Saturday, October 31, 2009
Glen Head - Glenwood Civic Council President George Pombar reports that TOB has confirmed that the town is seeking an appraisal of the property and will negotiate with whomever owns the property once the appraisal is complete and a decision is made about whether to move forward with purchase. According to Mr. Pombar, TOB anticipates that the appraisal process will conclude in about a month.
TOB's interest in the property came after the Civic Council approached the town about the desirability of passive open space at this highly visible, central location.
The Sunoco Corporation put the property on the market about two years ago. Four months ago, an Old Brookville resident signed an agreement for purchase, intending to sign a lease with the 7-Eleven Corporation to open a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a week convenience store.
Concerned about such a use at this location, seven local civic associations (all members of the Glen Head-Glenwood Civic Council, Inc.), approached the new owner about their misgivings. The purchaser subsequently abandoned the 7-Eleven plan for an agreement with the owner of the Super Seven store on Glen Cove Avenue. This agreement envisions a convenience store that would, supposedly, close by 10 P.M. and that would include an unmanned automatic car wash.
"We have heard from many residents that a pocket park or village green would be desirable at this central, highly visible location, and we were quick to let the Supervisor know," Mr. Pombar said. “The Supervisor's office has advised us that TOB is proceeding with an appraisal of the property and will negotiate with whomever the property owner is at the time the appraisal is ready, which is expected sometime next month."
Check back for news about the future of the site as it becomes available.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Other groups that submitted comments are the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, Town of Oyster Bay, and Network for New Energy Choices.
THE CIVIC COUNCIL'S COMMENTS
The Glen Head – Glenwood Civic Council is an alliance of the six civic groups (Glen Knolls-Glen Head Estates, Glenwood-Glen Head, Harbor View, Hill Terrace, Todd Estates civic associations and the Radcliff Manor neighborhood association) active in the neighborhoods closest to the Glenwood Landing Power Station. Our member organizations are particularly interested in land use and water quality issues that impact Hempstead Harbor and nearby neighborhoods.
The Council, along with its member organizations, often works with the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor on matters of mutual interest and serves as technical advisor to the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee. Collectively, we pride ourselves on our efforts to balance the many competing interests in our community from a civic-based point of view.
Our comments concerning the application to renew the SPDES permit for the Glenwood Landing Generating Station follow:
• Immediate, cost-effective steps should be taken to reduce the entrainment and impingement of marine life.
We understand that a fish return system, continuously operated traveling screens, and aggressive pump shutdowns when one or both of these systems are not operating are already in place. We believe that adding variable speed pumps to these measures could significantly reduce the toll on marine life in a cost-effective manor. We believe that variable speed pumps should be installed and brought on line as soon as possible. The installation of variable speed pumps should be accompanied by a monitoring schedule sufficient for determining the effectiveness of the pumps and the impact of their use on marine life.
We do not believe that it is appropriate to delay installation of variable speed pumps until 2013, when the Public Service Agreement (PSA) between National Grid/KeySpan and the Long Island Power Authority expires. Rather, when the PSA expires, the permit and advisability of other recommended technologies should be reevaluated based upon whatever decisions are made about the Glenwood Landing facility at that time.
• The owner of the Glenwood Landing facility and the identity of the permit holder should be clarified.
The permit, fact sheet, and application should list the actual owner of the facility. Although National Grid has acquired KeySpan, KeySpan is listed as the owner/operator in the SPDES fact sheet and is referred to again in that document. The permit requirements should pertain specifically to the operation of the Glenwood Landing facility regardless of any change in who operates it or who holds the permit. If KeySpan is somehow attached to the permit, will this have any bearing on future operation, installation of best technologies, or permitting?
• More details concerning closed-cycle cooling that are specific to the Glenwood Landing facility should be provided.
We understand that closed-cycle cooling is currently considered the most effective means of reducing the amount of water used for cooling, thereby producing a presumed 95% reduction in the entrainment and impingement of marine animals. We also understand that DEC has determined, at least for the moment, that closed-cycle cooling is not appropriate for the Glenwood Landing facility due to limited space and other considerations.
