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Letter: More On Lawsuit

The full story of my lawsuit against East Hills is available on my website, (“Seeks Tree Removal Nullification”, The Roslyn News, April 5). 

The lawsuit is not just about trees but also about oversize houses. It is also about bad government.


At 31 Pinewood Road, the new proposed house is about 100 percent larger and 50 percent taller than the existing one. When I so informed one neighbor, they were so surprised that on about two hours’ notice they came to the Architectural Board hearing to try to politely oppose it. 


At 57 Red Ground Road, massive proposed renovations were strongly opposed by the head of Red Ground Civic Association, who spoke at length but was rebutted repeatedly by board members. 


The Architectural Board approved those applications as well as dozens of tree destructions in February and March, as they have repeatedly done. That is part of the basis of my lawsuit. 


But the environmental issue here is not about just trees. It is about ecological habitat. The few animals living in our community need these trees to live, for food and for shelter. In addition, we need them to fight global warming, and they are beautiful and majestic living organisms in their own right.

The Architectural Board could force builders to be more modest and leave trees standing, as well as to adopt far more classical or modest home designs that typify many of our neighborhoods, and that the law seems to require. 


And the Tree and Zoning Review Committee could recommend changing from an abstract floor area ratio building standard to one that looks to the current house and the neighboring houses for appropriate size restrictions. 


This lawsuit is a big expense for me and has taken countless hours of time to pursue. I have already invested dozens of hours in researching and testifying against bad applications before the Architectural Board, and in communicating to village trustees, to no avail. 


Whatever happens residents who oppose the destructive re-building trend here are invited to join me and help preserve what is left of the well-designed, green neighborhoods we originally had. I can’t do it alone.

Richard Brummel