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East Hills Man: ‘Save The Tree’

Passing tree law is no easy task, says Mineola

A century ago, Joyce Kilmer wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”

East Hills resident Richard Brummel apparently thinks he has never seen anything as lovely as a tree, and he is now stumping for the preservation of a 125-yerar-old tree on Roslyn Road near Jerome Avenue in Mineola.

Brummel has circulated petitions to the Mineola Village Board and the Town of North Hempstead. The tree sits on foreclosed property.

Brummel hopes new tree laws will be established in an effort to preserve older, bigger trees in the area.

“I am concerned for the future of this tree because developers in this area typically destroy all trees on the properties they build on,” he said.

For the last two decades, the National Arbor Day Foundation has dubbed Mineola as “Tree City USA” for its continuing efforts at tree planting. Mineola reported that 450 trees would be replaced due to Hurricane Sandy.

Village representatives said if tree preservation laws similar to those used in communities elsewhere were adopted, any resident that wants to remove a tree on his or her property would need to first obtain authorization from the village. This may entail some type of inspection and permitting process and might also include tree-service company licensing.

“There’d have to be a permit process, because that’s the only we could prevent people from trees being taken down,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.

In some cases, homeowners could be denied the right to remove or alter a tree on their property. Where tree preservation codes are in effect, homeowners can be denied building applications because preserved trees are in the way.

“I love trees,” Strauss stated, adding he does not relish the idea of telling people what to do with their property. “The concept with the environment, absolutely; but there comes a point where government should not infringe on peoples rights, on peoples property.”

This could, village reps noted, cause an increase in village taxes as additional personnel or outside contractors would have to conduct inspections and process permits. 

 Home values could be affected because preservation limits on private property would need to be disclosed during potential sales, according to Strauss. Furthermore, homeowners’ rates would skyrocket because of permit requirements and if a resident wants their home remodeled and a tree is in the way, it cannot be cut down because of preservation laws.

“What happens if we put these laws into effect, and a person can’t sell a house,” Strauss said. “What if a young couple buys a house with a tree and it’s a small house and they want to expand for kids, then we tell them they can’t and they have to cram all their kids into one bedroom?”

Speaking of the tree Brummel wants to save in Mineola, arborist Richard Oberlander of Nassau Suffolk Tree Service said the tree is “near-perfect” symmetry and has a broad crown, which grows 90 feet across. He thinks it’s a “special specimen.” The International Society of Arboriculture certifies Oberlander as an accredited authority on trees.

“The tree has a co-dominant stem but is so well balanced it has very good structural integrity,” said Oberlander. “It is a tree I can only characterize as humongous and it clearly deserves to be protected and embraced by the community as a significant environmental asset.”

Oberlander said the Mineola tree is in “very good health” and “provides value historically, aesthetically and ecologically.”


News

The nine-story apartment building at 250 Old Country Road is rising on schedule, according to developers. Lake Success-based Lalezarian Developers is constructing a nine-story, 315-unit complex at the site.

 

Kevin Lalezarian estimated the project is about 20 percent complete.

 

“Our foundation is nearly complete,” Lalezarian said. “Our superstructure is proceeding. That’s the main thing happening right now.”

The Mineola Fire Department is looking to replace its Company Two engine, Truck 168. The truck is 25 years old, consisting of an articulating boom and bucket.

 

A new truck would cost upwards of $1 million, fire reps said.

 

“The current truck has served the village well for many years, but is in need of replacement,” Chief of Department Jeff Clark said.


Sports

The Mineola Hurricanes recently swept the Smithtown Bulls recently pounded the Smithtown Bulls in two games, winning 9-1and 6-1 at Brady Field in Smithtown. In game one, Chris Marotta brought the heat against the Bulls. 

 

Smithtown managed just one hit off of Marotta, who allowed no earned runs, walked two and struck out eight during his five innings of work. The Bulls jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Had college lacrosse burst onto the scene one generation earlier, one local resident would have become a household name within the inner circles.  Settling for three National Championships and a professional contract, however, is not a bad consolation prize.

 

Alex Rosier can now add one more accomplishment to the resume, nearly 20 years after his college career ended. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - August 13

International Night - August 14

What Matters To You - August 15


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com