As this decision could, potentially, be a significant factor in determining whether a utility presence is maintained or expanded in Glenwood Landing in the foreseeable future, with significant impacts on the environment, quality of life in nearby neighborhoods, and tax base, we request answers to questions such as:
• How much space would a closed-cycle cooling system require for the Glenwood Landing facility operating at the current capacity (below 15%).
• How long it would take to design and install such a system?
• Could such a system be retrofitted if, in the future, the Glenwood Landing facility began operating at more than 15% capacity?
• What is the maximum distance from operating units that a closed-cycle system can efficiently be sited? Must the system be located directly on the waterfront? Could the siting of the system threaten public acquisition of the former propane storage facility on Shore Road in the Town of Oyster Bay?
• What specific local ordinances are referenced in the fact sheet relating to siting of a closed-cycle cooling system at the Glenwood Landing facility? Why are these ordinance relevant (in past conversations with this community, the utilities have expressed the view that they are not bound by local ordinances)?
• What are the local, state, and federal noise limitations for the site and what are the noise levels emitted by a closed-cycle system?
• What is the source of the water for the system and how is the water delivered?
• What are the dimensions of the cooling tanks that would be required at the Glenwood Landing facility operating at the present capacity and/or the structures that house them? What would the dimensions be if the operation of the facility were stepped up?
Any evaluation of closed-cycle cooling for the Glenwood Landing facility should include informing the community about all aspects of the system that will affect residents and resources, including the potential for increased noise levels, the size and location of any structure needed to house the system, the efficacy and/or impacts of siting the system beyond the immediate area of the specific power generation units, and the water resources and effluent requirements needed to operate the system.
If these impacts are determined to be minimal, the benefit of closed-cycle cooling (i.e., a major reduction in the mortality of marine life in Hempstead Harbor) would likely outweigh them. Assuming that the Glenwood Landing facility continues to operate after the expiration of the PSA and if, after a full assessment of the potential impacts and efficacy of closed-cycle cooling for the facility, it is determined that closed-cycle cooling is the best technology for the site, the permit should require that this technology be used in 2013.
The property is located south of Tappen Beach. For the last half of the last century it housed an underground gas storage facility operated by the Long Island Lighting Company. Earlier in this decade, the gas storage facility was decommissioned, and the soil was cleaned up to residential standards.
Under the Glenwood Landing Waterfront Revitalization and Redevelopment Plan, the property was rezoned from industrial to water dependent use—a new town-wide zone created as a result of the plan.
The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association and Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor proposed the site for public acquisition under the Town of Oyster Bay’s (TOB's) environmental bond act. Today the site remains in utility hands and is on both the Nassau County and TOB priority lists for land acquisition.
The present owner or owners (the Long Island Power Authority, KeySpan, National Grid, or some combination thereof) say that they are not responsible for cleaning up the groundwater contamination because the contamination was not caused by the utilities.
According to the Coalition, the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation says that the groundwater contamination would, or could, be capped when and if construction occurs at the site and that this approach would not be unusual.
Currently, we have no information about how much contamination is entering the harbor, what the impact might be, or what the cost of the cleanup might be. It's also not clear how, or if, the use of the property, i.e., recreational or residential, might affect the groundwater cleanup.
We also have no information about a responsible party trail or how aggressively the trail is being pursued.
These developments have been passed along to key personnel at the Town of Oyster Bay, who say the are pursuing the matter.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Volunteers will comb Tappen and Sea Cliff beaches for debris, which will be collected and weighed before being transported to a waste facility. The data obtained will be forwarded to the Ocean Conservancy for inclusion in a massive database useful to researchers.
The effort, sponsored by the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy, is part of a worldwide event known as the International Coastal Cleanup. The Coalition has been the Beach Captain for Tappen and Sea Cliff beaches for the last 16 years.
Meet at the entrance to Tappen Beach or the concession stand at Sea Cliff Beach (rain date, Sunday, September 27). For more information, contact Barbara Karyo (759-9361) or Barbara Segal (676-3032).
