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Letter: No to Waterfront

I am at a loss to understand the impetus behind the massive waterfront project when, in the legal notices posted in the newspaper, Glen Cove has provided the public with countless reasons why this plan should not go forward, such as:

“Modify existing visual character of the water and altered views.”

We have two public restaurants on the harbor and the outdoor view, particularly at Steamboat Landing, with the water, boats and trees, gives one the feeling that you are “far away” from the city, that is the appeal. I doubt that customers would go out of their way to patronize a restaurant where they will be looking at buildings that look like Queens. The view from Sea Cliff boardwalk on a beautiful day is calming and tranquil. You won’t feel serene looking at a 12-story citified development.

“Alterations to the site’s topography and the addition of approximately 35 acres of impervious surfaces.”

I hope the developer is going to leave a rather large escrow account to pay for dredging the harbor on a regular basis. (Another undesirable outcome of this project.) There will be constant runoff into the harbor once you remove all of the trees and vegetation. For example, there are three new homes on Harbor Hill Road and the hillside where they were built was decimated – large trees and all shrubbery removed along with huge amounts of soil. Gigantic retaining walls (which will probably be used in this development) took the place of all of the plant life. When it rains, sand is constantly deposited in the culvert on Hammond Road, thereby causing flooding. This situation also exists on Prospect/Albin as a result of these homes being built.

In addition, the traffic created by just three two-family homes is very evident on Hammond Road with cars speeding up and down the hill. Shore Road has already become increasingly dangerous with drivers avoiding the new speed humps on Prospect while trying to find less congested routes heading south. Shore Road was not included in the traffic study for this project, why not? One can just imagine the havoc that traffic created by this immense development will cause in Glen Cove, Sea Cliff and the surrounding area.

There is no question that there will be a negative impact on Garvies Point Preserve as well as on wildlife and birds. The trees will certainly be affected by the loss of light and will slowly die. The hawks in this area are an important asset in keeping the rodent population under control and many of the smaller birds help control insects. I have seen many residents pause to watch the hawks and osprey, they are a beautiful sight to see soaring high in the air – how many will be killed crashing into windows, more importantly, where will they find food and places to raise their young when their habitat is gone forever?

Given the fact that the proposed waterfront is a brownfield site, it seems logical to me that when you begin to dredge or put in pilings, once again toxic substances will be released into the water, thereby causing a serious health hazard to people and wildlife at Sea Cliff Beach, Morgan Park and Hempstead Harbor. And if people are concerned about noise from music at local restaurants, that’s nothing – just imagine the noise, dust, traffic, etc. that we will all endure for the years that it takes this project to be built.

I have not heard anyone address the rather frequent (as of late) odors coming from either the garbage transfer station or the sewer plant (or both). I assume that Steamboat Landing has been fortunate and that this has not been an ongoing problem for them, but what happens when you add 860 units plus hotels and businesses to the picture? Most likely, those odors will be a daily occurrence, not to mention the possible health risks to us all. Would anyone want to live in the vicinity of the waterfront (or pay over a million and a half dollars for a townhouse) if they cannot open their windows or go outside because of noxious gases in the air?

I feel the City of Glen Cove already has the information it needs, in addition to public sentiment to abandon, or at the very least, drastically scale down this project. I collected signatures for the SOS petition and no one that I spoke to was in favor of such an immense project on our waterfront. The negative impact this is going to have on suburban Glen Cove will be physically, and economically irreversible.

Someone recently said to me that now they understand how the Indians felt when they were taken advantage of, pushed aside, by people who only had their own self interest in mind. As one of many residents of Glen Cove who is not in favor of this development, I concur with that sentiment. When will our voices be heard?