Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00
On Jan. 24, we residents of South Strathmore were blindsided at a Town Hall meeting regarding the construction of a second story addition to the western end of the Apple Shopping Center just yards from our homes.
We had come, once again, to voice our concerns about any expansion of this commercial property, which reaches so deeply into our neighborhood and into our very lives. Instead, we found that our town officials, the proprietors of the shopping center, the lawyers, the planners and maybe even the residents of Strathmore Village already seemed to have agreed that this was a “done deal.” Only we residents of South Strathmore were surprised.
At the hands of absentee commercial landlords, and arrogant utilities we have endured fires, floods, electrical explosions, the decimation of the little woods that was supposed to buffer our backyards from the busy commercial property above us, the construction of a two-story industrial concrete wall in our neighbors’ backyards, the subsequent collapse of that wall, the misery of months of the clean-up and the construction of yet another three-tiered concrete wall in its place.With the arrival of the Apple store at this small shopping center (which was originally meant only for the convenience of local residents, not for big box stores that would draw tens of thousands of people from all over the island, all over the city, all over the place to our residential area) we now have unbelievable noise, pollution, traffic, potential danger, and five dumpsters!
Even now the parking lot is always jammed and the intersection at Northern Boulevard and the Gate is more treacherous than ever. How many more cars, how many more dumpsters, how many more people camping out for the newest Apple release (eating and drinking, tossing garbage everywhere, relieving themselves in the bushes…) can we handle? Where are the customers and employers of these new stores going to park?
Do we really need any more stores? Manhasset is wall-to-wall stores from Searingtown Road to the Macy’s complex, plus all the shops on and adjacent to Plandome Road – and there are so many vacancies.
We pay hefty taxes to live in what used to be a beautiful place. When are we going to stand up together to stop wealthy absentee landlords, uncaring utilities and indifferent government officials from recklessly destroying our lives? Now might be a good time.