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Below is the public notice posted by the district:
Notice is hereby given to residents of the Glenwood-Glen Head Garbage District in the Town of Oyster Bay, County of Nassau, State of New York, that a public hearing will be held within the District at the Glenwood-Glen Head District Headquarters 977 Glen Cove Avenue, Glen Head, New York 11545, on Thursday, September 3, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of conducting a hearing regarding the estimate of proposed expenditures for the Glenwood-Glen Head Garbage District for the year 2010.
This hearing is called pursuant to Section 215 of Article 13 of the Town Law of the State of New York, as amended.
A copy of the estimate of proposed expenditures for the year commencing January 1, 2010 shall be available for inspection during regular business hours at the Glenwood-Glen Head Garbage District located at 977 Glen Cove Avenue, Glen Head, New York 11545.
By order of the Board of Garbage Commissioners of the Glenwood-Glen Head Garbage District.
Angelo T. Stanco, Secretary
August 20, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Passersby by waved and drivers beeped as the demonstrators expressed concern about the noise, loitering, and trash often associated with 24/7 businesses. Carrying signs with the messages "No 24/7 7-11," "No One Wants 7/11 Here," and "We Will Never Patronize," the demonstrators made it clear that they believe Glen Head is an inappropriate place for convenience store businesses that stay open all night.
The site is currently owned by Sunoco. 7-Eleven has expressed strong interest in locating a convenience store on the lot. A local developer is in contract to purchase the site, reburbish it, and lease it to a tenant who would operate a 7-Eleven store. According to the developer, the 7-Eleven company would require round-the-clock operation.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The organizers invite the participation of all neighbors who share their concerns about the noise, traffic, trash, and security problems that such a use would bring to Glen Head.
The site is currently owned by Sunoco. A local developer is in contract to purchase the site, refurbish it, and lease it to a tenant who would open a 7-Eleven convenience store.
At a meeting with the Civic Council’s board and community residents, George Abi Zeid, a local developer and President of GAZ Realty, confirmed he is in contract to purchase the lot on the southeast corner of the intersection, where, until recently, a Sunoco station operated. Mr. Abi Zeid said his original plan was to refurbish the site and then lease to a tenant who would operate a 7-Eleven convenience store.
“If the deal goes through, this will be the first and only 24-7 operation in Glen Head or Glenwood Landing in living memory,” said George Pombar, President of the Glen Head – Glenwood Civic Council. “It will generate congestion, noise, and security problems that will have a negative impact on both the residential community and local business.”
The lot is presently owned by the Sunoco Corporation. The 7-Eleven company has targeted the site for a retail outlet, even though there are already a 7-Eleven and a Super-7 on Glen Cove Avenue in the City of Glen Cove within a mile of the Four Corners, as well as at least six delicatessens.
The lot is zoned general business under the Oyster Bay town code. “I was shocked and dismayed to learn that the town code does not contain a provision to permit reasonable restrictions on hours of operation in a general business zone,” said Patrice Benneward, President of the Glenwood-Glen Head Civic Association. “It makes me wonder if the code discriminates between quiet neighborhoods like Glen Head and major thoroughfares like Jericho Turnpike,” she said. “If it doesn’t, it certainly should.”
Residents have reacted loudly and passionately to the potential of a around-the-clock operation in Glen Head, circulating petitions that state signers will boycott all 7-Elevens if a 7-Eleven opens at the Four Corners. “We have enough trouble with trash and loitering when businesses close by10 PM. What is it going to be like if we have a 24/7 operation?” asked Glen Head resident John Dussel. “It’s the last thing we need here.”
Mr. Abi Zeid said he does not want to antagonize his neighbors and is prepared to walk away from the deal. “However, since 7-Eleven views the site as highly desirable, it’s likely that other parties interested in operating a 7-Eleven will materialize if Mr. Abi Zeid withdraws.”
Letters to 7-Eleven CEO Joseph DePinto and regional VP Joseph Cozens expressing Glen Head resident concerns have not been answered.
Monday, August 10, 2009
The meeting will focus on the Sunoco property on the southeast corner of Glen Head Road and Glen Cove Avenue, where a local developer is in contract to purchase the lot and refurbish it to lease to an occupant who would operate a 7-Eleven convenience store.
