SEA CLIFF BOARD CONSIDERS EXTENDING SMOKING BAN TO ALL PUBLIC SPACES; FARMER’S MARKET APPLICATION IN LIMBO AS TRUSTEES TRY TO WORK OUT GUIDELINES
At its monthly meeting this past Monday evening, and at the Village Board Conference the previous week, Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy and the four Village trustees discussed the need for developing a policy that would establish clear rules and guidelines for permitting use of village property by organizations, businesses and other entities, as well as regulations concerning smoking and the sale of alcohol.
At its Conference on May 5, the Board voted to ban smoking at Sea Cliff Beach, and this past Monday night briefly discussed extending that prohibition to all parks and other Village properties. “As a recovering smoker, I get it,” Mr. Kennedy said, expressing some sympathy for those who enjoy tobacco products. However, he said that there was general consensus on the board to go ahead with the more extensive ban. The Village of Great Neck did it years ago, he continued, and the Town of North Hempstead has done it in all public places. No community members spoke on the matter during public comment. Ultimately no action was taken on the issue this past Monday night.
With regard to issuance of permits for the use of village properties, Mayor Kennedy said that developing clear rules has become a priority as the Village has received a fairly large number of applications to use parks and other public spaces for a variety of events and services in the upcoming months. Trustee McGilloway said the Board was trying to strike a “balance between protecting people and enjoyment.”
One of those applications was submitted by Glen Cove resident Amy Peters, who, this past summer and fall, operated the Sea Cliff Farmers Market in front of the Village Green on Central Avenue. During the Public Comment period at Monday’s meeting, Ms. Peters asked the board about the status of her application. Mayor Kennedy replied that the application is still under consideration, but that no determination has yet been reached, as the board would like to develop a policy that would provide clear guidelines for the use of the Village properties by both for-profit and not-for-profit entities. “We love the concept of a farmers market,” the Mayor said, “but it’s that issue of what can we and what can’t we do with public property. The number of requests we’ve gotten to use village property has caused us to look at this issue from a global perspective.”
Trustee McGilloway said that the village had received about a dozen applications for a wide variety of events and that it is very difficult to “draw lines” where certain activities are permitted. He said the board was “trying to come up with a standard set of guidelines that could be applied to everyone and at that point people should be able to read the guidelines and feel comfortable in applying them.”
Ms. Peters said that in the meantime she has also been looking for other locations on commercial and other properties, and that St. Lukes Church was receptive to the idea of hosting the market, and so that while nothing is yet etched in stone, that may be a possibility.
In response to questions from Northwordnews on Tuesday, Ms. Peters explained that she had been told by the Village before submitting her application that last year’s location, which required the closing of a section of street by DPW on a weekly basis, could no longer be used, and that her current application requests use of a portion of the Village Green or the Triangle in front of Gallaghers where Summit and Sea Cliff Avenues intersect. She said that she genuinely believes that the village definitely wants the Market to happen.
Following Ms. Peters' remarks Monday night, other residents addressed the board regarding the issue.
Alethea Vasilis, a Sea Cliff resident and director of Orkestai, a non-profit that operates a farm located on the grounds of the Planting Fields Arboretum that provides a working environment for developmentally disabled students, spoke in favor of Ms. Peters’ application. The farm is major source of the produce sold at the Farmers Market. Mayor Kennedy asked what she believed was a good spot for the market to be located. She replied that she liked where it was last year or on the green in front of the library. Mr. Kennedy said that it would desirable to have a location with a good deal of open space and as much parking as possible. “One of the biggest issues we’ve faced as a board,” Mr. Kennedy said, “Is that some events have become so popular, that they are so much more than what we originally envisioned, and it has forced us to consider whether it’s appropriate to consider them at that location.”
“In our discussion on Tuesday [at the board Conference], there was very strong support for supporting these types of things with a safe, standardized process,” said Trustee Kevin McGilloway, “Our heart is with you, and now we have to get the law and the rules in place.”
Wendy Rosow of Sea Cliff said that she believed that the location where the Farmers Market was last year, and where the original market had been years ago, was an ideal location. “It seemed like the village was buzzing every time the farmers market was there.” She continued that the location was not only good for the community but also for the financial well-being of the market and the businesses on Sea Cliff Avenue.
The board is likely to revisit the issue of guidlines for use of public property at its next Board Conference in early June.
BACK TO WEEKLY
VILLAGE HONORS FIREMEN OF THE YEAR AND WELCOMES NEW RECRUITS
2nd Assistant Chief Michael Holquest; Firefighter Robert Murphy, ex chief JamesAjamian Emergency Medical Technician Kira Watkins (not pictured) were recognized as Firemen of the Year for 2014. Mayor Kennedy read a proclamation that desribed their quick response to a bicyclist who was stricken with a heart attack while riding along Glen Avenue this past October. Their efforts helped to save the man's life and enable him to make a full recovery. Also at Monday's Board Meeting, the Mayor swore in two new firefighters - residents Don Kavanaugh (Engine and Hose Co.) and Phil Como (Engine Co.). Not present for the swearing in, but new to the department are Thomas Selleck (Hook and Ladder Company) and Dorian )Rios-Butant (Engine & Hose Company.