Mitchell Fox 0

Plandome Residents against "Major Development" planned for the Thomson Estate property

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A developer is planning a major development that will:

(1) Reduce home values for the residents on the south side of Willets Lane and on the north side of South Drive and ALL of Plandome.

(2) Significantly increase traffic and congestion throughout Plandome (and Manhasset!).

(3) Diminish the overall quality of life, especially for those adjacent to the development.

We must let the Plandome Planning Board know that we have reached a tipping point, and we want to retain the home values and the character of our village, and to stop this "major development" in our community.

Don't let Plandome pass this tipping point and become so congested, and over - developed that the entire character of our community is changed forever.

We have seen neighboring communities become over-developed and over populated, they feel nothing like our village.

More development means more traffic that clogs Plandome road, and will create additional traffic that speeds through our side streets.




The following letters were sent to the Planning Board on August 11 2015.

Dear Sirs and Madam of the Board,

First, please let me sincerely thank you for permitting us the forum, the time and the respect to address you about the proposed development south of Willets Lane and north of South Drive.

Land development is a serious issue, and we appreciate your commitment to fully examining and considering the consequences, often profound, of any potential development. We contend that this development will seriously degrade the character and diminish the value of the neighborhood. We therefore urge you to consider declining Mr. O’Sullivan’s proposal.

First, this development will seriously damage the character of Plandome, and Willets Lane in particular.

Mr. O’Sullivan hired a traffic consultant and an environmental consultant to assess the impact of adding six homes to this area. Both of these consultants unsurprisingly produced reports that were favorable only to their client’s (Mr. O’Sullivan) interests, and neither set of results has been verified by an unbiased party. I urge the village to hire impartial traffic and environmental experts to fully assess the implications of adding these new homes.

Mr. O’Sullivan’s consultant neglected to take into account the substantial increase in road traffic this development will cause the neighborhood. We can safely expect at least three cars per household, assuming no drivers other than parents and either one child or a babysitter. Typically, families in this area with more than one child have four or more cars per household. The development would therefore add at least 18 (and more likely 24) resident-owned cars driving up and down what is currently the Thompson driveway all day, every day. Add to that mail delivery, school buses, FedEx, UPS, landscaping trucks, visitors, plumbers, electricians, housekeepers, guests and so on.

Furthermore, if we go by the industry standard of it taking one year to build one home, then we are in for a very long period of time when major construction will be going on in this limited area. This will bring additional issues such as truck congestion, noise, construction lights, and a significant increase in traffic.

As the attorney for the developer, Mr. O’Sullivan, stated, he is planning a “major development” here in—quite literally—our backyard. To date, he has not completed the purchase of the property, and he probably will not do so until you approve his development.

Second, this development will seriously diminish the value of Plandome, and Willets Lane in particular.

Another concern is that this development will significantly diminish the home value of homes on Willets Lane and South Drive as well as Plandome overall. That means that existing, long time, loyal residents of Plandome will suffer a profound loss of home value – in terms of both financial value and character, while a significant financial advantage will be provided to someone who is not even a resident of our community.

The development will seriously degrade the property values of homes on the south side of Willets Lane. These homes currently have very quiet, peaceful backyards. However, if this “major development” is approved, these homes will have no backyards at all, but rather two front yards. It is undeniable that this will negatively affect not only the quality of life of the residents on the south side of Willets Lane, but also our home values. If the village were to hire a consultant to assess potential changes to home values we can be sure that this assertion would be verified. If the roadway goes on the far side of the property then the residents on Shore Drive will be faced with the same issue as those faced by the residents of Willets Lane, again causing an avoidable decline in property value.

Further, there is a concern with Mr. O’Sullivan’s financial stability and the possibility that if building stagnates, the village will bear the burden for years to come. As Mr. O’Sullivan has candidly stated, he cannot afford to live in the Thompson home unless this development is approved. This raises three red flags immediately.

1. It reveals that he does not have the desire to live in Plandome and contribute to the community outside of his opportunistic plan for development.

2. It calls into question the financial stability of Mr. O’Sullivan and his company. Having construction abruptly end prior to completion will make the project a financial burden and eyesore for years to come. It would be a blight on our beautiful village.

3. It is unclear why the board would approve a plan that is advantageous for only one person at the expense of current Plandome residents.While the village would modestly gain in tax revenue, the damage to both property values and neighborhood character (and reputation) would more than outweigh any benefits for the village at large.

Plandome’s stability and superb reputation are based on a century of adherence to strict development guidelines.

Just last summer we bought the house at 11 Willets Lane, and have spent the past year renovating it, as it was vacant and neglected for a few years prior. We feel we’ve brought it back to its finest version, after much hard work and immense expense.

We moved here from Muttontown, where we lived for 20 years, but prior to that we lived in Manhasset, at 73 The Waterway. Part of our enthusiasm for moving back to Plandome was the well-known enforcement of strict development guidelines in this small village. Here, there is no margin for error. Property sizes are modest, and even the smallest mistake in planning and zoning has large implications. However, every real estate broker told us what we knew from our time living here previously: you don’t overbuild in Plandome.

We could have bought a home in a lot of areas, but we chose Plandome because we knew that our investment would be safe, in that our property value would be retained over time, and that there isn’t the unchecked overdevelopment from which so much of Long Island suffers. We knew that there would never be condominiums on the village green, a plan to turn Plandome Road into a four-lane roadway, or—we imagined—a subdivision built in our backyard.

It is exactly that high standard of strictly limiting land and home development that gives Plandome its stellar reputation. Plandome offers homeowners home values that are retained, and offers residents and homeowners a very high quality of life.

In conclusion:

The board must very seriously consider any use of land that contradicts the high standard of living established over the last century. Homeowners in this village agree to maintain this high standard as a commitment to purchasing a home in Plandome. We only hope that the board agrees to continue to uphold the standard that we, as residents, respect so dearly.

The proposed development is deeply inconsistent with the village’s overall feel and environment. For the residents of the south side of Willets Lane and for all residents of Plandome, the proposed development—and its attendant disruption to our daily life and a degradation of both our property values and the character of our village—is something we, as residents, cannot abide.


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