Have you ever stopped to wonder why so many of the local organizations - be they PTAs, property owners associations, political or fraternal clubs - seem to be micro-managed by a group of people with the same personality traits? They seem to be of the opinion that they know what's best for you, whether you agree or not, and will tolerate very little discourse pertaining to their beliefs.Whether you call it upzoning, downzoning or rezoning, it doesn't matter. What it seems to be all about - from our observation while attending various meetings discussing the issue - is in essence a vocal few deciding what, in their opinion, is best for everyone. They are completely overlooking the fact that there are already a number of regulations on the books, albeit the majority of which are never enforced.There are also a number of loopholes that should be closed. If the present laws are not enforced, what makes anyone think that additional ones would be? Or are we going to create a society where neighbor spies on neighbor and reports their findings to the authorities? Do we all really want to live in this type of a society? Don't we have enough restrictive regulations as it is? The rationale of the so-called representatives of the groups is they feel they don't want their neighborhood overcrowded, they don't want houses over a certain height and they don't want the home owner to be able to utilize more than 30 percent of his property including his garage, whether it is attached or free-standing. The combination of house and garage cannot total more than 30 percent.When did we become such a nation of busy-bodies? The reason people from all over the world want to migrate to America is because we are the land of opportunity and freedom. The American dream for most is to be able to afford to purchase your own home, your slice of the American pie. And the operative phrase here is "your home."Did you know that in Bayside you cannot have a ceiling more than eight feet high? Suppose everyone in your family is on the tall side and would prefer a higher ceiling as it would be less claustrophobic to them? Suppose you increase the size of your family and would like to add bedrooms? Suppose your elderly parents find it difficult to live independently and you would like to add a large studio room to your home to accommodate them? Or suppose you would like to add a large family room off your kitchen, or a separate media room? Our lifestyles and requirements are quite different today than what they were 20-50 years ago when most of the housing stock in this area was built. The current dimensions and number of rooms in existing homes do not always meet the new purchaser's needs.If all these new laws go into effect around Queens, even though it is your home and your property you cannot do any of the aforementioned if it exceeds 30 percent of your property. Since most of the housing stock in our local neighborhoods are in the $650,000 to the $1 million plus range, who in their right mind is going to pay that kind of money and commit themselves to a 15- or 20-year mortgage to obtain their dream home, only to be told they cannot improve "their property" to meet their requirements?Think of the impact this will have on the middle-aged or seniors who are counting on the revenues from the sale of these homes so they can move on to a lifestyle more conducive to their age and current empty nest, where they do not require a large house on a large piece of property. The monies from the sale of the largest investment they have worked for all their lives is earmarked for a condo or perhaps retirement south of the Mason-Dixon line. With all the new restrictions that the groups wish to put into effect, no one would want to buy the house and pay top dollar.These stifling rules and regulations would only enhance the desirability of our Great Neck Estates neighbors. Think about it: They are only five to 10 minutes away from Little Neck and Douglaston. They have impressive houses, a very fine school system and are also in an equally convenient location. You do not have the only game in town. You could very well wind up sending your prospective buyers over the line to neighbor Great Neck.All of this gives you much to think about. Why the rush? What's wrong with enforcing the already existing laws? Are we in danger of being overly regulated by well-meaning but short-sighted individuals? If the current situation is allowed to progress, we could all find ourselves living in a Levittown environment, or in this case an "Avellatown," since he takes credit for implementing all these new restrictive regulation
©2005 Community News Group
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