Civic representatives have met with the developer and the Town of Oyster Bay, contacted Sunoco and 7-Eleven, and expressed opposition to 24/7 operation in Glen Head. Civic group representatives will report on these activities, provide brief updates on other issues they have been following, and solicit community input.
The 7-Eleven company has identified the Sunoco property as a priority location. The company requires its stores to operate 24/7 and sells more cold beer than any other U.S. convenience retailer. The lot is zoned general business, which permits 24-hour operation.
The Glen Head-Glenwood Civic Council, Inc., is made up of the Glen Knolls-Glen Head Estates, Glenwood/Glen Head, Harbor Hill, Hill Terrace and Todd Estates civic associations and the Radcliff Manor Neighborhood Association.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
7-Eleven requires its stores to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; the company sells more cold beer than any other U.S. convenience retailer; and Christmas and other holidays are the company's biggest sales days. Based on collective living memory, this would be the first 24-hour operation in central Glen Head. The parcel is zoned general business. The town code contains no restrictions regarding hours of operation under the general business zone.
There are more than 36,300 7-Eleven stores worldwide. 7-Eleven became a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings Company in 2007. That same year, the parent company announced it would add 1,000 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. and has been delivering on that policy ever since.
The Glen Head - Glenwood United Civic Council has contacted the Town of Oyster Bay, Sunoco and 7-Eleven and met with the developer currently in contract to purchase and renovate the site. A petition opposing a 7-Eleven is circulating.
If you oppose 24/7 operation in Glen Head and do not want the traffic, new hang-out, and interference with local business that a 7-Eleven store would bring, let the 7-Eleven company know.
Joseph DePinto, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Robert Cozens, Vice President, Northeast Division, can be contacted at 972-828-7011 / 7-Eleven, Inc., Post Office Box 711, Dallas, TX 75221.
However, an amendment to the resolution of approval proposed by Councilman Fred Pollack and approved by the board stipulates that public access and open space issues remain open.
The applicant said that a parcel on the east side of Shore Road will be "dedicated" to the town after cleanup. Presumably, the parcel will remain open space. There has been no public discussion about how or when the parcel will be landscaped, whether access will be provided, the activities that may or may not be permitted, or how access will be provided.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Coalition invites people who agree with this sentiment to use the letter as a template for expressing their positions to the the City of Glen Cove. The invitation could not be more timely. A public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the project is scheduled for June 25 at 8 P.M. at City Hall, Main Chambers, 9 Glen Street. Written comments will be accepted until July 10. Comments may be submitted to Lois Stemcowsky, Planning Board Secretary, City Hall, 9 Glen Street, 3rd Floor, Glen Cove, NY 11542 (516-676-4448).
See The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Spot posting Hearing Set for Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Glen Cove Creek Development, June 20, for more links relevant to the project proposed for the Glen Cove waterfront.
Sample Letter prepaed by the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor:
I am opposed to the RXR Glen Isle mixed-use waterfront development project proposed for the north side of Glen Cove Creek for the following reasons:
• The density of the development is out of character with our community.
• The 12-story buildings will destroy treasured view corridors.
• The 12-story buildings are out of character with any development along our harbor shoreline.
• The 12-story buildings will set a precedent for other development in Glen Cove.
• The additional traffic generated by the development will choke local roadways.
• Construction and the density of the development have the potential to adversely affect fish and bird habitats for areas adjacent to the development.
• Lighting and noise will adversely affect our quality of life.
• The proposed development will create overwhelming demands on fire and police protection, emergency services, schools, and other services.
Whatever is built along the waterfront should be scaled down from the current proposal to protect the local environment and preserve our quality of life and our coastal landscape.
The traffic study portion of the DEIS included the intersection at Glen Cove Avenue and Glen Head / Glenwood roads. It found a traffic impact at this and other locations that impact Glen Head and Glenwood Landing and suggests possible mitigation measures.
A public hearing is scheduled for June 25 at 8 P.M. at City Hall, Main Chambers, 9 Glen Street. Written comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement are requested and will be accepted until July 10. Comments may be submitted to Lois Stemcowsky, Planning Board Secretary, City Hall, 9 Glen Street, 3rd Floor, Glen Cove, NY 11542 (516-676-4448).
