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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
September 27, 2004
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 May
meeting. Treasurer Frank Keenan gave the Treasurer�s Report, indicating a
balance on hand of $15,729.21 as of September 27th. Mr. Keenan noted that this
was the lowest balance of Association funds on hand since January, 1995. A
motion was made to accept the Treasurer�s Report, the motion was seconded, and
the report was unanimously approved.
Mr. Mugdan notified the group of a meeting on Sunday, October 3rd at 12 noon at the Commerce Bank parking lot located at 196-41 Northern Boulevard for those concerned about proposed changes in the NYPD�s anti-vandalism/graffiti unit structure. The unit, which was previously housed in the 111th Precinct, is merging with the Transit Authority�s Vandalism unit and Councilman Tony Avella is worried that the merger will draw resources away from neighborhood problems with graffiti. Ms. Lisa Sutz, a representative from Councilman Tony Avella�s office, was in attendance at the meeting and reiterated the Councilman�s concern with this issue. It was also noted that both the Department of Transportation and the Sanitation Department had cut funding as respects graffiti, which would also unfavorably impact the ability to address the problem in our neighborhood.
Mr. Mugdan proceeded to notify the members of the decision of the Board of Directors to reduce the annual schedule of meetings from five to four by eliminating the January meeting. If in the future it appears that a January meeting is necessary in order to handle neighborhood problems and concerns, he noted that it could easily be reinstated, and an extra meeting can also be called whenever needed.
With respect to matters of old business, the issue of Historic District Designation was raised again and Mr. Mugdan advised that a group of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers would be needed in order to pursue such status. Motivated members would need to interact closely with their neighbors, and fund-raising activity would almost certainly have to take place since the process can be an expensive one. He reminded the members that the entire Westmoreland area would not necessarily qualify for designation, and member Victor Dadras noted that designation can be very restrictive in certain instances. Mr. Mugdan asked the group to discuss the matter with neighbors and determine the level of interest among area residents in going forward.
Discussion then turned to new business matters: namely, the construction taking place at 252-26 44th Avenue, and possible covenant restrictions applicable to the former Rogutsky house at the corner of 41st Avenue and Westmoreland Street. The 44th Avenue property is being expanded into a 2-family house. The NYC zoning applicable to the site (R3-1 with a C1-2 commercial overlay), allows for this, and also for the lack of a side set-back on the east side of the property. Therefore, it appears that although the building is large, it is not in violation of any zoning ordinances. A change to the front entry of the house was suggested by the Westmoreland Association, and accepted by the owner, in order to comply with the front setback requirements of the covenants.
There are two concerns with the former Rogutsky property: a Certificate of Occupancy dating back to 1947/8 indicating it as a two-family house and the use of the property as a professional office. A lawyer will review both situations and Mr. Mugdan will report back to us on his findings.
Larry Blessinger, owner of Olllie�s Taxi Service, then proceeded to address the meeting announcing the purchase of 40 alternative fuel vehicles for his business, seven or eight of which would be put into use at the Little Neck station. These cars will use compressed natural gas, which is the cleanest of all fossil fuels. Mr. Mugdan thanked him for the information and congratulated him for acquiring these vehicles, but reiterated that it remains the Westmoreland Association�s position not to have a base station taxi company operating in the area.
Mr. Mugdan advised that he would write follow-up letters on recurring problems as follows:
Violations at 254-17 40th Avenue;
removal of stumps so that new trees can be planted by the City (upon receipt of information from any members concerning their location; and
flooding problems on 41st Road.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40PM.
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