Written by Jill Nossa Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:00
Residents of Glen Head and Glenwood Landing have the job of deciding the fate of an abandoned corner lot in Glen Head, and must choose between creating a green space and giving the okay for a new office building to be built.
“Either choice would be a win-win,” said George Pombar. president of the Glen Head/Glenwood Landing Civic Council.
Pombar hosted a meeting on March 13 at the North Shore Middle School, where residents were able to give input. The Civic Council invited Hal Mayer, environmental consultant to Supervisor John Venditto and John Elsworth and Phil Schade, both also from the Town of Oyster Bay, to join in the discussion.
According to Pombar, there are two options currently on the table: allow The Town of Oyster Bay to build a park on the site, located at the corner of Glen Head Road and Glen Cove Ave. where the former Sunoco station space has been abandoned for the past four years, or sell the property to the First National Bank of Long Island.
Three years ago a contract was signed between Sunoco and The Town of Oyster Bay for the purchase of the property to build a park. The contract included an agreement from Sunoco to do a complete environmental cleanup; when the property was not cleaned up in a timely manner, the contract was voided.
“Since then Sunoco has completed the environmental cleanup on the property, but it is still a total eyesore,” said Pombar.
At the time, it was estimated it would cost the town $700,000 to build the park. At present, Sunoco pays $40,000 a year on the property. If it becomes a park, the taxes would be spread out among all the residents in the TOB, and it will be the town’s responsibility to maintain the park. However, if the bank was to build on the property, taxes are expected to be $90,000.
If the community chooses the bank, the proposed two-story building would not be erected until 2016 and the property would not be purchased for resale. The bank would, according to Pombar, clean up the property immediately, take down the existing building, and plant grass and shrubs around the property.
One resident raised concern about building a park in an urban setting. “We have no plan, we don’t know exactly how it would be used. There is no parking, it can’t be built for athletics, and it’s no good for a children’s park. The community can’t go around losing tax revenue. We have to look beyond. We’re already losing with LIPA.”
Another resident said he has grandchildren and it would be a great place to take them if the property was a park.
“If the community wants the park, the town will build it,” said Mayer. “But the town does not want to push something on the community.
A survey form was handed out to residents at the meeting; those interested in offering input can contact the Civic Council.
“If we do not decide, the property owner can sell the property to any bidder with little input from our community,” said Pombar.