Westmoreland Association, Inc.
251-31 42nd Avenue, Little Neck, NY 11363 
E-mail: westmoreland@littleneck.net


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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association

Minutes of the September 18, 2017

Officers Present
President - Walter Mugdan
Vice President - Victor Dadras
Treasurer – Gary Savage
Secretary – Charles Manna

Board Members Present
Phil Toscano
Robert Timmerman
Peter Reinharz
John Duane

Officials Present
Ahmed Nazaar from Councilman Paul Vallone’s office

President Walter Mugdan called the meeting to order at 8:05 P.M. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously adopted to waive reading of the minutes. (Mr. Mugdan noted that the minutes are available for review on the Westmoreland website.)

Gary Savage provided the Treasurer’s Report indicating that the balance-on-hand was $21,9381.54 as of September 18, 2017. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded and the report was unanimously approved.

Old Business
111th Precinct representatives were due to participate in the May 17, 2017 meeting. Unfortunately, they did not appear nor did they inform us that they were not able to attend the meeting. Subsequently, they informed us that there was a last-minute emergency that prevented their attendance. We will invite them to the November, 2017 meeting.

Participatory Budget Committee:
Ahmed Nazaar discussed the Participatory Budget Committee process and asked for volunteers to join in. The committees will be chosen in the next month or so.

Park Improvement –
Laura Toscano, a local high school student, received the Rotary Club Leadership award, which involves her working on a community service project. She presented a project involving the improvement of the Glenwood Landing Park. Volunteers will be needed to help improve the plantings in the park. The date for the cleanup is October 28, 2017 from 9:00 to 2:00. The idea is to make the park more family friendly so that more members will visit there. It is also hoped that the improvements will discourage undesirables from hanging out there. Laura is working with Catherine Touwsma of the Douglaston Garden Club on this project. Catherine is also leading a project on the same day to improve the Catherine Turner Richardson Park in Douglaston. Both projects are part of the City Parks Department's annual "It's My Park Day" event.

It was suggested that on the project day, if sufficient volunteers show up, volunteers could also be provided with trash bags to clean up the garbage on the north side of 39th Road, along the LIRR parking lot fenceline.

It was suggested that lighting at the Glenwood Landing park should also be improved to keep drug use at a minimum. Victor has been working with the Parks Department to make such improvement.

The Amenian/Iranian Hall-
Bob Timmerman and his daughter have talked to Tony Avella and other officials about the non-compliance of the owners of the hall. The building is in a residential zone and has license to conduct affairs and parties for members only. It is not permitted to rent the space for commercial catering and other events. However, it appears that the hall may be violating these terms of use. For instance, there was what appeared to be a catered party held there on the Saturday that created a noise situation until 4:00 Sunday morning. They promised that the hall would be closed after midnight in the past. The promise is not being kept. We requested that Mr. Nazaar speak with Councilman Paul Vallone about what we can do to enforce the law here. There is also a tax issue here -- this is supposed to be a not-for-profit enterprise.

Glenwood Street and 41 Drive.
Construction Fence – We talked to the owners and contractors. Neighbors had complained during the summer about the condition of the grass around the lot; Victor Dadras spoke to the owner, who took care of this problem. They also plan on a January 2018 completion date.

251-21 41 Drive:
The house is undergoing renovations, including additions at the front and back of the house. The front part of the addition is in violation of the covenants. There is only a fifteen-foot setback from the front of the property. Phil Toscano brought it to the attention of Walter Mugdan and the owners. Walter wrote a letter to the owners advising them that they are in violation. The Property owner claimed ignorance of the covenants, although she has lived in the house since 1995. The Association sends a copy of the covenants along with the March meeting notice every year. The construction has stopped and the owner’s attorney and the Association's attorney are in contact with each other. So far, the legal expenses the association has incurred have been minor -- our attorney prepared and sent one formal letter to the owner. Our attorney is Moira Nicolosi, who also has represented the Douglas Manor Association and the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association in connection with their efforts to enforce their similar Rickert-Finlay covenants. We are waiting for a response from the owner and/or her attorney. Hopefully, it will not be necessary to go to the next step, which would be to file a lawsuit.

Any updates will be shared on our Facebook page.

Bike Path on Northern Blvd.

Motion was made by Charles Manna and seconded by John Duane to support the creation of a bike path to connect the Joe Michaels pathway to Douglaston Parkway on the north side of Northern Blvd; and to request the Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider an extension of the bike path east into Little Neck. Passed unanimously. This reconfirms the Association's vote to support such a bike path taken at our November, 2013 meeting. The bike path proposed by the DOT was created as part of the Mayor's “Vision Zero” campaign, plus the efforts of residents and businesses in the area. In June, 2017 Community Board 11 voted to support the idea, but recently changed its position. Some CB-11 members (including Bernie Haber) want the path to be created on an expanded sidewalk on the north side of Northern Boulevard, so that the motor vehicle roadway would not be narrowed. The cost of such an expansion would be high -- perhaps prohibitive. It would require, for example, widening of the bridge over Alley Creek; and taking space away from the golf driving range parking area. Also, the Parks Department is expected to be reluctant to give up land for such improvements. As of the writing of these minutes, the project has already begun. Walter Mugdan will write a letter reflecting out support.

Speed Bumps in the Neighborhood:

DOT Deputy Queens Commissioner Silvestri advised the Association that a speed hump will be installed on 39th Road between Westmoreland Street and Glenwood Street (work has begun on signage).

DOT also agrees to install two street lights on 39th Road between Little Neck Parkway and Nassau Road. (One of these could perhaps also illuminate Glenwood Landing Park -- see above.) They are scheduled for installation during the first quarter of 2018.

DOT will not install traffic lights along this stretch. DOT is still looking at pedestrian volumes along 29th Road in the PM peak when people are exiting LIRR trains.

Lions Club Honoring Westmoreland Association.

John Duane reported that the Little Neck-Douglaston Lions Club will be honoring the Westmoreland Association along with three other local civic organizations (the Udalls Cove Preservation Committee; the Douglas Manor Association and the Douglas Manor Environmental Association), and two boy scout troops, at its annual Dinner Dance, to be held at Leonard's of Great Neck on November 19.

The schedule for our remaining 2017 meeting is: November 20, 2017.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Charles Manna, Secretary

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