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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
March 21, 2005
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 p.m. by President Walter Mugdan. A
motion was made and seconded to waive the reading of the minutes from the
November meeting. Treasurer Frank Keenan gave the Treasurer’s Report, indicating
a balance on hand of $16,567.21 as of March 21st. A motion was made to accept
the Treasurer’s Report, the motion was seconded, and the report was unanimously
The first order of business was the election of Officers and Directors for the upcoming year. Mr. Mugdan reported that the present Board of Directors had agreed to extend their tenure, and that Mr. Charles Manna had also been nominated to join the Board. Mr. Mugdan asked if there were any additional nominations from the floor. There were none, and motions were made and seconded to accept the nominees for the Board of Directors who then moved to accept the present slate of officers.
Referring to the information he provided in the March meeting notice, Mr. Mugdan reminded the members that dead household batteries must be recycled and offered three options for complying with the requirement: dispose of them at the Department of Sanitation Self – Help facility in College Point; drop them off at Community Board 11’s office at 46-21 Little Neck Parkway; or bring them to any Westmoreland Association meeting.
Several items of old business were then addressed as follows:
Park Security Issues – Members were advised to be alert and report suspicious activities at area parks. Admiral Park has been virtually trouble-free as a result of the 9:00 o’clock lock –up procedure in place, but Triangle Park needs to be monitored. The Captain and/or Community Affairs officer of the 111th Precinct will be invited to the May meeting so that concerns can be conveyed to them in person.
Construction Concerns – As the result of complaints filed by Westmoreland Association and others, a Stop Work order was issued by the Department of Buildings citing the owner of the house at 41-93 Morgan Street for an unauthorized demolition. There is a hearing date of April 19th on the calendar with respect to this matter. Neighbors of that property expressed their concerns about its future and were advised to be vigilant about any new construction activity there and to keep the Association and the Buildings Department informed. Another property that has been the subject of past discussion, a newly constructed two family home on 44th Avenue, purportedly has three meters servicing the structure, and Mr. Mugdan advised that he would investigate that issue with the Buildings Department. Although there has been no activity recently at the WorldEx property on 44th Avenue, Mr. Mugdan reiterated that attention should be paid to any new development at the site. Finally, concerns were expressed about the possibility of future construction activity at a home contained on an 80x100 lot on Glenwood Street, and vigilance in monitoring the situation was once again stressed. Finally, Mr. Mugdan reported that he had received a suggestion that the Association inform the title companies which service our area of the covenants and restrictions that apply in Westmoreland; Mr. Mugdan advised that he would do so.
With respect to new matters, Mr. Mugdan informed the members that a home at 41-76 Little Neck Parkway is slated to become a well-staffed group home for developmentally disabled adults sometime in the Fall of 2005, and also announced that the annual Udall’s Cove meeting and wetlands clean-up will take place on April 16th with the group assembling at Sandhill Road, north and west of the Little Neck LIRR station, at 10AM.
He then introduced Councilman Tony Avella who, despite a scratchy throat, proceeded to provide a detailed analysis of the difference between the existing regulations for R2 zoning and those proposed for the new R2A zoning code that he is championing. Councilman Avella advised that R2A would be the most restrictive zoning code in the City of New York because it would eliminate all exemptions except a 300 square foot maximum allowance for a one car garage within a residence or in a separate structure, and would set a maximum lot coverage of 30%. Over-development in the area was one of the Councilman’s campaign issues and is of great concern to him, and he asked if the Westmoreland sector is interested in going forward on the new zoning. He noted that Bayside, College Point, and Whitestone have already taken steps to change and indicated that both the Little Neck Pines and Douglaston Civic Associations have expressed positive interest in the matter. Councilman Avella advised that, if the new zoning does go through, homeowners can still extensively renovate and re-model as long as the work complies with the new code. Pre-existing renovations that do not comply with the new regulations would not be required to conform to them. The question was raised as to the effect R2A would have on property values and the Councilman replied that, although a homeowner might conceivably receive less in the way of compensation from a builder/ developer, the difference would most likely be minimal. People seeking to move into the neighborhood are concerned not only with safety and the quality of the schools but also with the esthetics of the area, and the new zoning can only enhance that feature. The timing involved in effecting the change is somewhere in the area of 3 – 4 months depending on how quickly the request is reviewed by the various agencies involved. The Councilman has legislation pending relative to the over-development issue and advised that letters written to his office and also to the Mayor and Council Speaker Gifford Miller voicing support of his efforts would be of great help. Mr. Mugdan thanked Councilman Avella for taking time out of his busy schedule to attend our meeting and for his efforts to enlighten and educate the members present on the details of the new zoning issue.
A motion was then requested by Mr. Mugdan to the effect that the Westmoreland Association go on record in favor of the R2A zoning change; the motion was made and seconded, and carried unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 PM.
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