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Letter: Norgate Civic Against Town’s Purchase of Home on Andrew Street

I write at the direction of the executive board of the Norgate Civic Association to express the opposition of our association to the town’s proposed acquisition of the private residence located at 51 Andrew Street, adjacent to the parking lot behind Town Hall.

The proposal to purchase that property is remarkably similar to the situation that we in Norgate faced three years ago when the school district attempted to purchase a home at 86 Memorial Place, part of the original Norgate community, and develop it for office space. The school district’s plan was subject to voter approval in a referendum and when the dust settled, the voters of the school district defeated that referendum by a vote of 1,465 against to 507 in favor, a margin of almost 3 to 1 against.

It seems to us in Norgate that the results of the October 2006 referendum are a very clear indication that the voters of Manhasset oppose the acquisition of private residential property for public use except in the most extraordinary cases. This is not such a case. Expansion of the town’s holdings eastward on Andrew Street cannot help but further alter the residential character of that block and harm the property values of the remaining residences, especially if the structure at 51 Andrew were to be razed to create more parking space for town employees. There is ample empty commercial space in Manhasset to accommodate any town office functions that could be located to that structure if it were not to be razed.

Under the present circumstances the acquisition of 51 Andrew Street by the town is not in the overall public interest and we respectfully ask that you reconsider and forego that purchase.

James E. Pelzer

President, Norgate Civic Association

(Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to Supervisor Kaiman and Councilpersons Troiano, Dwyer, Poons, Ferrara, Seeman, and Pollack and to the Manhasset Press for publication.)