Letters to the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Editor (April 4-10)


Let’s help preserve East Rockaway

To The Editor:

I have lived in East Rockaway with my family since 1992. It has been a blessing, and we are truly grateful to be here.

Since the moratorium on breaking up oversized lots to build additional houses has been lifted, which was reported in the Herald last April, a precedent is being set to add multiple houses where one original house stood. This leads to overcrowding, loss of green space, compromised safety for residents, heavy burdens on support systems like the police and fire departments, as well as tremendous demands on existing utilities. Traffic issues, privacy problems and architectural discord could ultimately lead our once charming village down a path of no return.

I received a letter that a meeting at the East Rockaway Village Hall was being held on April 3 regarding tearing down 82 Centre Ave. — one of the last of the original mansions in the community — with the intention of building three new houses on the property. Though the Victorian house is a hard-sell due to the cost of property maintenance and land taxes, the possibility of losing this piece of architectural history and its park-like grounds,which support a wealth of wildlife, is beyond heart-wrenching.

A better option might be restoring the original house (which is not centered on the property) and building one new house on the remaining lot. This could ensure a successful sale of the existing home and property to a builder who, in turn, would make a profit selling the two houses situated on large lots, since the cost of upkeep and land taxes would now be divided between two families.

It would also be a way to save a beautiful architectural treasure. The option of building one new house next to the original would create less crowding on a block already congested with extensive traffic from the elementary school, the Clark Street Fire House and the Centre Avenue Long Island Rail Road station.

Once properties in East Rockaway are routinely divided and original homes are torn down, there is no going back. This could spell the demise of our neighborhood, comprised of many families who moved here to escape the crowded conditions experienced while previously living in New York City. Let’s each do our part by becoming involved to ensure responsible decision-making that will help keep East Rockaway the fair village and cozy neighborhood it has long been.

Jo Schneider-Leonsky, East Rockaway

Hats off to Lynbrook’s newest author

To the Editor:

I just read Lynbrook High School junior Emma Lenz’s new, 24-page children’s book, “Memories of Lynbrook.” It is wonderful to see a Lynbrook student bring local history to a young audience in such a compelling way. I especially liked the illustrations.

The Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook goes to great efforts to engage students to become interested in our area’s past. Seeing the fruits of that labor in this remarkable book makes it all worthwhile. I hope it becomes a local best-seller. Those interested can purchase it on Amazon.

Art Mattson, Lynbrook historian