The scope for the DEIS, which outlines the topics that must be addressed in the DEIS, and the Glen Cove Master Plan also are available online.
7:30 P.M. at North Hempstead Town Hall, 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset (516-869-6311).
Members of the Town Board also function as planning board members, that is, the Town Board functions as the Planning Board. Hearing dates are set by resolution. Once a date is set, it can change without notice. Site plan review usually occurs on the same evenings as Town Board meetings and is usually at the top of the agenda.
The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association and others who commented during the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process were informed that many items of concern were appropriate topics for discussion during site plan review rather than EIS review. Public participation at this stage of the process is extremely important. Plan to attend the hearing and send your written comments to the Town Board/Planning Board.
The site plan submitted by the developer, Glen Harbor Partners, is available at the Gold Coast Public Library. Several postings about the proposed apartment complex can be found here at the Civic Spot (perform a search using terms such as "apartments" and "Glen Harbor").
Saturday, April 25, 2009
At a meeting earlier this month, Nassau County Parks Commissioner Jose Lopez and other county personnel informed the ad hoc Friends of Cedarmere steering committee that repairs and basic garden maintenance will continue at Cedarmere for the foreseeable future, but there are no plans to reopen the facility this year.
Located on Bryant Avenue in Roslyn Harbor, Cedarmere is the historic home of William Cullen Bryant (1794 to 1878), one of the most influential public figures of the 19th century. The statue of Bryant, above, was sculpted by Herbert Adams (1848 to 1945). It was installed in Bryant Park outside the main branch of the New York Public Library in 1911, when the library was completed.
At the meeting with the steering committee, the county agreed to work with the committee in forming a friends group and provided some basic budget information needed for a business plan. The steering committee reported on the meeting with the county at a public meeting for Cedarmere supporters held at Trinity Church on April 25.
The next step is for the friends group to incorporate and present a preliminary business plan to the county. Meanwhile, tax deductible contributions to the Friends of Cedarmere can be made through the Roslyn Landmark Society. Make checks payable to Roslyn Landmark Society and specify Friends of Cedarmere on the check.
Volunteers are needed. Expertise in business, law, grant writing, horticulture, and web design is particularly needed. The Friends of Cedarmere steering committee can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Anybody who was anybody in the 19th century was entertained at Cedarmere,” Paul Baserman said. A pianist and member of the steering committee, Mr. Baserman produced two recitals at Cedarmere last year. “Bryant is this area’s only direct link with Abraham Lincoln, and the gardens of the estate are jewels.”
Bryant's great granddaughter donated Cedarmere to the county in 1975. The facility opened to the public in 1994. Since then it has been publicly accessible on a limited basis (see Friends of Cedarmere to Meet, April 18; Save Cedarmere: Contact Nassau County Representatives, March 28; Important Local, Publicly Owned Historic Site in Jeopardy, March 9).
Bryant Avenue and Roslyn’s Bryant Memorial Library are named for Bryant. He is buried in Roslyn in the cemetery located on the north side of Northern Boulevard just east of the Long Island Rail Road trestle.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Friends of Cedarmere steering committee seeks community input for a business plan that will keep open the historic home of William Cullen Bryant. A meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2009, at 10:30 A.M. at Trinity Episocopal Church Parish Hall in Roslyn. The committee also will report on an April 15 meeting between the steering committee and Nassau County.
Located on Bryant Avenue in Roslyn Harbor, Cedarmere is a public property overlooking Hempstead Harbor owned by Nassau County (see Save Cedarmere: Contact Nassau County Representatives, March 28, 2009, and Important Local, Publicly Owned Historic Site in Jeopardy, March 9, 2009). The site was once the home of William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), one of the most important literary figures of the Romantic Movement. Although the facility has been used for some public programs during the last two decades, it has been underutilized and recently appeared destined for closure when the county began dismantling exhibits and removing artifacts.
The friends group is forming to ensure that the site remains open and accessible to the public. The group also plans to promote programs that reintroduce and update Bryant's legacy and that better utilize Cedarmere, where Bryant lived for half a century and hosted many of the most important authors, painters, politicians, building architects, and landscape architects of the period. According to the committee, Cedarmere will remain a viable public testament to this important national legacy only with sustained community vigilance and support.
