Letter: Attention Manhasset

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We strongly advise local residents of Plandome and surrounding villages to attend the Village of Plandome’s Planning Board hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, at the Plandome Village Hall, 65 South Dr.

The Planning Board of the Inc. Village of Plandome is on the cusp of possibly approving an application to allow 1020 Plandome Rd. (the old Kenny property) to increase the existing three-lot subdivision to four buildable lots.

In 1999, Brian Kenny applied to sub-divide his property, and the Village of Plandome granted him a total of three lots—one of the three lots was his existing home. He was not granted four lots, which he previously applied for, and that was almost 20 years ago when there was far less congestion on Plandome Road than exists today.

The new owner/developer of the Kenny property (Greenhill Development LLC) has been lobbying Plandome’s Planning Board hard for a 4th buildable lot. The Flushing developer, having already been discouraged from attempting to go forward with an application for four separate driveways on the blind curve, is now proposing to put in a cul-de-sac directly across from Willets Lane, as the way he can squeeze in a fourth home if the Planning Board grants the additional subdivision.

Residents of Plandome are gravely concerned about the proposed location of the cul-de-sac because unlike Willets Lane, cars will be entering Plandome Road from the heart of the blind curve on the eastern side of Plandome Road. While this clearly opens up Plandome taxpayers to potential legal liability if an approval is granted, everyone who uses Plandome Road should be concerned about the hazardous driving conditions this particular curb cut will create for one of the biggest arteries into Port Washington. The safety of ALL drivers, bicyclists, runners and pedestrians is now placed in the hands of the Planning Board.

After the January hearing, the applicant was asked to prepare a traffic/speed study on Plandome Road to ascertain the actual speeds and appropriate stopping times a car would need to avoid collision. While the speed of traffic going northbound (towards Port Washington) at or about Westgate Boulevard was voiced as where the measuring device should be located to accurately calculate sight lines and stopping times for northbound traffic; concerned residents contacted the village to make them aware that the device used to conduct the study was situated too far north on Plandome Road, beyond the curve and just before the traffic light on Shore Road/South Drive. While that may have yielded better results for the applicant (as cars had already been forced to slow down to navigate the curve safely and could have been approaching or departing from a red traffic light), it does not bring us closer to understanding the actual speed of or stopping distance needed for cars heading into this blind curve. Conducting a traffic study in the way it was done yields inaccurate results. Further, the current plans as submitted do not seem to reflect the clear directives required for adequate sight lines even using these erroneous results.

This sub-division raises additional concerns such as the delayed and/or completely obstructed traffic during the years of construction along with the diversion of cars through your communities as everyone seeks alternative routes.

We all know we can’t unreasonably prevent new building in our village, but this applicant, who ‘clear cut’ the entire property on the morning of a hearing calling for a moratorium on multiple tree removal, is simply being unreasonable. They already have permission for three homes with a safer curb cut and better visibility further down the hill, but our safety is not one of their concerns; they want to squeeze in one more house.

Plandome’s Planning Board has the power to grant or reject the proposed application. More importantly, however, the board has a responsibility to protect its current taxpaying residents. Thus, the only safe choice is to not grant applicants the right to develop an environment which would gravely impact not only its surrounding neighbors, but those who regularly travel through the Village when they already have permission for three lots with a safer curb cut.

Keep your eyes on Manhasset Connection, Manhasset Neighborhood Watch for updates. If you can’t make the meeting, email: keepplandomesafe@gmail.com to show support for this project.

—Concerned Citizens of Plandome

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