Poor Little Ole East Norwich, is it the smallest in the Town of Oyster Bay? It gave up its school district and library. It never had a town hall, although the current Chas. Rothmann's restaurant was the location where Town Meetings were held for many years. Chelsea Center sometimes calls itself a part of East Norwich but is also in Muttontown. Oh the trials and tribulations of village borders in the township.
Nearby Muttontown won the naming opportunity for the Muttontown Preserve, which now belongs to the county.
At the Dec. 18 town board meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m., there are expected to be two resolutions in regard to East Norwich. Since we are writing this on Monday, Dec. 10, the closest we can come to verifying this is to say the town doesn't release the calendar for the Dec. 18 meeting until Friday, Dec. 14.
That means, if it is on the calendar, we can't inform you about it in a timely fashion. Therefore we are printing the phone number of the people who can tell you what's on the calendar: 624-6380, the town public information office.
What is of interest to East Norwich residents is a resolution to advertise the creation of the East Norwich Park District and another one for a lease with SBA properties in East Norwich, which is expected to be the Cellular Tower on Goat Hill.
We tried to firm up our information, but at least, we are giving you the information you need if it is something you are interested in.
If the new park district for East Norwich is Goat Hill, that will be good news for the East Norwich Civic Association who have been representing the residents in getting the area put onto the town's park list. As of today, the town's take on Goat Hill is that it was designated open, undeveloped land and not a park (as yet).
Matthew Meng, president of the East Norwich Civic Association said "That a bond was floated/raised to purchase it (Goat Hill) and make it into a passive park." He said Supervisor John Venditto gave him his personal word that he would make it into a park as soon as the election was over. The interesting side effect, said Mr. Meng, is that you can't put a cell tower on park property.
Mr. Meng said Goat Hill was purchased but it was never moved from the general fund to park district designation. He wrote a letter to the supervisor about the designation but never received an answer.
Very Little Left
Mr. Meng said the community of East Norwich has only two pieces of undeveloped property: the triangle at Split Rock Rd. and Route 25A and Goat Hill. That Split Rock property is an undersized two acre lot that the ZBA said could not be used as requested. Since then, the ZBA has been sued by Luke Kreye and the judge has overruled the ZBA decision. Mr. Meng said he has not received a copy of the decision as yet, but that the next step would be for the ZBA to appeal the decision.
The ENCA is concerned that although Mr. Kreye said the site will be used as his personal residence, "It is presumed he will operate his business out of his home," said Mr. Meng. "They say you can't deny on a presumption," he added. Mr. Kreye, the proposed owner of the triangle, is part of a well known landscape design firm.
As to Goat Hill, the proposed cellular tower is expected to be 195 ft. high, said Mr. Meng. Interestingly, he said, there are no requests for proposals for bidding on the construction of the cell towers, he said.
The reason for talking about these two issues is the short time interval before the hearings. "There is hardly any time to muster the opposition," said Mr. Meng. That is especially true during this holiday season where many of us are working extra hard to allow for the days off for the festivities.
There are two more issues in East Norwich. One is the white fence put up by JoVon on Route 25A. To us, it looks like a pedestrian traffic hazard. We have been thinking of taking a photo of it and asking how come it has been allowed by the town board. JoVon has made a parking lot of the land they own, that reaches out to the edge of the road.
There used to be a cement pathway up close next to the building that local people could walk along to get across the area. It was a strange spot. Most people walked down to the edge of Route 25A and walked across the dirt area that was state property. The ENCA and the Committee for the Beautification of East Norwich worked together to help JoVon be allowed to buy the site from the state, but thought they had his assurance that they would be apprised of his plans. That didn't happen.
Mr. Meng called the situation, "Just rude, when people have to step into the road to keep on walking along Northern Blvd."
The second issue that hasn't been solved is the Quonset huts that have been put up by Woodstock Nursery. "For about half the year, they seem to be abandoned," said Mr. Meng.
Others in the community have asked about how the Pilot feels about questioning them. After all, it's a local business trying to make a living. Well, each small incursion in itself isn't a big whoop, but when you put them all together, they are a loss of a little more of poor little East Norwich.
It turns out that this little area, without a mayor who can call the building inspector or highway commissioner, is a little bereft of power. It operates at the pleasure of the township. Sometimes that township seems very far away from this little village.
Mr. Meng said, of the town board, "At least acknowledge my letters." He has, as the head of a civic association been given the town calendar, although, as we mentioned, it doesn't arrive in time for notification of people about an issue of concern.
So, just a reminder, on Dec. 18, at 10 a.m. there may be issues of interest to the residents of East Norwich.