Trump's Taj Mahal at Jones Beach may not get a basement, but how about a second story -- making the building 15 feet taller than originally proposed?
We at The Community Alliance, in the hope of preserving the landscape, the view, and a sense of historical perspective, say, unequivocally, NO.
This is not Manhattan or the Atlantic City coast, where skyscrapers abound, views are obscured, and the landscape is forever scarred.
This is Jones Beach in Wantagh -- a State park, no less -- still pristine and preserved in its natural state, dunes and all, having avoided a paving over (at least beyond the parking fields) or a building upward.
Long Islanders have long taken pride in what little remains of its open spaces, and, in particular, of its beautiful parks and beaches.
Jones Beach State Park, was envisioned by Robert Moses (love him or hate him), as a public park, free of housing developers and private clubs.
We should not -- no, must not -- allow ourselves to be trumpified, the former Boardwalk Restaurant being transformed into a neon-signed, iconoclastic, oversized honorarium to a man who holds himself out, like the edifice complex he seeks to construct, as bigger than life.
We say, "Not on our beach, Donald, and not on our watch."
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What say you?
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Trump's new Jones Beach try: No basement, but taller
BY BILL BLEYER
Donald Trump is floating a new plan for his troubled restaurant and catering hall for Jones Beach, leaving out the controversial basement but making the structure 15 feet higher.
Under the new proposal, Trump would shift the restaurant portion of the project from the second floor to the first floor. He had earlier moved it to the second floor at the insistence of the state parks commissioner, who wanted patrons to have a better view.
On March 4, a state review board rejected Trump on the Ocean, citing state code prohibitions on building with basements in floodplains.
Trump's team then said he would sue, and he still plans to do so, his representatives said.
Meanwhile, though, in a letter last week to the state, he has suggested the redesign.
The new look would require approval by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which owns the site. The department has said in the past that the rejected design was as big as it was comfortable with because Jones Beach is on the National Register of Historic Places. The new proposal would make the restaurant 43 feet high.
The new plan would increase the restaurant's bottom-floor footprint by 1 percent to 37,700. But the overall size would decrease by 3,000 square feet to about 72,000 square feet.
Trump's new idea isn't making opponents of the proposal much happier. They still say the catering hall is too big and should be scaled back to become a modest restaurant like the facility it would replace.
In eliminating the basement, the plans call for having one large generator instead of two smaller ones and locating it in a sheltered berm on the site. The trash storage that would have been in a refrigerated room in the basement would be reduced and supplemented with dumpsters in an "enclosed paddock" on the site.
Rather than needing a variance from the Department of State -- which Trump could not get in two tries -- and two permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation for building a basement in a floodplain, the new plan would need routine administrative approvals from both agencies, Trump's design firm says.
Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.