The abandoned house at 1020 Plandome Rd. has been a sore spot for many years now in Plandome. It’s known as the Kenny House after its previous owner, Brian Kenny, before it was sold to a developer in July 2012 for $1,950,000.
The developer, Green Hill Development LLC in Flushing, has been trying to get a subdivision application through the Plandome Planning Board for several years now. The proposed subdivision would divide the 1.92 acres of land into four lots. If it is not approved, the developer already has the ability to build three lots on the land, but they have been pushing for the fourth.
However, the most controversial part of the plans would be to build a cul-de-sac for all four houses to have access to. The cul-de-sac would start where the current “Kenny House” driveway now lays exiting Plandome Road.
During a Planning Board public hearing and meeting on May 23, residents of Willets Lane came out in droves to show opposition to the subdivision plans. The chief complaint was the fear of growing traffic disturbance created by the cul-de-sac. They say that it’s already dangerous enough to make a left onto Willets Lane, and multiple collisions have already happened while doing this in past years. The cul-de-sac would only create more hazardous situations for drivers. The proposed subdivision also deems the cul-de-sac as a private road.
The residents of Willets Lane did concede that they would like to be something done about the rundown Kenny House. It has become a safe-haven for teenage drinkers in the area that many feel is a public-safety issue, especially if any of the kids enter the house. The windows and doors are currently boarded-up, but it would be fairly easy to gain access to the now abandoned house.
After recent elections, new members of the Planning Board were getting acquainted with the proposed subdivision and were constantly getting stuck up on old hashed-out issues. The three-and-a-half-hour meeting saw new member, Thomas Matesich, interrupting the discussions on a routine basis to provide commentary that confused not only the developer’s attorney, but also the rest of the planning board.
Planning Board Chairman Richard T. Lombard did his best to bring back discussions to the pertinent issues of the application. There was some other hiccups along the way; village engineer Jim Antonelli said he had not seen the newly proposed plans until that night and was also visibly annoyed by some of Matesich’s comments.
The proposed subdivision would have four building envelopes known as “parcels.” The Kenny House will be knocked down to make room for the four houses and cul-de-sac.
Parcel one would be located on the southwest part of the property with .44 acres of property. Parcel two would be on the southeast corner of property with a gross lot area of .47 acres. Parcel three would have the largest area out of the four at half an acre. Parcel four, in the northeast corner of the property, has the smallest amount of allotted land at .43 acres.
All four parcels would have their own private driveway attached to the cul-de-sac that has a diameter of 91 feet.
It was determined by the end of the meeting that the site would be evaluated by New York State to find out if the site had any historical value. The state must give its results in 30 days and it almost certainly will come back with a conclusion that states the Kenny House is not a historical site after only being built in 1915.
There is no further determination on the fate of the subdivision after the state comes back with its conclusion. Plandome Village Attorney John Ritter was reached on three separate occasions for this story, but was not available to comment.
Subdivision Proposed For Vacant House
By Marco Schaden – June 20, 20190169
I was shocked to read your inappropriate comments about one of our Planning Board members. Board Members volunteer their time and talent. They have both a right and an obligation to ask questions. I have attended almost every meeting regarding this proposed development, including the recent one you that you “reported” on. Your reporting was biased, unfair, and superficial.
I was very disappointed in your reporting. Planning Board Members volunteer their time to serve the Village. They should not be publicly and unfairly ridiculed by your newspaper for asking questions on behalf of residents. You owe the gentleman an apology.
I was appalled to read your smear our “volunteer” board – who was doing their job – and doing it well – by asking hard questions to the developer. YES – he was very upset – and too bad. His plan is dangerous – and will destroy the feeling of Plandome that has been curated over many years. We NEED people like Thomas Matesich on the board – and unless you have other folks on the record – you have no idea what anything means. That assumption was wrong. Our board has tried to work with these developers, and they arrogantly keep coming back with the same plan…a bad plan. Further, you have stated the driveway will be where the existing one is . LOOK AT THE plan you printed – It is planned to be at the worst part for the blind curve – directly opposite Willets Lane. When tragedy occurs – the developer will be long gone – and Manhasset residents will be here to cry with the families – and all along we KNEW IN ADVANCE the driveway was in the wrong place. Lastly, you neglect to say the last plot will need a variance to build a proper home or they have to build an inferior home that no one will buy. Look at this property – and how they maintain it- it is a dangerous and neglected eyesore. No one in Plandome can maintain their property like this – except these unscrupulous arrogant developers. It’s a big FU to Plandome. The shoddy reporting is also reflected in wrong words being used, many grammatical errors and the obvious support of the developer. It’s a good thing to raise this issue – but please – take one more minute and write a factual accurate story reflecting the reality of the situation.
On behalf of all Plandome residents – you owe our Planning Board and especially Mr. Thomas Matesich an apology and published correction. These VOLUNTEER board members are obligated to protect Plandome’s interests – and while they may make the obnoxious and greedy lawyer upset – as he presents this dangerous and poorly designed plan – over and over again – its just too bad! Most of Plandome was at the meeting (not just the Willets Lane residents – as you suggest) and no one objected to Mr. Matiesich’s questions except the applicant. The plan they keep submitting and re-submitting is the same – with the single driveway designed to serve four homes – located at the blindest part of the blind curve on Plandome Road is an amateurish and dangerous plan that puts drivers on Plandome Road at risk and all residents and service vehicles coming and going off the property. This poorly constructed plan will affect ALL Plandome and Manhasset residents. The applicant’s amateurish traffic study – using antiquated methodologies – as was pointed out – continuously falls on the applicant’s deaf ears. The complete neglect of the property makes Plandome look like we have open neglected plots like you’d find in neighborhoods that are very different from Plandome. This drives down the value of our community and certainly leaves the wrong impression for prospective new home buyers and is a terrible eyesore for all of us. It all serves as a statement to Plandome residents that these developers just don’t care. There are so many reasons we NEED Mr. Matesich to ask tough questions – and if he doesn’t get a proper answer to ask again and again and again! This battle has gone on for years – and it will go one for many more years – if the developer doesn’t listen to the board and Mr. Matesich’s advisement – as they respect and reflect the Plandome community’s wishes. ONE driveway – located where the existing one is – three homes! The greediness of these developers and their arrogant lawyer is no match for Plandome’s activist community involvement or the board’s assertive defense of our community. You should print a correction and get the community’s point of view. Not just the developer’s.