Friday, 22 July 2011 00:00I was one of the many Glen Cove residents who attended the Planning Board meeting about the Village Square Piazza. I cannot believe that business owners in Glen Cove are in favor of this huge renovation and as a resident I was totally disappointed with the presentation. Much has been said about the buildings along Brewster Street that isolate downtown. With the proposed design, there is no access to the businesses on School Street while traveling along the Glen Cove/Brewster Street corridor, particularly for someone who may be unfamiliar with Glen Cove. I feel that opening Glen Street to Brewster is essential to the vitality of the downtown business area.
While I am not enthusiastic about all of the planned projects in Glen Cove, this particular phase (Village Square), could have, and should have a more positive impact. Five-story buildings along Brewster is yet another deterrent to directing potential customers to area restaurants and shops. In addition, traveling from Morgan Park or Garvies and onto Herb Hill Road will lead to a “dead end” with five-story, unsightly (my opinion) buildings, effectively detouring the downtown completely. On the reverse, anyone coming along the Cedar Swamp/Glen Street corridor who may want to visit the “waterfront” will be stopped at Village Square and directed away from the area.
I think the buildings are too high, three stories total would be ample. Glen Street has had two floors of apartments above stores for many years and new development should stay within that footprint. To have a better understanding of what three floors look like in a similar architectural design (suggesting separate buildings), go look at the Cornerstone apartment complex in Westbury. This development is in a much more open space and three floors look pretty tall to me, five would be overwhelming.
Considering the closeness of the piazza buildings, it appears to me that any and all sound will be trapped in the “square,” bouncing off of the buildings. One must consider that this would be a deterrent to the desirability of living in this location due to weekly events/noise/traffic in the summer as well as during holiday celebrations. Another concern is the lack of trees or planters that would help soften noise. Perhaps if Glen Street is reopened to Brewster, it will be more acoustically friendly. This small portion of Glen Street would easily be closed off to traffic for an event. Further, someone who would normally have been passing by on Brewster Street will readily be able to see an event taking place and may stop to “check it out.”
In general, too much emphasis has been placed on building new residential units in Glen Cove. Instead, we need our community leaders to take this opportunity to seek out and entice new industries, such as green and medical technology, to locate their businesses in Glen Cove. I believe this is something that should be actively sought in order to provide employment for our young people so that they will be able to live, work and shop here. It is imprudent to (attempt to) invite people to live here when this will only exponentially add to the commuters already exiting town.