Sunday, October 29, 2006

Civic Asks NYS to Support Sewer Feasibility Study for Glenwood Landing & Glen Head

Below is a copy of a letter the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association has sent to the NYS Dept. of State to support an application submitted to the NYS Dept. of State / Division of Coastal Resources for a sewer feasibility study for parts of Glen Head and Glenwood Landing (see previous postings for more information). It is one of many such letters that the civic association has written over the years. If you ever wonder why it is worth bothering with a civic association, this is a good example of the positive contribution a civic association can make in a community. As a private citizen, you, too, can make a similar contribution—in this case by sending a similar letter to the same address.

NYS Dept. of State
Bureau of Fiscal Management
41 State Street / 10th Floor, Suite 1000
Albany, New York 12231-0001

Re: Hempstead Harbor Area Joint Sewer Feasibility Study SMSI Grant

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express the enthusiastic support of this civic association for the application submitted by the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, with the Village of Sea Cliff as lead applicant, for a sewer feasibility study focusing on the eastern side Hempstead Harbor under the Shared Municipal Services Incentive Award grant.

This civic association has a long history of participating in HHPC and supporting its mission. We believe a sewer feasibility study is timely in light of the high bacteria counts that have been documented at the Glenwood Landing (GWL) Powerhouse Outfall, the large amount of under utilized property on the GWL Waterfront, the applications for development in GWL and Glen Head that are (or soon will be) under review, the recommendations found in the Hempstead Harbor Water Quality Improvement Plan, and the high water table that characterizes much of the area.

A sewer feasibility study will provide information that is urgently needed for land use and water quality improvement planning. The committee, particularly the Village of Sea Cliff, the City of Glen Cove, and the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, are to be commended for cooperating on this project.

We strongly urge you to approve the application and thank you for your consideration.

Patrice Benneward, President

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Techniques for Protecting Open Space in Glenwood Landing & Glen Head Topic of Workshop Presented by Pace University Attorney

Learn about innovative, effective land use techniques that can be implemented to protect open space in Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, and the rest of Nassau County at a workshop presented by Sean Nolan, Director of the Land Use Law Center at Pace University School of Law in White Plains.

The workshop, "Building Stronger Local Laws to Protect Your Community," will be held Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at East Woods School in Oyster Bay Cove. The cost is $15. Light refreshments will be served from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Topics to be covered include aquifer protection zones, steep slope ordinances, conservation area overlay districts, habitat assessment guidelines, and open space protection. Mr. Nolon's presentation will be followed by a panel of government officials who have adopted some of these techniques in their communities.

Sean Nolon trains local officials, environmentalists, and developers in land use law and consensus building techniques, provides strategic assistance to local governments and intermunicipal councils, and mediates land use disputes. He has taught a law school seminar in conflict resolution and land use law and coordinates the Land Use Conflicts Externship at Pace University.

The workshop is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and The North Shore Land Alliance (follow links at right for registration information).

Two Thousand Neighbors Receive Civic Newsletter

The distribution of the Fall 2006 issue of the Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association Newsletter is just about complete, with nearly 2,000 pieces delivered thanks to a great team effort. About 1,200 were mailed to all of Glenwood Landing and the portion of Glen Head between Kissam and Scudders lanes and Glen Cove and Cody avenues. The reminder have or are in the process of being distributed in other neighborhoods, including Radcliff Manor, Todd Estates, and Glen Knolls.

Many thanks to all, especially the hand distributors. A distribution of this magnitude costs about $550. Your efforts help to keep costs down.

The newsletter contains information about two major items: the Nassau County Environmental Bond Act, which will be on the ballot in November, and the Glen Harbor Partners rezoning application to make way for a condominium apartment building on the Glenwood Landing Waterfront south of the Glenwood Landing Power Station. The North Hempstead Town Council is scheduled to vote on the application on November 14. See previous Civic Spot postings and check out the links at right for more information about these matters.

If any reader would like to distribute materials in his or her area, contact the civic association; extra copies are available. One problem has surfaced in connection with hand distribution, however: some hand-distributed pieces have been left in mailboxes. This is against postal regulations and could endanger the civic association's mailing permit. Any items that are distributed door-to-door should be wedged into a secure spot, such as under a mat, in a door handle, or in a fence or railing. It's important for the newsletter to be secured because we do not want to litter. The newsletter must never be placed in mailboxes.

The Post Office is serious about this. The Glen Head Post Office reports that items left in mailboxes will be confiscated. Thus, all the work and expense of preparing and distributing the newsletter would be for naught. In some cases, confiscation may have already occurred. In addition, the Glen Head Post Office says that if Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association newsletters on which no postage has been paid continue to be found in mailboxes, the civic association's mailing permit may be revoked.

This is something we hope to avoid. Plus, we appreciate all the work our local post office workers do for us, and we don't want to cause them headaches. At the very least, we can hope that the intended reader of the newsletter is the person that throws it in the trash—not a post office worker!

