(Editor's Note: The following was sent to TONH Councilman Fred Pollack and printed here at the writer's request.)
There is a beautiful natural screen (for about nine months out of the year) between the existing houses on Revere Road/Orchard Street and the shopping center. This natural buffer cannot be matched by a couple of oversized houses which do not fit into the neighborhood. Please take a look at the property and consider the potential loss of the green surroundings.
What is desperately needed in this neighborhood is parking, not more houses. That is where the town can help. I am advocating that the town acquire part of the parking lot (already zoned for parking) for public parking.
It is logical that the owner of the shopping center does not provide free parking for the public except for the patrons of the center. The town has an indirect obligation to provide public parking because it allowed the restaurant (Sullivan's Quay) to expand to double its size without provision for parking.
The lack of parking is a threat to the merchants trying to stay in business. The loss of businesses would be a loss of incoming taxes for the town and the county. We have enough vacant stores in town.
The funds to acquire a portion of the parking lot might be available through a state grant. Upkeep could be financed by metered parking.
If the parking problem can be solved by the town, it would benefit all parties concerned. The owner of the shopping center could reduce his tax burden, the homeowners along Revere Road would not have to battle the parked cars and the public as well as the businesses in the area would enjoy a place to park.
As to concerns homeowners might have to be near a public parking lot, the Port Washington Police Headquarters is just across the street; therefore, the police can easily keep an eye on the property. In addition, restrictions could also be put in place.
The second proposal by the developer has not changed my opposition to building anything on the property in question except a bank in place of the former gas station. The covenant must be upheld without further amendment.
This is a unique opportunity for the town to preserve and improve the quality of life for the residents in this neighborhood. It would be lost if houses were to be built.
In the hope that you will consider my concerns and ideas in your decision-making, I remain,
(Editor's Note: A public hearing on the subject of the Revere Shopping Center will be held at town hall on the evening of Sept. 9.)