The Roslyn Estates Board of Trustees took the residents’ temperature Monday about adding a park to the village.
Mayor Paul Leone Peters said potential spots for the park would be the plot on the corner of Northern Boulevard and Searingtown Road or the Fenway Preserve at The Fenway and The Loch roads off of Mineola Avenue.
The project is still in the idea phase, but many residents, especially those with young children, expressed support for a community park.
Raj Mangalick, a village resident with a 7-year-old son and twin 5-year-old daughters, said a park is an amenity the neighborhood is “sorely missing.”
“My son’s talking about kids in his school that are on his bus and they live 10 houses down and you never see them,” Mangalick said. “Especially the way our neighborhood is built … but if there was a central meeting point you’d say ‘Oh wow, there’s people in our town and I actually get to meet them and know who they are.’”
A park would also be an asset that raises property values, Mangalick said. While it is nice that the village is close to Christopher Morley Park, he said there are no “bragging rights” because everyone in Nassau County can go there.
Christopher Morley Park is also no longer accessible to the community by walking. The closing of the entrance to Christopher Morley Park from the village is a reason some residents support a new park. The decision to close the entrance was made by the county, and Peters said it is beyond the board’s control. But one resident said it would be nice to have access to a park within walking distance since many residents have caretakers watching their children during the day.
Other residents expressed concern about the potential consequences of a park.
Lorraine Clapper, a resident of the village for 26 years who has taught in the district, said a park “will absolutely attract teens.” Along with teens, she said, would come beer bottles and drugs.
Trustee Brett Auerbach said it’s easy “not to do anything because we might attract other people,” but there’s green space that could be used for community purposes. For example, the upcoming Halloween party is being held in the parking lot of the Village Hall as opposed to the unused land.
A playground is only one option for a park. Michael Hofknecht, a consultant and playground designer with Site Specialists, presented a potential idea for a park design. The possibilities are endless, he said.
“A well-designed playground offers play value for children of all ages,” Hofknecht said.
Auerbach said the concept isn’t just about families with young children.
“This is about a gathering place for the village; it’s an amenity,” Auerbach said. “Sure, the people that are speaking up have young kids, but it’s really just getting people in this village together.”
Hofknecht estimated the project could cost around $250,000, and an exact cost would depend on the design. Peters said there are funds already allocated to parks, and there is no certainty that the project would raise taxes.