May 24, 2013
May 20, 2013
May 23, 2013
May 23, 2013
May 15, 2013
May 20, 2013
March 7, 2013
May 23, 2013
May 1, 2013
Village of Dering Harbor: Road safety recommendations reviewed
A dozen Village of Dering Harbor residents turned out for the Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday morning, August 18, responding to a number of agenda items, particularly the recommendations presented to the trustees by the recently appointed Road Safety Committee, chaired by trustee Linda Adams.
Although not in the numbers that packed Village Hall in July at the first board meeting since the contested election for trustee seats in June, those attending had a number of questions for Deputy Mayor Heather Brownlie, who presided in Mayor Tim Hogue’s absence, and Ms. Adams, as she presented the following recommendations from her group:
• Set a uniform speed limit throughout the village — 25 mph was recommended, although it was noted that 20 mph was posted for Shore Road. One suggestion from the audience was to lower the speed limit to 20 mph on all roads.
• Clear undergrowth on the curve coming into the village from Cobbetts Lane to increase visibility. One resident supported trimming back low-hanging branches as well.
• Install a stop sign before Dinah Rock Road on the golf course-side of Manhanset Road to reduce speed. Not all residents seemed in favor of this idea.
• Place the Police Department’s electronic speed sign on Manhanset Road temporarily to act as a reminder of the speed limit and to record speed and traffic volume. There was audience discussion about the best location for this and a resident’s request that the sign not be located in front of anyone’s home.
• Install new speed bumps along the entire length of Shore Road. They should be higher than the existing speed bumps and cover more of the roadway’s width. Residents brought up bicycle safety issues along Shore Road as well.
In response to a question from the audience, Ms. Adams said the committee considered recommending that the name of the road be changed to avoid confusion with the other Shore Road along Crescent Beach, but agreed that the paperwork involved in the change would be a burden on Shore Road residents.
Resident Jason Weisenfeld suggested that there might be a way to make the distinction between the two Shore Roads in the GPS data base and volunteered to look into this.
The committee also did not recommend closing Shore Road, either permanently or for the season, Ms. Adams said.
• Re-landscape the island in the middle of Dering Lane to prompt drivers to reduce speed coming down the lane onto Shore Road and to provide an unpaved area for water run-off. Kirk Ressler, whose home is along Dering Lane, commented that he had recommended this years ago “and nothing was done.” He suggested that the original oak tree be replaced while another resident recommended smaller plantings at a lower level. Other suggestions would be welcome, the deputy mayor said, and the board will decide on the best alternative.
• Send a reminder to residents about village restrictions on hedge heights for safety/visibility reasons.
In its written report, the committee did not recommend renumbering the houses along Manhanset Road in order to make them consistent with the numbering on that road outside village limits, citing the problems homeowners would have in changing all their documentation related to the address. It was recommended, however, that each year the board remind the police, fire and ambulance departments about the numbering discrepancies in order to avoid any confusion in responding to an emergency.
As comments and suggestions from the audience continued, committee member Bob Ruttenberg said, “This just goes on and on … let’s just get this done.”
Other resident comments, not directly related to the committee’s recommendations, included Karen Kelsey’s about the storm drain located in the middle of her driveway that becomes a moat when it rains, and Mr. Weisenfeld’s suggestion that landscaping around the maintenance building would be an improvement.
• Website domain name: Ms. Brownlie reported that legal counsel for the village had written to resident James Goldman about his use of the website address villageofderingharbor.org, which was misleading in that it appeared to be an official village governance site. Mr. Goldman has since changed the web address to deringharborcommunity.org.
• Baker/Ressler dispute: Mr. Ressler referred from the audience to a letter he had recently written to Mayor Hogue about the board’s approval in July of Martha Baker’s request to install a sprinkler/well system. He reiterated his concern about the potential water damage to his wall and cited earlier board action establishing conditions that would protect the wall as well as prevent plants growing on the wall.
Ms. Brownlie read into the record a response to Mr. Ressler’s letter from Ms. Baker, who wrote, in part, that “It is 20 years later and Mr. Ressler’s brick wall is intact without water damage from any sources … no plants are growing on or over Mr. Ressler’s wall and there have not been since 1993.”
Ms. Brownlie also read from the 1993 board minutes that stated, “The Bakers will avoid water on the wall to a reasonable degree; nothing will be planted within 2 feet of the wall; tall plants will be as far away as they are high.”
The new sprinkler system is being installed now and Ms. Brownlie suggested that the water/wall situation be monitored.
• Hedge/fence application: An application submitted on behalf of Levin Lynyak to install a privet hedge along Shore Road was put on hold pending additional information.
• Event notification: If residents are planning large gatherings in the future, Police Chief Jim Read has recommended notifying the village of the date and time, letting the neighbors know in advance and emailing the SIPD a contact phone number.
Mr. Ressler asked if these recommendations had been prompted by the ELIH fundraiser he had hosted recently; Ms. Brownlie said that it was in response to a number of hosted events in the village.
• Board appointments: The board was asked when the appointments would be made to fill vacancies on the Zoning, Planning and Architectural Review boards. Ms. Adams said resumes had been received from several residents and Ms. Brownlie added that due to Mayor Hogue’s absence because of a death in the family he would not be announcing his appointments until the September meeting. In answer to another question from the audience, Ms. Adams said resumes would be available for review in Village Hall.
The next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 at 10 a.m. Mr. Weisenfeld asked that the meeting date be changed so as not to conflict with Rosh Hashanah. Ms. Brownlie said the board would look at the calendar again and see when it would be possible to put together a quorum of the board. Any date change would be announced in the public notice of the meeting, she added.