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Opinion

This letter is in response to Henry J. Cosenza's letter which appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of the Port News.

It is unfortunate that Mr. Cosenza ignored the relevant issues associated with the proposed senior housing in Port Washington North. I, like so many others in Port Washington, am opposed to this housing project for the following reasons:

Port Washington is a peninsula. Any new housing in any part of our peninsula will negatively impact all of us, especially in regard to

1. Increased automobile traffic. This morning it took me 20 minutes to drive from just south of Main Street, on Port Washington Boulevard, to the entrance to LIE, due to the volume of traffic. A dozen years ago that drive took about 10 minutes. Similar bumper-to-bumper traffic is experienced everywhere on our peninsula.

2. Increased pollution. More automobiles, especially those idling while stuck in traffic, increases the amounts of poisons in the air for us to breathe. More people on the peninsula also translates into increased litter on the sidewalks, streets, beaches and parks. More people also means more of every type of pollution, including noise and visual pollution. Looking at trees, open space and waterfront is much more appealing and healthful than looking at more houses. There is also the very real possibility of salt water intrusion into our fresh water aquifer, as more water demands are placed on the aquifer. More people also means more lawn fertilizer and automobile oil and gasoline runoff into our wetlands, harbors, Manhasset Bay, Hempstead Harbor and Long Island Sound, resulting in an even quicker death to our natural surroundings.

3. Increased congestion. The lines in our stores are longer; and waiting time for restaurants, parking spaces, LIRR train tickets, etc. is longer. The congestion would be even worse than it is now, if you can imagine that.

4. Increased pressure on all our services, resulting in higher taxes. This would include our police, fire and ambulance departments, library and water.

5. Decreased value of our homes. As we know, the limited supply of homes has translated into an increase in their value. The law of supply and demand will cause the rate of increase of value to be slowed, as supply increases.

Finally, allow me to appeal to everyone living on our peninsula with this last statement. The construction of a few houses here and there over long periods of time is inevitable and even somewhat desirable. However, the assaults that have been launched against us in the last dozen or so years by greedy developers, in over-developing our peninsula, has been causing irreparable harm and damage to our cherished lifestyles. The proposed senior housing in Port Washington North is not just for the residents of Port Washington North to oppose, but it is for every citizen of the peninsula to oppose.

Richard Kane


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