By Rebecca Melnitsky
Tree replacement laws need to be enforced and real estate signs should not be on front lawns, the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations agreed at their meeting on Wednesday.
According to the Town of North Hempstead code, a tree removed in the front yard of a private property must be replaced with trees that are at least half the diameter of the former existing tree. If the site does not allow the planting of the required number of trees, the Town can approve shrubs to replace the remaining trees.
Replacement must happen 90 days after tree removal, between April 1 and Dec. 1.
“I can tell you that in our neighborhood, that happens zero of the time,” said Regina Galli of the Strathmore Village Civic Association. “And it’s really affecting the whole landscape of the neighborhood [and] the air quality – we’re right off Searingtown Road.”
She also provided the Greater Council with addresses of homes that did not replace their trees.
Greater Council Treasurer Bill D’Antonio said that his neighbors asked for him to remove his tree because they are fearful that it would fall on their houses in a storm.
On a similar note, the council discussed how to get real estate agents to take voluntary actions to remove “For Sale” signs on front lawns.
While incorporated villages have ordinances limiting “For Sale” signs on front lawns, there is no law for the unincorporated areas of Town of North Hempstead.
“It’s unsightly,” said Greater Council President Richard Bentley. “It’s not consistent with the character of the neighborhood.”
One of the ideas discussed was to contact chambers of commerce and ask real estate agencies to cooperate for the shared benefit of increasing property values by removing unsightly signs. Otherwise, the Greater Council agreed to increase public pressure.
The council also discussed their success with a similar issue, with their “common sense guidelines” to reduce the number of political signs near high traffic areas during the recent election.
“The signs were gone within a number of days,” said Bentley. “There were a couple of stragglers, and certainly the last week of the campaign we had more show up at the last minute, but I thought it was overall a severe improvement on last year on the number of signs.”
The council also talked about the proposed regulations for gas-powered leaf blowers. Bentley said that there are similar laws in areas across the country because of noise pollution.
Charles Maass of the North Strathmore Civic Association said he would join the committee that will discuss the town’s proposed regulations. The committee is still being formed and no meeting dates have been set.