I have been a resident of the Village of Port Washington North since 1977, and have always been an advocate of promoting positive good not only for my village, but for the beautiful town that I live and work in. To me, living in Port Washington is a unique and beautiful experience.
I never take for granted the incredible seascapes or sunsets that I pass daily during my travels, the lines of cars that pleasantly come to a halt on Shore Road as a family of ducks crosses over to the bay, or the parades and fairs that bring families and friends together with pride.
And pride is what brings me to write this letter. We must all look at the big picture of what might happen to our beautiful peninsula if the 41-acre property gets developed.
First and foremost, and generally speaking, people at the age of 62 are no longer the "senior citizens" that my parents' generation were considered. Women are having babies well into their late 40s, marathons are being run by men and women in their 60s, and I can attest to losing many a "singles tennis match" at my club to women in their 60s. They just aren't living like seniors anymore, thankfully. So when you envision 250 cluster units in this proposed development, you also must envision close to possibly 500 cars, and of course, 500 drivers traveling on a daily basis to work, to perhaps their tennis clubs, and to an ongoing active lifestyle - 500 more cars on this very congested peninsula that I live in. You would think with the Pastabilities Restaurant taken down in the Soundview Shopping Center, that we would have tremendous parking available now but we don't. More and more two families are being developed in the Village of Manorhaven, another northern village on our peninsula, and of course, more and more cars. Unless you live down here and see what I see on a daily basis, you will have no idea how crowded this peninsula is becoming, and we all must feel responsibility for our beautiful town. Picture another 500 cars trying to leave the northern most part of town on a daily basis. I know that many residents in my area of Soundview who have been homeowners for perhaps 25 years or more can't wait for this development to come to fruition, and I know these fine people to be very active despite the fact that one of them is "over 62." Then, of course, when they sell their homes in Soundview, we could have a huge new population of perhaps 75 new homeowners with young families, which will increase our school population quite radically, and, of course, our tax dollars. We as a town have to see the whole picture, I believe.
Do I want quality senior citizen housing in Port Washington? Absolutely! But where it should be is another question to ponder.
I have been to many meetings concerning the 41 acres, and at each meeting have heard two very vocal non-Port Washington residents speak about how shameful it is that we locals are trying to block housing for our seniors. They are radio personalities by the names of Bart Cafarella and Fern Karhu, but what they never have mentioned in their letters to our editor of the Port News denegrating those who don't support the 41 acres, or when speaking at the microphone at our town meetings, is that they are licensed real estate agents with Prudential Long Island Realty, and currently are the "exclusive agents" for "The Cove," a luxury condominium development for those who are 62 or over! What exactly are they advocating for our peninsula and in whose best interests? Will they be our "exclusive agents" for 250 units selling at many hundreds of thousands of dollars each?
Lots to think about, Port Washington. The time is now to speak up, and to think about the future of this beautiful town. This is not a Port Washington North issue; it involves every one of you who feels a pride in Port.