Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00
It’s just weeks from the final days of summer and Labor Day will be upon us before we know it. For most, it will signal the end of summer. The family of hawks living in my backyard all summer have gone. Along with their departure so have my dreams.
What were those dreams? That I, with my neighbors, would be able to wrestle the developer to the ground along with the City of Glen Cove Zoning Board, Planning Board and Council Members and convince them that Rooney Court is worth saving. That my neighbors and I, who have been paying taxes, do matter. And that as a united body, reason would fill the minds of these men and women, the developer and city council members. That surely profit in one’s pockets would not be the defining factor.
Once they were able to put the faces and names together, names associated with deeds, and as deed holders we are entitled to the preservation, tranquility and yes, assurance that the investments we all made in our properties would be given enormous consideration.
How was it that some six-plus surrounding parcels were purchased during the period of 2004-2008 by the developer without anyone knowing it? What did he know? Did he have the ultimate vision that the City of Glen Cove would create an overlay zone, with incentives and bonuses to make a difficult to develop, steep hill area, into a gold mine?
Three years ago, two men were roaming my property, surveying the parcel behind my house and when asked the nature of their visit they became uncomfortable and left in a hurry. My husband and neighbor visited the city’s building department the following business day to inquire. The city building department’s personnel assured them that nothing was planned.
But at that time, the parcel of the Boys and Girls Club had been subdivided. Section 21, Block 244, Lot 63 has been divided into two lots, 66 and 67. Lot 66 has been sold to the developer and is the initial ground breaking parcel. What was once parcel 63, zoned for social/recreational (property class code 534.14), has become lot 67 for the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club, and lot 66 was changed to residential zoning (property class 311.11) to accommodate the developer, all with the stroke of a pen.
Our close-knit cul-de-sac will go through a gross transformation soon and less than 200 feet from our homes we will be looking at a five-story structure towering over us. Privacy will be gone, the trees and hawks along with the little piece of heaven will all cease to exist. The tree landscape that buffers all of our properties will be gone forever!
So, who is responsible? Everyone! This includes the city council members, zoning and planning board members, as well as the developer. And how did I find out? I was at Razzano’s when I overheard two contractors speaking about a groundbreaking large project. Some days later, my neighbor notified me of a council meeting that was going to address the pending project. Pending? How can one call it pending? When it has been in the works behind the scenes for many years and I feel like my neighbors and I knew nothing. We trusted our officials in City Hall when we were told nothing has been approved as of yet. If it has not been approved, why did this gentleman invest millions already by purchasing multiple parcels along Glen Cove Avenue? What is he going to do with them? He is going to build his 100 million dollar project, part of the Master Plan. The Master Plan’s goals and objectives: “Protect and enhance Glen Cove’s established residential neighborhoods, while providing a variety of housing options to meet the needs of current and future residents. Protect the scale, density and character of Glen Cove’s stable and well-maintained neighborhoods. Promote liveable, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible growth.”
And Rooney Court, Rooney Court is just collateral damage.