An update from the Spencer Estate Civic Association

The current political climate reinforces the importance of unified civic associations. Unpopular occurrences in nearby communities serve as reminders that seemingly resolved issues may resurface. Overdevelopment, road diets and unwanted “service” facilities continue to irritate neighboring communities. Past inter- community unification accompanied by political support helped the Spencer Estate community  fend off potential degradations. The following items are reminders of old and present-day community issues.

*Park Gate Access Project-This unsuccessful 2010 venture called for gate access to the wooded regions of Pelham Bay Park beside Watt Avenue with bench and table congregation areas in the vicinity of Watt and Bayshore avenues.In summer 2020 and recent weeks surveying has occurred along our parkland perimeters onWatt Avenue- Bayshore Avenue. Immediate inquiries revealed neither Department of Parks nor Cb10 were aware of any scheduled activities within our footprint. Fast- forward May2021: Department of Transportation presented phase one of New York City’s E-Scooter pilot programs toBronx Community Board 10. The initial phase includesMorris Park, Co-op City, Westchester Square, Pelham Bay, Pelham Bay Park, and Spencer Estate. E- Scooter pick-up and drop off sites, aka corrals, have not been given to Department of Parks or Community Board 10. We have requested specific details fromBronx DOT Commissioner Lopez to assess potential impact on Spencer Estate and surrounding communities.

*Liquor Store– Numerous attempts in 2010-2012 to open a liquor store on Ampere Avenue with hours of operation that conflicted with the neighborhood characteristic and lifestyle were met with multiple community opposition. The involvements of then Councilman Vacca, Assemblyman Benedetto Senator Klein and Congressman Crowley were essential in preventing these efforts.Fast-forward May 2021: A pizzeria -restaurant is slated to open at 3284 Ampere Avenue. An application for an on premise State Liquor License has been filed. Currently, the scope of this license application remains unknown. Limited dialogue with business owner Ed Kelley suggests there is respect and recognition for the neighborhood’s low-density characteristic; the business operations extremely close proximity to family residences, and importance of being a quality neighbor. Mr. Kelley will soon present his business plan to Community Board 10 for advisory approval.

*Rezoning-Up-zonings will alter community landscapes, increase density and devalue quality of life through unimpeded “As of Right”development. The issue of up-zoning low density designated areas is inclined to become deeply rooted in national, state, and city politics.  Words of wisdom from the late Michael Demarco who served as our NYC councilman for 27 years, “Lose your zoning say goodbye to your community”.

It’s that time of the season: Nice weather, relaxed CV-19 mandates and the June 22nd primaries will have candidates and staffers engaging indoor-to-door solicitations. It is imperative that residents in low-density communities ask all candidates their positions on zoning and quality of life issues. Zoning designations remain a community’s best defense against unwanted over-development. In today’s political climate a community needs reassurance from current and future political leadership. Communities must have confidence that their elected officials can be relied upon in their quests to stave off the unwanted and procure the needed.

Political leaders to gauge a community’s interest and fortitude use attendances at local civic meetings. Large attendances transmit clear messages to political officials and public servants. The Spencer Estate Civic Association takes pride in building bridges of friendship linking community with our elected officials and public servants.  Our next meeting is Wednesday, June 16th 7:30PM @ Knights of Columbus.  “If we want to reap and keep the blessings of our fine quality of life we must endure the fatigue of supporting it.”  “Inclusion brings solutions”. Any area homeowner or renter interested in membership to Spencer Estate Civic Association attend a meeting or send-email tospencerestatecvic@gmail.com

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