Oyster Bay hamlet, many of which will soon be rolled out town wide if approved after appropriate public hearings. The main purpose of the measures is to curb three recent construction trends: knockdowns, so-called “MacMansions,” and boxlike structures built to minimum setback lines.

Some of the measures also are aimed at reducing runoff from construction sites and at protecting steep slopes. New York State has mandated that local municipalities adopt so-called “minimum stormwater control measures” by 2008.

Thus far, Frederick P. Clark has created three draft maps of the study area: an aerial view, steep slopes and wet areas, and lot size. The firm is currently working on a fourth map that will illustrate lot frontages.

The measures the town is considering are accepted by planning professionals as tools for helping to maintain the character, history, and architectural resources of residential neighborhoods. They include a tool new to TOB called the maximum permitted gross floor area requirement (FAR) and a reduction in an existing tool regulating the maximum inclined plane permitted for rooflines (known as height / setback ratios).

Both of these tools have been adopted in many nearby communities. The hope is that, taken together, they will encourage additions, renovations, and new construction to be more consistent with the scale of existing homes and inspire architects and builders to produce more creative, sensitive designs.

Structures built where these tools exist often tend to be less imposing and to exhibit more architectural details than those built in areas where such tools do not exist. The research being conducted by Frederick P. Clark may reveal details peculiar to certain Glenwood Landing and Glen Head neighborhoods that will help zoning, planning, and building code officials more effectively implement FAR, height/setback ratios, and other planning tools.

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