The civic association's policies require that it strive to comply with federal and local codes in all matters. That's why, for example, we do not post items on telephone poles, a practice prohibited by the Oyster Bay town code. Similarly, ever since the civic association was formed, we have asked that people who distribute items for the civic association or who copy civic association items for distribution on their own never use mailboxes.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Seeks Funding for Sewer Study

The Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee (HHPC) has applied for a grant to study the feasibility of sewering Glenwood Landing (GWL) and parts of Glen Head and Sea Cliff by connecting all or parts of these areas to the waste treatment facility in Glen Cove. Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, and Sea Cliff make up Hempstead Harbor Subwatershed 8. According to the Hempstead Harbor Water Quality Improvement Plan, subwatershed 8 contributes more pollution to the harbor than any other subwatershed. The plan also identifies sewers as the preferred method of waste treatment whenever possible.

The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association first suggested that such a study be conducted more than four years ago, when a privately funded sewer system was included in the Glen Harbor Partners application for a condominium apartment complex on the Glenwood Landing Waterfront immediately south of the GWL Power Station. The sewer would carry waste down Shore Road to the sewage treatment facility in Glen Cove.

Last month, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi said sewer hookups from locations outside Glen Cove only will be considered after the city completes its master plan. At that time, he said, publicly funded projects that have been initiated based on demonstrated need will be given priority.

The North Hempstead Town Council is expected to vote on a rezoning application that would permit the Glen Harbor Partners project to move forward on November 14. The Civic Association has asked councilmembers NOT to grant the Glen Harbor Partners application, or at least to delay voting until a sewer feasibility study can be completed and the community can make judgments about the implications of the data and reach a consensus about the direction it would like on the GWL Waterfront. The next step, we believe, should be a comprehensive plan for all of the land in the Town of North Hempstead (TNH) portion of GWL.

If the grant application is successful, the Civic Association believes that the study it funds will provide a wealth of information that can then be used to make rational decisions about future development, infrastructure needs, and water quality improvement projects.

Given the cost of the privately funded sewer proposed by Glen Harbor Partners, the fact that construction would require opening Shore Road, the implications of sewering on density, and the positive impact that sewering selected areas of subwatershed 8 could have on the harbor, the civic association believes that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required by TNH in connection with the Glen Harbor project should have examined the feasibility of sewering all the underdeveloped lots on Shore Road, particularly the Shore Realty site (a brownfield immediately south of the Glen Harbor proposal where a clean up process has been ongoing for many years).

We repeatedly asked that two basic questions be answered: If a privately funded, one-project-at-a-time approach to sewers is taken, how many sewer lines might be constructed under Shore Road and how many times might Shore Road, ultimately, be opened for this purpose? We also repeatedly asked that the EIS examine the possibility that sewering selected portions of Glenwood Landing might significantly improve water quality, and, if so, how such a project might be funded and coordinated with the Glen Harbor project.

This grant, which is offered through the NYS Dept. of State / Division of Coastal Resources, is highly attractive because the local match (the amount of cash or services that municipalities must put up to receive the grant) is only 10%, a much smaller amount than is ordinarily required.

HHPC is an inter-municipal organization made up of the municipalities surrounding Hempstead Harbor. The civic association attends HHPC meetings and supports the work of the committee in any way it can. We commend the members of HHPC for applying for the grant and plan to submit a letter of support to DOS.

Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Mounts Major Push to Support County's Envrionmental Bond

The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association has mounted a major effort to inform neighbors about the $100 million environmental bond act that will appear on the ballot on November 7. More than 2,000 newsletters containing information about the bond, its costs, and its potential benefits have been distributed to the neighborhood west of Glen Cove Avenue and east of Shore Road between Scudders and Kissam lane (see postings below).

The distribution also includes several nearby developments, including Todd Estates, Glen Knolls, and Radcliff Manor. The newsletter also contains information about the North Hempstead Town Council vote to rezone property on the west side of Shore Road from industrial use to residential use and suggestions about what residents can do if they wish North Hempstead councilmembers to consider their input on November 14, when the matter is scheduled for action.

Vote on GWL Waterfront Rezone: How You Can Affect the Outcome

In August, the North Hempstead Town Council delayed voting on a zoning application that would permit a 60-unit condominium apartment building to be constructed on the Glenwood Landing (GWL) Waterfront just south of the GWL Power Station on property that once housed Harbor Fuel. The vote has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 P.M. At that time, the TNH Council could approve the change with or without conditions, deny the application, or delay taking action. To confirm the date and time that the matter is scheduled, call TNH (869-7700).

Two hearings on the application held during the summer drew standing room only crowds of residents from both the TNH and TOB portions of GWL, as well as neighbors from Glen Head, Sea Cliff, Roslyn Harbor, and Glen Cove. Residents of the TNH portion of GWL have been vocal in their opposition to the project, as have people in the rest of GWL and surrounding communities.