Trinity Episcopal Church is located on Northern Boulevard just east of the Roslyn Viaduct.
Thanatopsis (below), one of Bryant’s earliest and most famous poems, has been memorized by generations of high school students, including this writer when a student at North Shore High School. According to the Wikipedia entry for the poem, Bryant wrote most of the lines in his late teens. The title, from the Greek thanos (death) and opsis (sight), sometimes is translated as Meditation upon Death.
O him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder and grow sick at heart;
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air
Comes a still voice. Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourish'd thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,
The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun, the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, pour'd round all,
Old Ocean's grey and melancholy waste,
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound
Save his own dashings--yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest: and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side
By those who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged by his dungeon; but, sustain'd and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
And there is no need: If properly managed, the site is likely to produce a reasonable income stream, and a Friends group is forming to explore the possibility of a partnership with the county. The ad hoc Friends group can be reached at email@example.com.
The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association urges neighbors to contact County Executive Tom Suozzi, Legislator Wane Wink, Majority Leader Diane Yatauro, and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt, who can be reached through the Nassau County website or at 1550 Franklin Avenue, NY 11501, to ensure that these and other elected officials know that Cedarmere has a constituency.
A suggested letter is below.
If the site is not properly maintained and does not reopen in a timely fashion, it could revert back to Bryant's heirs. Grants totaling several hundred thousand dollars already have been secured for much of the needed repair and maintenance of the facility.
Located on Bryant Avenue in Roslyn Harbor about a mile north of the Bryant Memorial Library in Roslyn, Cedarmere has great historic significance. Bryant (1794 to 1878) helped to shape the Romantic Movement and wielded a great deal of political influence for most of the 19th century. Indeed, the man and his works are still included in most high school curricula. Recitals, weddings, film and photo shoots, educational events, and other activities have been held at the site in recent years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dear Elected Official:
I am contacting you to request assurance that Cedarmere, the historic, county-owned museum property in Roslyn Harbor, is properly maintained and reopened in a timely fashion and that the dismantling of exhibits and the removal of priceless artifacts stop pending an explanation of why these items are being removed and when they will be returned to the site.
An ad hoc Friends group recently formed to explore the possibility of a formal partnership with the county to jointly operate the waterfront facility located on Hempstead Harbor. The group is committed to helping the site reach its full potential. I urge you to support such a partnership.
Cedarmere is a rare surviving jewel of the Romantic Movement. As the home of William Cullen Bryant, it was a gathering place for the most influential public figures of the 19th century. Bryant, himself, was a poet, editor of the New York Evening Post (now the New York Post) for more than 50 years, and friend and confidant of Abraham Lincoln. The library in Roslyn and Bryant Avenue, as well as the park on the west side of the main branch of the New York Public Library, are named for him. Today, Bryant and his works are included in many high school liberal arts curricula, including the curricula at Roslyn and North Shore high schools.
Bryant’s heirs donated Cedarmere to the county in 1975, along with $100,000 of seed money and the stipulation that the estate be open to the public and used for educational purposes. The facility finally opened in 1994. Since then Cedarmere has hosted school groups, art classes, recitals, weddings, commercial still photography and film shoots, and other events. With proper management, these activities could grow and produce a reasonable income stream. English, history, and art departments in the Roslyn and North Shore school districts are interested in utilizing the site. Other districts throughout Long Island are likely to share this desire when informed about the treasures Cedarmere holds.
Over the years, the furnace and plumbing in the main house have been replaced, the gardens have been largely restored, exhibits have been created, and some restoration work has been completed. At present, $500,000 is allocated through the hotel tax, Environmental Bond Act, and grants to repair the roof of the main house and continue other restoration projects. There is need for an additional investment of perhaps $500,000. The ad hoc Friends group is prepared to help raise these funds and help market and staff the site. In addition, Benjamin Moore has offered to donate paint.
