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Letter to the Editor: Holland Sporting Club can be Yorktown's 'Gem'

Mohegan Lake resident Laura Kosbar says she was disturbed to learn private development of the land was considered for the Holland Sporting Club property.

  • Editor's Note: Thanks to Laura Kosbar for submitting the Letter to the Editor. If you'd like to submit your letter to the editor, email plamena@patch.com.

I have lived in Mohegan Lake, just down the street from the property, since 1991. One thing that many people outside of the area may not be aware of is that the initial effort to save this piece of property from development actually started in the surrounding neighborhood.

Over 20 years ago, the neighbors started raising money to keep the property from turning into yet another set of condos clustered on the north shore of the lake. It was this effort that led first to the involvement of the Westchester Land Trust and then to the – with the initial agreement that it would be and remain a “passive park”.

We have worked with numerous town administrations on but, as the years progressed and the buildings deteriorated, it finally became imperative to so that none of the many peoplewho trespassed into the buildings (despite the town’s efforts to keep them out) would be injured. While they were beautiful buildings at one time, unfortunately they had reached a state of neglect where there was no other option.

I want to thank Susan Siegel, who understood the need to remove the buildings and obtained the financial resources to do the job, and Michael Grace who made sure that the demolition took place, as well as the town council (under both administrations) for the final demolition of the buildings on the Holland Sporting Club property.

Considering the history of this parcel of land, and the efforts of all of those who have tried to save it from development for over 20 years, I was disturbed last week by the news reports during the demolition where private development of the land was mentioned by several individuals from the town. While I realize that these are difficult economic times, and I can understand the immediate incentive of potential monitory gains – I think this ignores both the long term commitment and benefits associated with this land.

This is a beautiful piece of property with a strong historical connection to Mohegan Lake, as well as providing the only public access to the lake. It has the potential to be a lovely park which can benefit all of the residents of Yorktown by allowing access to a diverse natural habitat and the serenity of the lake.

In order to assist with the potential costs the might be incurred in continuing to transform this land into gem of a park it has the potential to be, many people in the area have expressed a willingness to work with the town through volunteer efforts, applying for grants or other sources of funding, and in other ways help take responsibility for the future of this park.

Many of us have already been involved for the last 20+ years - wearen’t going to quit now that there is a chance to see this park become a small gem for all of Yorktown to share.

Sincerely,

Laura Kosbar

Paul Moskowitz July 22, 2012 at 08:29 PM
As a member of the Open Space Committee, I certainly agree with Laura. This property will make it possible to enjoy the lake with very little expense to the town. Also, parkland requires very little in taxpayer expense in comparison with developed land.
Bill July 26, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Are neighbors in favor of allowing town residents access to the beach thru this property? In another thread there was a post from someone saying that this would not be welcome. Paul, I find it hard to believe that a town owned piece of parkland, with no taxes being collected, is a better deal financially for the town than a privately owned piece of property that pays taxes, even if it results in the taxpayer needing services such as schools.
Bob Rohr July 26, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Bill, you would be surprised how fast adding kids to the Schools can wipe out any possible taxes collected. The Towm is built up enough and preserving open space should be a priority.

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