Virtually everyone who attended the summer hearings expressed opposition to the zoning change and the proposed apartment building. There also was strong support for maintaining the parcel as open space. TNH currently owns a portion of the parcel. If the zoning change is granted, TNH would sell that portion of the parcel to Glen Harbor Partners, the company that submitted the zoning application.

TNH appears to have ruled out investing in open space on the eastern shore of Hempstead Harbor because it perceives the population in the TNH portion of GWL as too small to warrant such an investment. The fact that the parcel under review is environmentally sensitive due to its waterfront location does not seem to be relevant to this view. Nor does the long history of industrial and residential taxes collected from properties on the TNH side of the line, little of which seems to have found their way back to GWL over the decades.

Because so many people who would benefit from open space at the TNH / Glen Harbor site would be from outside TNH, TNH Councilman Fred Pollack has contacted TOB Supervisor John Venditto to inquire whether Oyster Bay would consider exploring a cooperative open space effort at this location. As of this writing, Councilman Pollack reports he has received no response. In addition, the project proposed for the site appears to be contingent upon construction of a mostly privately funded sewer line to Glen Cove. Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi recently notified TNH that Glen Cove will not consider sewer hookups from locations outside the city until Glen Cove has completed a master plan, a process that could take some time. In addition, Mayor Suozzi has said that when and if such hookups are entertained, priority will be given to public projects designed to address a documented need.


The civic association supports an inter-municipal effort to explore what it would cost to acquire, rehabilitate, and maintain the TNH / Glen Harbor Partners site south of the Glenwood Landing Power Station as open space and how such a project might be funded and managed (see other side). Please let the officials below know if you, too, would like these questions to be examined. This research will be conducted and presented to the public only if many people express an interest in getting answers. If you live in an incorporated village, also consider contacting your mayor and trustees.

CONTACT TOB SUPERVISOR JOHN VENDITTO: Request that TOB contact TNH and that the two municipalities explore how much it would cost to maintain the property as open space and how such an effort could be funded (Oyster Bay Town Hall, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay 11771 / 624-6350 / Town of Oyster Bay).

CONTACT MAYOR RALPH SUOZZI: Thank the mayor for considering sewer hookups from locations outside the city only after the city completes a master plan and then giving priority to publicly funded projects that address a documented need (Glen Cove City Hall, 9 Glen Street 11542 / 676-2000 / City of Glen Cove).

CONTACT TNH SUPERVISOR JON KAIMAN: Request a comprehensive management plan for the TNH portion of GWL and ask TNH to lead an inter-municipal effort to rehabilitate the entire TNH / Glen Harbor Partners site and to bring it into the public domain as protected open public land (North Hempstead Town Hall, 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset 11030 / 869-7700 / Town of North Hempstead).

Your Vote Counts: A Chance to Support Open Space on November Ballot

Voters have another opportunity to preserve the rapidly dwindling supply of open space in Nassau County thanks to a county-wide $100 million Environmental Bond Act that will appear at the top of the November ballot as Proposal One. If the bond passes, it will cost the average family $16 annually ($1.33 monthly) and will fund land acquisition and open space preservation. Land use planners project that Nassau County will be “built out” by 2010, underscoring the importance of immediate action to protect as many key parcels as possible. The bond also would be used to control storm water runoff (the biggest cause of contamination to surface and coastal waters) and for park improvements.

In the last few years, voters have overwhelmingly approved four similar town or county initiatives: a $50 million county bond in 2004; two $30 million bonds in the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) in 2004 and 2000; and a $15 million bond in the Town of North Hempstead (TNH) in 2000. The county’s 2004 bond currently costs the average household $7 annually ($0.58 monthly), while TOB’s 2004 bond costs an average $16 annually ($1.33 monthly).

The procedure for choosing projects funded by these initiatives is similar in all jurisdictions. Residents and professionals nominate projects they believe to be worthy of consideration. An impartial group of environmental leaders then evaluates the applications based on an objective set of environmental criteria and makes recommendations to the town board or county legislature. Many of the projects that have been funded by previous bonds are in the Hempstead Harbor drainage basin and directly benefit the harbor. Among them are catch basin improvements at Scudders Pond and Gerry Park and wetland restoration along the harbor’s western shore. Acquisition of the propane field adjacent to Tappen Beach is on both the TOB and county list of priorities. The Civic Association believes Hempstead Harbor is likely to reap additional, much needed benefits should voters approve the new $100 million bond.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Community Meeting for Residents of 6th Precinct

The Nassau County Police 6th Precinct invites all residents of the precinct (which includes Glenwood Landing and Glen Head) to a community meeting on October 11 at 7 p.m. at East Hills Village Hall Auditorium, 209 Harbor Road, for a discussion of security concerns.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice will speak, along with Inspector Jay Caputo and others from the precinct. Officials and representatives from the Town of North Hempstead and Roslyn School District also will be present.

For more information, contact the police department public information office at 573-7135.