Local residents were dismayed to see the Wilbur Young house on the corner of Burtis Avenue and Kellog Street being demolished last week. Laffey Real Estate bought the property and was having the house and barn razed. A concerned local resident who had been interested in buying the lot to preserve the house told us it will soon have three hi-ranches on it, two facing Burtis Avenue and one on Kellog Street on the 150 x 150 lot.
Marie Knight, president of the Oyster Bay Civic Association was informed that it all conforms to town zoning regulations.
Local residents believe that if we continue in the way we are going - that there is nothing special worth preserving - we will end up with nothing special about the hamlet still existing.
As Tom Kuehhas, director of the Oyster Bay Historical Society said in last week's newspaper, "I don't think people realize the finality of these buildings being torn down. If what had happened over a period of decades had happened at one time, people would have been up in arms. Things happen one at a time and people shrug their shoulders. If they saw it happening all at once, they would be aghast," he said.
There has been talk of an Architectural Review law for this historic town. Is it possible to put one in place before there is no use for one.
We have another concern. As further development is planned for the hamlet - as each and every empty area is filled with another house - there is a cummulative impact on traffic, services, and on the Oyster Bay sewer district and on the health of the harbor.
If nothing else, this new event makes the upcoming series planned by the Oyster Bay Historical Society even more meaningful. The series will begin at 3 p.m. on Nov. 20 with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and will feature a lively, and potentially controversial, roundtable discussion on the conflict between historic preservation and land development. It will take place at Nassau Hall in the Muttontown Preserve. For information please call 922-5032. There must be something a concerned citizenry can do to preserve what is historic and beautiful in Oyster Bay.