Documents and Photos for the
East Hills Architectural Review Board
Meeting of December 5, 2016
See Extended Text Below

ARB meeting December 5, 2016 at 8 PM in the Village courtroom, in the Village Park, 209 Harbor Hill Rd. Open to all. Public comments are taken verbally and in writing up to and at the meeting.

IF YOU AGREE ... in this age of Global Warming and species collapse, East Hills -- and elsewhere in our region -- needs far better environmental and ecological stewardship, please attend the hearings and/or provide me written testimony expressing your desire to preserve the trees and halt the over-building to: Richard Brummel (516) 238-1646, Email: rxbrummel [at] gmail [dot] com. Other assistance is also welcome. Thank you.

  1. 25 Hemlock Drive -- Official Documents An application to destroy four healthy Beech trees merely for a patio and "wall" in connection with the demolition and rebuilding of a massive new home. The new home is proposed to be over 6,000 square feet on a less-than-half-acre plot. No original dimensions are given in the application, but judging from typical Country Estate house sizes the new house will at least double the size of the current house. Similarly the "lot coverage" is proposed to be 17%, while the typical original lot coverages are closer to 10%, for the purpose of maintaining the "suburban' feel of separation and privacy that this community was designed for. UPDATE: DEFERRED 12/5/16

  2. 132 Deerpath -- Official Documents The proposed demolition of a classically-"Norgate" old-style Cape Cod and its replacement with a monstrously over-designed, ostentatious, over-sized new house -- while asking permission to destroy the only significant tree on the property, a beautiful Oak on the front lawn, in order to expand the footprint so excessively. The new house would be more than double the current size -- 3992 square feet over the present 1779 square feet according to the application, actually 225% percent the current size. Despite the job of the East Hills Architectural Rev. Bd. to protect the "harmony" of the community (Village Code, 271-185) and to prevent over-sized ("expansive") new houses (271-225(A)) such new homes have been wreaking havoc on the streetscape, particularly in Country Estates. Now this house is part of the trend attacking the tranquility and classic style of "old" Norgate. UPDATE: APPROVED 12/5/16


Documents for re-building and tree removals at 25 Hemlock Dr..


Documents for demolition and rebuilding at 132 Deerpath.


Background

      The East Hills Village Code contains provisions to protect the local environment: to preserve the tree canopy (Section 186), to preserve the architectural harmony of the community (Section 271-185), and to halt the rampant demolitions *and* rebuilding of large over-bearing massive new houses (Section 271-225). The Architectural Review Board (ARB) is the de-facto front-line environmental regulator of the Village. The Zoning Board of Appeals has a role but it hears far fewer cases, and does not deal with multiple demolitions and rebuildings, and proposed tree 'removals-by-the-dozen' each month, as the ARB does. Anyone passing through East Hills will notice that the ARB has been grossly failing in its environmental duties, voting in favor of the real-estate speculation that the Village administration now favors. But for a few years now, we have been trying hard to oppose this policy, including by taking the Village to court.

      One key problem is that the members of the board are appointed by the Mayor without ANY public application or candidate 'review-process', except maybe a cursory description and rubber-stamp vote by the trustees. This is the result of a pure crony/one-party system, which tries to discredit, wear-out, or co-opt critics. Dissenting members of the board like founding members Hilda Yohalem and Richard Oberlander are shown the door. Jana Goldenberg quit last year in disgust over a large house built on Chestnut Drive by a resident who -- in an astoundingly vindictive act by the Mayor -- was then appointed to the board. However, neighbor testimony CAN be effective, and in some cases forces modification of plans. In some cases builders have bveen persuaded NOT to cut down large numbers of trees.

      The Village currently continues to refuse to post any documents from the applications being heard by ARB on its website -- DESPITE state law requiring that it make a good-faith effort to do so (Open Meeting Law: NY State Public Officers Law, Article 7, Section 103(e)).

      Therefore most residents are in the dark and have difficulty making sense of the vague notices they *may* receive about the proposal to rebuild a house nearby and/or "remove trees". The fact is, every month the ARB approves massive, ugly and inappropriate new houses and the destruction of dozens of healthy trees -- with no real oversight or public accountability. The Board is appointed in virtual secrecy with no open application process or public hearings on the nominees of the Mayor. The trustees are a rubber stamp. The media does not pay any attention.

      The ARB utterly fails to uphold the tree protection law or the architectural preservation law. Visits to streets like Poplar Drive and Birch Drive reveal the extremes of the current reckless over-development policy; and many other streets bear the ugly sterile imprint of the same trend of over-sized houses on denuded lots too small for the massive 5,000 to 6,000 square-foot homes being routinely approved. Animals are losing trheir shelter and sources of food, and this community is being degraded -- like so many others on Long Island. Conscientious people have resigned from the ARB, the most recent one quietly this winter.

      Since last year, we have been trying to improve the process by putting some documents online for residents to readily see in advance what is at stake. We also give neighbors more detailed letters about what is at stake, time permitting.

      Please help us fight for our environment, trees and neighborhood character. The organizer of this effort, Richard Brummel, grew up here in Norgate; went to Roslyn High School and Yale. We fight for the environment throughout Nassau County. We need your help. Call Richard Brummel at (516) 238-1646 to express your support and share your ideas, and attend the meetings generally the first Monday at 8 PM in Village Hall. Thanks!

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