It appears that the county has put all maintenance and restoration projects at Cedarmere on hold. If Cedarmere is not properly maintained and reopened in a timely fashion it could revert to Bryant’s heirs. This development would be a serious disservice to present and future generations. One cannot help but wonder how the county can justify spending Environmental Bond Act money for new acquisitions—as important and desirable as these acquisitions may be—when Cedarmere and so many other significant cultural sites already dependant on proper county stewardship need attention.
Please support the restoration, proper maintenance, and reopening of this important local and national landmark. Thank you for your consideration.
The property contains may natural features and some structures worthy of preservation. During the waterfront planning process, the public and members of the task force expressed concern about the catastrophic consequences the potential subdivision of the club would produce. The Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor (CSHH) nominated the property for open space acquisition under the town’s Save Environmental Assets (SEA) bond fund and recently wrote to TOB to restate the request. The Village of Sea Cliff is considering a building moratorium to study possible preservation methods.
The potential development of the club raises concern about the effectiveness of ongoing stormwater improvements at Scudders Pond. Located on the outskirts of the club, the pond collects and filters stormwater runoff before the runoff is discharged into Hempstead Harbor. Proper treatment of the runoff is critical for maintaining and improving water quality in the harbor. Years of highly commendable inter-municipal planning has resulted in several million dollars of grant awards for critical stormwater improvement projects that are or soon will be underway. Development of the club would impact these efforts.
Please consider contacting TOB Supervisor John Venditto, the Town Council, and the SEA Fund III Committee to express concern about the possible development of North Shore Country Club and to request that the town purchase and preserve the property. Town personnel can be emailed through the TOB website or reached via U.S. Mail at Town of Oyster Bay, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay, NY 11771-1592. A suggested letter is included below.
Sea Cliff Mayor Eileen Kreib can be reached at P.O. Box 340, Sea Cliff, NY 11579, or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org; Bruce Kennedy will be sworn in as mayor in April. Contributions to CSHH (516-801-6792) can be sent to P.O. Box 159, Sea Cliff, NY 11579.
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Supervisor John Venditto, Town Board Members, SEA Fund Committee Members:
I am contacting you express my concern about reports that the North Shore Country Club, a 158-acre parcel that spans the Village of Sea Cliff and the hamlets of Glenwood Landing and Glen Head, may be seeking to develop the property under its current zoning (half-acre residential).
Development of this site would have a catastrophic impact on this community, including the school district, the Scudders Pond watershed, and Hempstead Harbor. In addition, the property contains several buildings and many natural features worthy of preservation. The public, as well as members of the Glenwood Landing Waterfront Revitalization and Redevelopment Plan advisory committee, overwhelmingly expressed such concerns during the planning process held in connection with formulating the waterfront plan.
I urge you to purchase the property for preservation as recreational and/or open space. In addition, please re-post the GWL Waterfront Plan on the town website.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Nassau County has disassembled exhibits and removed priceless artifacts from Cedarmere, the estate of William Cullen Bryant (1794 to 1878) in Roslyn Harbor.
A decision to close the facility appears to have been made separate from and before other closures were announced affecting other County facilities due to the current fiscal crises.
As of this writing, the County’s long-term plans for Cedarmere are unclear. A Friends group is forming to explore the possibility of a public-private partnership to help keep the facility open. Contact information will be posted here when it is available.
Please consider informing County Executive Tom Suozzi, Legislator Wayne Wink, Majority Leader Diane Yatauro, and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt that this important historic property has a strong constituency. Email messages can be sent through the Nassau County website.
Bryant’s heirs donated the estate to the county in 1975 with the stipulation that the property be open to the public and used for educational purposes. In recent years, the facility has been used for growing numbers of school groups, art classes, recitals, weddings, and other events. If the facility is not reopened in a timely fashion, the property could revert back to the heirs.
Bryant was a driving force of the Romantic Movement, editor of the New York Post for half a century, and a confidant of Abraham Lincoln. His estate was a gathering place for the 19th century’s most notable authors, architects, painters, and musicians.
Roslyn’s Bryant Library and Bryant Park, adjacent to the main branch of the New York City Public Library, are named for him. Several hundred thousand dollars from various grant sources have been awarded to continue needed maintenance.