2006-07-28 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter

BEVERLY BAXTER This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no duning around!

 I was making my usual early morning stop for the best Iced Coffee on the beach at Boardwalk Bagels. At 7:45 a.m., I'm stillin a halfdaze, feeling grateful that I don't live in Astoria where people have been without electricity for nine days; butmostly,my thoughts are engaged in frivolity. A litany of things from the business day ahead to the sale at Lilly Pulitzer and, oh yes, those Jack Rogers sandals that will go so well...when this woman approached me and said, "You know Beverly, with all that is going on in the world right now, how could you possibly be focused on something so ridiculous as the dunes?!" I must say, that woke me up from my slumber! But before I jumped into my version of the dune-song, and its defense thereof, I must have sounded more like an empty-headed valley-girl than a genuinely interested columnist when I asked, "Hmmm, what do you mean?"I assumed she was referring to the never-ending and ever-escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and thefrightening potential that sleeper cells will be ignited in this country....but no. "I'm talking about Zoning!!" sheexclaimed. "I mean, do we up with up-zoning orare we down with down-zoning?!" Hmmm, the complexities in theMiddle East seemedmore challenging to ponder. Call me way too serious, but Istill hadn't had myfirst few sips of my much needed coffee.

  Indeed, the decision as to whether to increase or decrease zoning is thecurrent hot-buttonconflict du jour. And depending upon what you own, where you own it and for how long you plan to keep it will determine what side of the issue you are on.An increase in the zoning change will make property more valuable to builders because they canbuild more. A decrease in the current zoning willlessen abuilder's abilityto build more; thus, it makes one's property less valuable. Mind you, thisaffects the property owner who plans on selling in the near future. Now, what if you owned commercial property in Rockaway Park where you would gain by a zoning increase; however, you also have property in BelleHarbor where you planreside for years to come (or at least until the dune issue is settled)and where you would perhaps not want to see any further increase in building that would impedeupon your quality of life?Can you have it both ways? And whatifthere was to be a zoning increase that would enable much more building than we have alreadyseen?What about parking? What about transportation? Where do the children play? Or go to school?All of these issues will be impacted by any increase in zoning. TheCommunity Planning Board has sent outletters to all civic associations requesting their representative input in this important matter. The Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association will host a General Meeting ina few weeks to gather a consensus and hear from Guest Speakers who are renowned in the field of Zoning. The date, time and venue will be announced in this paper. You are warmly urged to attend.

***Come one! Come all! The Tribute Park Committee will host a summer's eveningof good food, open bar and jazz musicwithin the gates of the park to benefit the on-going maintenance of the park. Donation is $35.

***Congratulations to Stuart Mirsky in his bid to get on the ballot in his contest against Audrey Pheffer for the 23rd. Assemblyseat.In addition to the Republican line, Stuart has been triumphant in obtainingboth the Conservative and Independence Party lines. Of course, hewas able to do this with a little help from his friends in the Rockaway Republican Party and the group is celebrating this tremendous feat as well. The Rockaway Republicans has come frombeing just an obscure and much ridiculedorganization to aformidable engine that couldand has been having an important impact on the way politics is conducted in the 23rd A.D... Bravo!

***Kindest wishes and congratulations to localArtist Liz Smith and Kevin Breslin. The very talented and extraordinarily gorgeous couple was recently engaged! Happiness certainly finds those whom are most deserving. Best wishes!

***Happy Anniversary to another great couple,Rosemaryand John Murphy!

See you...On theBeach!

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