Monday, October 12, 2009

On The Waterfront

Glen Cove Redevelopment Sails On
Call it "hello, Columbus" (and a happy Columbus Day Sail to you all), but while Town of Hempstead officials twiddle thumbs and mince words over the Lighthouse Project, the City of Glen Cove is poised to move forward with its most ambitious plans to revitalize its underutilized and altogether blighted waterfront.

Glen Isle portends to be the epitome of smart growth -- a re-invigorated downtown (and which community among us couldn't use that?); a rejuvenated waterfront, replete with entertainment, dining, residential, and recreational facilities; an environmentally friendly footprint; and all of this without the naysaying and politicking that has become the hallmark of Kate & Kompany in the Town of Hempstead.

Yes, landscaped public parks, pedestrian plazas, walking and cycling paths, as well as a restored public beach, complementing multiple housing types which include condominiums, townhouses and lofts, a Culinary Arts District, office space, waterfront dining, convenience retail and other related uses for residents and visitors alike.

Add to this a planned luxury hotel and adjacent Ferry Terminal with service to and from Manhattan and other destinations.

Sounds idyllic. When can the rest of Nassau County move in?

And while Glen Cove continues to reinvent the Gold Coast, Hempstead Town Supervisor, Kate Murray, systematically plunders and decimates the Blight Coast (formerly known as the Town that Time Forgot, a/k/a America's Most Blighted Township).

How is it that one Long Island community can have the consummate transformation, from brownfields loaded with radioactive waste to fields of dreams, while others, notably, America's most populous town (quadruple that, when you include illegal accessory apartments), remain mired in the mud, stuck in the rear view mirror of suburbia, about as in tune with the 21st century as a Victrola? [Victorian-style street lamps, on the other hand...]

Could it be that Hempstead Town, and its many square miles of unincorporated wasteland, is just too big, too daunting, or simply too far gone?

Perhaps its the old "rape the land" philosophy of the strip miners, taking everything you can for yourself, future generations (and even present ones) be damned.

Is it that our elected officials are not up to the task, lacking visionary leadership, bold initiative, or the incentive to do anything more than to hold office for another year, another decade, another eon?

Or is it that we, the people, have, in large numbers, simply given up, falling prey to the "it can't be done," "that's the way it is," "why bother" mediocrity that stymies anything more than a few brick pavers on Main Street?

We are distracted by the glib, be it solar incubated clams or grazing Nigerian goats, waylayed by the smile (behind which lies the inherent evil of malaise), and paralyzed by the fear of anything new, different, unique, or challenging.

We take comfort in our age-old surroundings, seemingly oblivious to the decline of downtown, the decay along Main Street, the brownfield, ever-encroaching, next door.

And we believe the disingenuous, the promise never delivered, the lie recast and retold, time and time again, so much so, that most of us never bother to do the one thing that can bring about change, and turn around this community, more than any other -- VOTE!

Are Glen Cove residents more enlightened, empowered, embracing of the future than we in the lower townships? Are their leaders -- elected and civic -- more forceful, demanding, and steadfast?

Perhaps. Or maybe it is just the two Towns of Hempstead -- one for the North, and the other, er, not.
Let's just say that, right now, the difference between Glen Cove and the Town of Hempstead (which, by virtue of size rather than desire, is the heart of Nassau County), is that the former is moving forward, while the latter is, at best, standing still.

It is time to get Nassau County moving forward once again, lest future generations be left but to inherit the wind!


  1. We've said it a million times. Kate and the Town of Hempstead are stuck in a Long Island from 50 years ago. The best thing we can do to bring about change is vote her out in November. Hopefully, Kristen McElroy is more open minded when it comes to smart growth development!

  2. We can gripe all we want to about what is going on in Hempstead, or more accurately what is not going on; and we can endlessly condemn Kate Murray, as well as the rest of her administration, for its lack of leadership and vision; we can decry the blight, the economic deterioration, the lousy roads and all the other problems now being ignored even as we are subjected to smiling Kate's malignant "let them eat clams" indifference to it all. But WE THE VOTERS are the ones who put her and her team in charge, so ultimately we have only ourselves to blame for this situation. It's time to put up or shut up - either we get rid of her in November and start making some real progress in this town, or remember that the real problem stands before you in the mirror.

  3. you are not going to be able to defeat murray,at least in this election. the TOH is the last republican stronghold and they are not going to give it up. Murray has the $$,the votes and too many political favors to repay.

    once again, the dems are too little,too late. mcelroy is much too weak of a candidate;basically a "fill-in" candidate of the last resort.

    I cant prove it but I have a feeling that the repubs and dems had a meeting of the party leadership and decided to 'divide' the county at the last second.

    look at the county executive and county clerk races. the republican candidates are so weak they basically have no chance at all.

  4. Ironically, Kate Murray spoke at a Vision Long Island Summit when she first became Supervisor where she advocated for smart growth development in the Town of Hempstead. Unfortunately, those words have not resulted in any action in the 6 years since. In fact, the Town has routinely denied any projects that even remotely resemble smart growth. Moreover, she has failed to overhaul the Town's outdated and antiquated zoning code.

    6 years is enough time. Let's take a shot at this Kristen McElroy. She can't possibly be worse than Kate.

  5. Ok guys, I live in North Bellmore and work in Uniondale. I am AGAINST the Lighthouse Project. This is not smart growth; it is density that exceeds anything that that is rational for that area. The towers will literally cast a shadow into three hamlets as the sun rises and sets. PLEASE! Traffic is already a nightmare in the area. Charles Wang will go home to his estate in Cove Neck and leave the rest of us to live with his nightmare on Hempstead Turnpike. I say no and I support Kate Murray. I want the Town to examine this project in the timetable that the law outlines -- not some accelerated schedule set by the chumps in Mineola. It needs to be scaled back to ensure that my quality of life -- already compromised -- doesn't side further because of the egos and pocketbooks of Mr. Wang and Tom Suozzi.

  6. Are Glen Cove residents more enlightened, empowered, embracing of the future than we in the lower townships? Are their leaders -- elected and civic -- more forceful, demanding, and steadfast?

    Just in mayor Ralph Suozzi announced at the City council meeting that the 'Waterfront Project is on hold indefinitely due to the economic climate"

    In fact, the community is not in favor of this project. Beat on the politicians that you do not like all you want, but provide the facts when it comes to the Glen Cove waterfront project.