Flower Hill continues discussion for Elderfields Preserve landmark designation amid county challenges

Flower Hill continues discussion for Elderfields Preserve landmark designation amid county challenges
Flower Hill Village Hall in the Village of Flower Hill on May 26. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

The Village of Flower Hill Board of Trustees continued its public hearing Monday evening to designate Elderfields Preserve as a village landmark while expressing frustration with repeated roadblocks from Nassau County.

The Elderfields Preserve, located in Flower Hill, is a four-acre parkland with a main house that includes the original 17th-century home on the property, one of the oldest structures on Long Island, according to the county parks department.

The county acquired the property in 1996 from Henry de V. Williams. The Art Guild of Port Washington currently occupies a space in the building for art studios, classes and shows.

Flower Hill Mayor Randall Rosenbaum said the village is seeking to designate it as a landmark because the village wants to preserve the historical sites throughout the village.

Nassau County attorney Kevin Walsh told the board Monday that the bureau chief has to approve the language presented in the covenant for the village’s landmark proposal.

The mayor said that the county has provided excuses every month that have delayed the village’s landmark designation of the preserve, which has been a point of discussion for the village since March.

“What’s the excuse that’s going to happen next month from the county and the next month from the county?” Rosenbaum asked Walsh. “Every month you guys have been coming up with something different and this month it’s the bureau chief, what’s it going to be next month? The county executive?”

The mayor told Walsh that he was expecting the landmark designation hearing to conclude at Monday’s meeting, and said that he would like to not drag it out longer than is necessary.

The public hearing was adjourned and will be continued at the village’s next Board of Trustees meeting.

The Board of Trustees also voted to install a stop sign at the intersection of Chanticlare Road and Drake Lane to combat unsafe driving at the unprotected intersection.

The safety issue at the intersection was initially presented by resident Erin Scott, who submitted a petition signed by neighbors who supported addressing the issue.

One of the key reasons the stop sign was proposed was to prevent drivers from hitting the corner of the intersection, which Rosenbaum said is dangerous.

The mayor said that the stop sign alone will not solve the problem entirely, so the village proposed a yield turn lane with a painted traffic triangle in the intersection. Rosenbaum said if this is effective, the village would consider constructing a traffic island in the future.

Scott told the board that many neighbors by the intersection, including herself, opposed the idea of painting the intersection as the village had presented.

Rosenbaum said the village would then abandon the idea of painting a traffic triangle in the intersection and only go forward with plans for a stop sign.

Board members stressed that many times a stop sign is not effective on its own due to drivers’ habits of neglecting to stop at the line, but said adding additional safety measures could be addressed later on if needed.

The stop sign will be erected at the intersection in as soon as a week.

The village also proposed to amend its noise ordinance to increase the effectiveness of enforcing the policy.

Rosenbaum said the village’s current noise ordinance makes it difficult for tickets to be distributed for noise violations. While he said this is true, he added that it’s not the village’s goal to ticket individuals but rather to foster peace and quiet for residents.

“Right now the code is close to unenforceable,” Rosenbaum said.

The mayor said noise has been a frequent complaint in the village and the code needs to be adjusted to address those concerns.

“We’re just trying to keep the peace,” Rosenbaum said.

The Board of Trustees will hold the first public hearing for the proposed noise ordinance amendment at its next meeting.

The Flower Hill Board of Trustees will convene again at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 12.

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