Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
Minutes of the September 19, 2016
President - Walter Mugdan
Vice President - Victor Dadras
Treasurer - Gary Savage
Secretary - Charles Manna
Board Members Present
Ahmed Nazaar from NYC Councilman Peter Vallone's office
President Walter Mugdan called the meeting to order at 8:00 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
Gary Savage provided the Treasurer's Report indicating that the balance-on-hand
was $21,262.48 as of September 19, 2016. A motion was made to accept the
Treasurer's report. The motion was seconded and the report was unanimously
41 Drive and Glenwood Street - The house was demolished and the debris was
removed. Victor Dadras reported that he gave the Westmoreland Covenants to the
architect. The architect, in turn, gave a copy of the house plans to Victor.
They appear to be in compliance with both the NYC zoning regulations (R2A) and
the covenants. We will keep watch on the property to be sure that the building
in fact does comply.
39 Road and Little Neck Parkway - At the last meeting, it was revealed that the
owners had completed a fence that was in violation of our covenants. A letter
was sent to the owners explaining the violation. Walter Mugdan followed up with
a personal visit. The owners were very nice about the issue and promised to take
care of it. Walter is happy to report that the two sections of fence that were
in violation were removed on September 15-16; the larger section (adjacent to
Little Neck Parkway) has been replaced by a hedge; the section along the east
side of the driveway was shortened.
Bicycle access to the Joe Micheal's mile -- Unfortunately, a Bayside resident
was killed while cycling near the intersection of Northern Boulevard and the
Cross Island Parkway. He was riding eastbound on Northern and attempting to
cross to the entrance of the bike path on the Joe Michaels Mile. He was struck
by a car as he attempted to make the crossing of the Cross Island entry ramp.
There is a traffic light to cross the Boulevard but no signage or signal to
cross the ramp. After much discussion, it was proposed that we pass a motion to
write to the Department of Transportation Commissioner and to ask to meet with
us and with other concerned individuals and groups to discuss the situation on
and around that area. A representative of a group called Transportation
Alternatives, who is also member of our organization, expressed much interest in
participating in that meeting.
The discussion then extended to concerns about traffic safety within the
Westmoreland community. Motorists use our local streets to bypass congestion on
Northern Boulevard. A motion was made to invite the Commissioner to attend the
November, 2016 Westmoreland Association meeting and to discuss:
1. Excessive high speed traffic in our neighborhood, and
along Northern Boulevard between Bayside and Douglaston (where the bicycle
2. Better traffic control at the off-ramp of the Cross
Island Parkway (going East).
It was pointed out that we have had discussions and written communications with
the DOT about these and related issues in the past several years.
Participatory Budget - Ahmad Nazaar reporting:
The next round of Participatory Budgeting will start soon. Ahmad encouraged us
to join in and help decide which capital projects should be included in the list
of candidates for selection by the residents of District 19 next Spring.
Typically, the projects that get the top five votes will be eligible to share
one million dollars in funding for the following year. Last year, Councilman
Vallone was able to add in more money from his discretionary funds to add
additional projects. One of those was funding for capital improvements at our
Library in Little Neck. The Councilmember will hold four Neighborhood Assemblies
in coming weeks to explain and kick off the process. The nearest to us will be
on Thursday, October 6, at 7:00 p.m. at the Little Neck Community Church.
[Information about that meeting was subsequently sent to our Association's email
list, and posted on our Facebook page.]
New Business -
A question and answer session was opened to the general membership.
Q. What can be done to improve the appearance of
Triangle Park (Glenwood and 39th Road)? What can be done to discourage the use
of the park by outsiders who are drinking and taking drug at night there?
A. A couple of years ago the NYC Parks department
offered to put in new plantings, but it didn't happen. They said they need local
residents to commit to taking care of the new plantings for the first year (a
commitment we had made at the time, and are prepared to make again). The
Douglaston-Little Neck Historical Society would also like to plant flowers or do
other improvements there. Some members commented that better lighting would
reduce the use of the park for drug activity at night.
Q. How can we stop the excessive use of leaf blowers in
A. The Douglas Manor Association communicated with its
members asking them to voluntarily stop using leaf blowers from May through
October. One member noted that leaf blowers really are not necessary for use for
grass removal. It is just as easy for the workers to use rakes. It was reported
that most residents seem to be complying with the request. (No one enjoys their
Saturday mornings to be interrupted by the smelly, noisy devices.) Walter Mugdan
will contact the DMA and ask for a copy of the written communication they sent
their members. [This has subsequently been done; we will discuss the idea at a
Q. Is the day care business being conducted in two
buildings within the Westmoreland development (one located on Little Neck
Parkway near 39th Road and the other on 39th Road near Westmoreland Street) in
compliance with our covenants and City regulations?
A. Yes. Our Rickert-Finlay covenants provided for two
"Business Sections" in our development. One is along Northern Blvd. and the
other is the block bounded by 39th Road, Westmoreland Street, 40th Avenue, and
Little Neck Parkway (opposite the LIRR station). The covenants allow operation
of businesses in these two areas, though not elsewhere in the development. The
block along 39th Road, near the LIRR, is not zoned commercial under the NYC
zoning rules. However, a day care center is a permitted use in an area that is
not otherwise zoned commercial.
Q. Bat Houses - a resident encouraged members to use bat
houses in or near our community to encourage the type of bat that feeds on
mosquitoes to take up residence here. Bats eat a large number of insects daily,
and are not dangerous to people or pets.
A. We agree. They can be purchased for under thirty
dollars at, for example, Hicks Nursery. One nearby resident installed a bat
house this Spring and bats took residence immediately. They can be installed on
the upper side of a house or on the side of a tree. They should be at least 15
feet from the ground.
Udalls Cove - Motion was made and unanimously passed to write to the Belgrade
Sewage Commission to include the removal of the concrete block house in the
southern end of Udalls Cove as part of their planned project to replace the
sewage treatment plant discharge pipeline. The unsightly structure no longer
serves any purpose. The structure was built in 1934 as part of the discharge
pipeline; the blockhouse is where the pipeline makes two 90� bends to shift from
above-ground to underwater; it extends from there about a half mile out into the
bay which is where the discharge point is. The entire pipeline is being replaced
by a pipeline that will be underground all the way from the treatment plant to
the discharge point; the blockhouse will no longer serve any purpose. In the
past several years, it has been used by the resident ospreys as a base or
platform for their nest. However, they suffered a catastrophic loss on April 24,
2016 when their nest was burned by three teenage vandals. The teens had easy
access to the structure from the shore during low tide. Removal of the structure
would encourage the raptors to return to the osprey nesting platform nearby to
once again raise their chicks there.
Electronic Recycling - The next recycling day is scheduled for October 8, 2016
from 10 AM to 4 PM. It will be held at the parking lot in St. Anastasia Church
in Little Neck
The schedule for the forthcomings meetings is: November 21, 2016; March 20,
2017; and May 15, 2017.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.
Charles Manna, Secretary
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