Saturday, April 14, 2007

Glen Harbor Partners Files Application for Glenwood Landing Building Permits

Glen Harbor Partners has filed an application for building permits in connection with a 60-unit condominium apartment building proposed for the west side of Shore Road in the Town of North Hempstead (TNH) portion of Glenwood Landing just south of the Glenwood Landing Power Station.

The application was filed with the TNH Building Department on March 28. In many cases, Building Department review can take several months. In this case, the review appears to have been completed in two days. Following standard procedure, the Building Department denied the application because the project requires one or more variances.

The property includes two lots owned by TNH that will be sold to the developer. The entire parcel was rezoned from industrial use to multi-family residential use last fall after several hearings that drew large numbers of residents, most of whom objected to an apartment complex on the waterfront.

Based on plans presented at that time, the project requires two variances: one for ground-level parking beneath the building and one for the number of floors in the building. The proposed height of the building shown during the rezoning processes complied with the requirments specified in the zoning code for multi-family residential use.

The next step will likley be a hearing before the TNH Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), possibly in mid-May. The TNH ZBA usually meets during the day.

According to TNH and to the applicant, the project is contingent upon a sewer line to Glen Cove. Last fall, after a meeting with the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association and No GWL Condos, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi notified TNH that a sewer line would not be considered until Glen Cove had completed various studies of its own, a process that could take some time. Mayor Suozzi said that when those studies were completed, if sewer lines were accepted, areas with demonstrated need based on comprhensive study would be given preference.

No such study has been completed in Glenwood Landing. However, last fall, the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, an inter-municipal organization made of of the nine municipalities surrounding Hempstead Harobr, applied for a grant to fund a sewer feasibility study for Glenwood Landing with the support of the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association. Whether Mayor Suozzi's position on the sewer line has changed is unknown.

At the rezoning hearing, the applicant also said that the project would include a waterfront walkway with public access at the northern and southern entrances.

The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association maintains that vacant waterfront property is too valuable a recreational resource to be developed for any use other than open space—particularly in this case since the parcel includes two publically-owned lots that TNH plans to sell to the developer. In fact, several years ago, the civic association filed an application under the first TNH bond act requesting that the town purchase the privately owned portion of the parcel, combine it with the town-owned land, and manage the area as open space. The suggestion did not make the town's approved list of purchases.

In fact, over the last decade, TNH has systematically divested itself of publically owned land in Glenwood Landing. The three houses on the west side of Shore Road just north of the Swan Club are built on land that the TNH chose to sell. That sale, which caught the community off guard at the time, prompted many people to pay more attention to activities in that area and is, in fact, one of several alarming trends that prompted formation of the civic association.

Many residents of the TNH and Town of Oyster Bay portions of Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, Sea Cliff, and Roslyn Harbor have said they are willing to pay to clean up the site and to create and maintain a park. However, for unknown reasons, TNH has not been willing to explore this option or the mechanisms by which it might be achieved.

Should the project proceed, the civic association is committed to achieving the maximum amount of open space possible, particularly on the west side of Shore Road (the project also includes a small, virtually unbuildable parcel on the east side of Shore Road). The civic association applauds the inclusion of a waterfront esplanade with northern and southern access points. However, we are concerned about the quality of the materials that would be used to construct the esplanade, the hours of access, and short-term and long-term maintenance. Furthermore, we believe it is essential that all the land between the walkway and the building be managed for wildlife. Finally, we feel strongly that the only way to guarantee that these practices continue indefinitely is for them to be clearly specified in a conservation easement held by a nonprofit conservation organization. The North Shore Land Alliance, a Long Island group formed for this purpose, has manifested a strong interest in doing so.

With regard to the sewer line, we are concerned about the number of times that Shore Road may be opened to build sewer lines given the availablity of other vacant lots in the area, particularly the Shore Realty property just south of the proposed Glen Harbor project. We also think it imprudent to build a privately funded sewer line to service one development with no possibility of servicing other properties, especially if hooking up other properties would significantly improve water quality in Hempstead Harbor.

1 comment:

Bryan Brown said...

Patrice,
I believe that Glen Cove has reversed its position on outside sewer hook-ups and has agreed to allow the connection. It's my understanding that they are willing to allow a connection for the Lundy project as well. Apparently, Glen Cove's decision to reverse course on sewer hook-ups is based on financial considerations.