Some Residents Worry Taxes Will Go Up If Nothing's Built On Land

GLENWOOD LANDING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The demolition of waterfront smoke stacks continues on Long Island’s North Shore.

The smoke stacks have been a fixture of the Glenwood Landing landscape for generations, but the demolition doesn’t mean the view will be any better.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday, there’s a debate under way over what will grace the land for the next century.

It’s the end of an era on as the towering smoke stacks that churned out electricity for a century are being torn down, Gusoff reported.

“Its ugly,” one resident said.

“It’s an eyesore, it needs to go,” another resident added.

Gold Coast residents who have had their beach view of Hempstead Harbor dominated by the Glenwood Power Plant are wondering what will replace the 250-foot stacks and power station.

“Park with trees and that kind of thing?” one resident said.

But the future of the waterfront property may not be up to residents.

The land is privately owned by National Grid, which plans to sell the property. The land is zoned for industrial use.

Many residents are OK with that because they say without tax revenue from industry, they’ll be hit with huge school tax hikes.

“Come 2015, if nothing happens in the property, taxpayers for each residential house, the taxes are going to go up close to 20 percent,” George Pombar, president of the Glen Head-Glenwood Civic Council, told Gusoff.

A local official has appealed to Albany, asking for a tax fix so that the land doesn’t have to stay industrial to keep taxes down.

“If money wasn’t an issue, I would like to see that as an open waterfront,” Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy said.

Resident Karin Barnaby has started a petition urging lawmakers to re-imagine the site as a waterfront recreation zone like Chelsea Piers that will improve the view and hold down taxes.

“I think it’s a real opportunity,” she told Gusoff. “I think the company and the politicians and the utility owe area residents some form of compensation for having put up with all that ugliness.”

One industrial eyesore will soon be gone, but there’s worry it will be replaced by another, Gusoff reported.

National Grid officials will meet with residents next month to discuss the future of the site.

In the meantime, they are asking residents for patience as they monitor dust and noise from the demolition of two smoke stacks.

Much of that work is expected to be complete by early December, National Grid said.

Six other smoke stacks will be taken down next year.

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