The South Strathmore Civic Association held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the Manhasset Public Library.
Attendees were introduced to the board of governors and its recently elected president, Tim Kinsley, who laid out the board's objectives and acknowledged his predecessor, Betty McGuire, who retired after many years of service to the community.
Brief presentations were made by several board members, including Treasurer Dwight Meyer who spoke regarding the association's financial status, Andrew Schwenk, who heads up the Landscaping and Beautification Committee, and Tom Smyth, whose presentation covered a range of issues of particular concern to residents including zoning regulations, safety and security concerns, parking, traffic management and other quality-of-life issues.
Denise Smyth also reported on the well-received reactivation of the South Strathmore Women's Association and its plans for the future.
As the floor opened for a lively Q & A discussion among the attendees and the board, a theme began to emerge concerning the changing character of South Strathmore. The subject stoked passion in several residents who felt that the pervasive demolition, building and renovation in the area have led to an alleged lax adherence to regulations regarding tree-removal, noise, parking and even environmental concerns such as oil tank removal and generation of airborne particulates.
Another key area of concern is the perceived disregard to any aesthetic standard, as new residents, lured by the inherent charm and beauty of the original 70-year-old Levitt homes and the developers' gracious and elegant neighborhood planning, have begun to erode the character of South Strathmore by building homes with materials, proportions and appearances inconsistent with their surroundings.
In an effort to ensure that more architects, builders and contractors arrive at building solutions that benefit the homeowner while enhancing the surrounding neighborhood (as many rehabs do), one resident proposed an open dialogue with local realtors, and a list of guidelines and building codes that could be part of a "Welcome Kit" for new arrivals, presented at closing.
For now, however, South Strathmore residents are encouraged to report any out-of-the-ordinary activity involving tree-cutting, safety, noise or pollution issues to a Civic Association Board member or file complaints directly to the Town of North Hempstead Building Commission.