There have been more than enough letters written to this paper about the proposed Mill Pond Acres senior housing for Port Washington North. This letter is a response to the writers who think they have an idea of what is going on but in fact, to me, do not.
After attending village meetings, reading and listening to different opinions by opponents of the issue, I have realized that the message has become so distorted over a small period of time. The question that keeps surfacing in many of the letters I've read and feel people are missing the point is, "What will happen to this property if Sandy Hollow Associates doesn't build Mill Pond Acres?"
The answer is that the property owners will be forced to sell immediately to an industrial company, since the current space is zoned for industrial use. That is the only alternative. It has also been stated by the current owners of the land that they have basically had it with paying taxes on this vacant lot and are ready to sell to the first industrial business to make an offer, if the senior housing project falls through. Can anyone do the math here and maybe write a letter about this?
I'd like to bring up a point about another letter in this paper recently that suggested that senior housing would produce 1,000 plus automobiles on our street? I find that hard to believe and would like to see the day when a 250-unit senior housing facility produces such numbers. In my estimation the majority of seniors living here would only drive during non-peak hours and if there were even 140 cars in the Mill Pond Acres parking lot, I would guess that maybe on a busy afternoon there would be no more than 50 cars out and about on the streets of the town. Hardly a traffic problem to lose sleep over. Think of the alternative if a new industrial business had more trucks and 18-wheelers coming in and out of Port and several hundred employees during peak times.
Has anyone at Franklin Stainless, Thompson and other businesses that filed lawsuits to deter the builder of this project, come up with a better idea? I suggest these businesses come up with other suggestions. I haven't seen a good one yet in all the opposition letters I've read.
Being positive about this issue, I must add that after asking a village official recently about the benefits Mill Pond Acres would provide for off-property residents, I was pleasantly surprised. The village informed me that if constructed, the builders would create a community center for both Port North senior residents and Mill Pond Acres residents. Residents would be able to use a clubhouse, indoor swimming pool, and recreational areas. In addition, they would donate about eight acres of their land for a dedicated park to the village and $875,000 for open space preservation and a new waterfront park on Manhasset Bay for all residents to enjoy. That, too, was a pleasant surprise.
Overall, maybe one letter put it best, "This has got nothing to do with planning, traffic and all other obstacles they're conjuring to defeat what will serve the best interests of our community. What we have here is a demonstration of special interests at their worst."
I am in favor of senior housing here in Port North, not only because I think it is the best idea I've seen in years for that property, but because the opposition to the project doesn't have many facts to support their reasons for spending wasteful dollars to stop the project.