On a balmy Wednesday evening of July the 6th, the Garden City Board of Education held its annual Reorganization Meeting for the year 2011 at the Central Administration Building. After board members were officially sworn into office, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen highlighted some of the year’s most impressive student accomplishments, discussed the new 2 percent property tax cap legislation and provided a brief update on the current school bond referendum projects at the Garden City Middle and High Schools.
Feirsen offered congratulations to the Class of 2011 for their accomplishments and expressed appreciation for the recent high school commencement ceremony, which featured the brand new grandstand. He happily announced that Garden City High school was ranked 115 in Newsweek’s publication, entitled America’s Best High Schools.
Some moments in life present opportunities for events to come full circle, for all the pieces to fall into place and form a whole so much more than the sum of its parts. And sometimes role models really do get to meet the next generation they have inspired. When Garden City High School Class of 2011 Valedictorian Jan Gong stepped into the office of U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Steven Chu in Washington, D.C. on June 21st, both moments became a reality.
It was met with ire by school districts and local villages and commended by residents and businesses. But on June 30, with positives and negatives aside, the bill became law.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Lynbrook last week to sign the 2 percent property tax cap into law. The tax cap was a major platform Governor Cuomo touted during his campaign to deliver property tax relief to homeowners and business owners across the state.
Landmark legislation to make same-sex marriage legal in New York State was signed into law on June 24, making New York the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
On June 15, the New York State Assembly voted in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, 80 to 63, and on June 24, the New York State Senate voted in favor of this bill, 33 to 29. Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law on Friday evening, June 24 and this legislation will go into effect on Sunday, July 24.
With the Lighthouse Project now a distant memory, the Town of Hempstead unanimously passed a new zoning plan that would develop the 77 acres of property surrounding the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the adjacent Marriott Hotel in the Hamlet of Uniondale.
The key aspects of the alternative plan were presented to members of the Hempstead Town Board during a public hearing on Tuesday, June 21 at Town of Hempstead Bennett Pavillion. Town Supervisor Kate Murray stated that the town board will be considering a zone that is “faithful to the heritage of the property surrounding Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.”
If you are heading south on Clinton Road, you may see walkers disappear up a small hill in search of a dirt trail that was once part of the Long Island Motor Parkway. Despite the 100-year-old concrete slabs and rotting wooden side guardrails being the only markers of its previous existence, village trustees are spearheading efforts to preserve the portion of the land that is located within the Village of Garden City.
For the second time this month, the Garden City Board of Trustees deferred voting on approving amendments to the village’s zoning code at the June 16 village board meeting. Prior to closing a public hearing on the issue, the board of trustees discussed what the appropriate distance of fences from the front of property lines is. Furthermore, residents weighed in on how changes in the zoning code could adversely affect the quality of life and character of the community.
While Garden City School District is accustomed to highlighting countless student and teacher achievements at board of education meetings, last week two shining stars of the community shared the spotlight for their outstanding service to the Garden City School District.
At the board of education meeting on June 14, former School Board Trustee Laura Brown was presented a certificate of appreciation for her five years of service to the Garden City Board of Education. School Board President Colleen Foley told the audience that Brown’s departure earlier this year was due to health reasons.
Garden City’s green space will remain untouched after the majority of Planning Commission members voted to recommend preserving a vacant triangular piece of village-owned land on the west side of Franklin Avenue between Third and Fourth streets and designating the area as parkland in the near future.
The much-discussed proposal to develop the land in question was originally set forth by Planning Commission Member and Garden City resident Bill Bellmer. In a letter addressed to the Garden City Board of Trustees this February, Bellmer suggested that the village sell the parcel for residential use. In his written correspondence to the board, Bellmer stated that that the village will not only initially gain the revenue on the sale of the property, but also benefit from the continued tax revenue, the attractiveness of the residences, and the elimination of the need to maintain the land.
What to do with Garden City’s green space continued to be an issue on the minds of residents as they were presented the site plans for the development of the southern portion of the former Doubleday property into a three-story, 54-unit condominium complex on the east side of Franklin Avenue.
Garden City resident Kevin Walsh, an attorney representing EB 301 Realty, gave an overview of the proposal to members of the Planning Commission last week. Walsh stated that he, on behalf of his client, submitted a plan for three variances to the zoning board to advance the project. “We hope to be increasing the tax base for this village in a much greater way than potentially…would’ve been. I think we all agree it’s important to increase the tax base in a reasonable way whenever we can. And certainly, we think that the development of this site will do that among other things,” Walsh said.
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