Flower Hill appoints new trustee, continues Elderfield Preserve landmark discussion

Flower Hill appoints new trustee, continues Elderfield Preserve landmark discussion
Flower Hill appointed new trustee AJ Smith to the board due to a vacancy left by Brian Herrington. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Flower Hill swore in new Trustee AJ Smith, who will be filling the seat left by Brian Herrington, during the Board of Trustees meeting Monday night.

Herrington resigned after receiving a promotion that requires him to travel, Mayor Randall Rosenbaum said during the meeting.

Herrington served on the board for 10 years, starting as a trustee and ending his tenure on the board as deputy mayor.

To fill the vacancy of deputy mayor, Trustee Frank Genese was appointed to the position.

The board also continued its public hearing on the landmark designation of the Elderfield Preserve. The property is located within the village but is owned by Nassau County.

The Elderfields Preserve 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.

At an April 3 Board of Trustees meeting, Nassau County Deputy Attorney Anna Gerzon told the board that while the county is not against the village protecting the preserve, the village landmarking a preserve managed by the county sets a bad precedent. This would be the first county property landmarked by a village.

Rosenbaum countered by saying that he sees it as a good initiative that Flower Hill would be the first to landmark a county property. He said during the meeting that he sees it as a positive whereas the county views it as additional work.

If the village designates the Elderfields as a landmark, the management of the preserve will not change and the county will continue to own it.

The county has been working with the village to adopt a proposal that is beneficial to the preserve.

Rosenbaum said that the county’s proposal for the property is much stronger than the village’s landmark designation, which adds additional covenants to protect the preserve. Protections include the prevention of the sale of the property and aesthetic changes.

Gerzon said the deed would prevent a future sale of the property. This means that any sort of arrangement that transfers the property in any way, including leasing the property, would be prohibited.

“Our plan was to initially landmark to protect the property, but there were enough holes in there and I think [the county] filled up those holes to make it a lot better,” Rosenbaum said.

The board did not vote on the manner but will continue the public hearing at the next meeting.

The board also held a public hearing for a new local law that would extend building permits for new homes to 18 months. The current law requires homes to be built within 12 months, which Village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer said has been difficult to achieve due to the scarcity of building materials.

The board did not vote on the law as it was the first public hearing held for it, but they will resume the public hearing at the next meeting and potentially vote on the manner.

The board will convene again on June 5 when they will continue the public hearings for the Elderfield Preserve and the local law extending building permits.

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