Village of Shoreham

PARKS POLICY RESOLUTION

October 11, 2005

 

Whereas:

 

Parkland use in New York is regulated by State law, which constrains the Village in the use of its parkland as follows:

a.       The law limits the use of property designated as parkland [1] exclusively to activities associated with public recreation [2],

b.      The Village may regulate the use of the parkland but may not deny its residents access to the parkland nor hinder its lawful use by residents [2],

c.       A municipality may not cede or lease parkland for private purposes, nor may it allow a park to be used for purely private purposes with no benefit to the public [3];

 

and whereas:

 

The Village Board confirms that the parklands belong to the residents and taxpayers of the Village and are available for the enjoyment of all residents and taxpayers;

 

and whereas:

 

The Board acknowledges the safety and security concerns of residents living on the borders of the parkland;

 

be it therefore resolved that:

 

Playgrounds

 

      The properties on either side of Briarcliff Road and out to the bluff will continue to be maintained for their present use; viz., as ball field, tennis courts, playground, basketball court, paddle tennis court, bocce court, and flower gardens.

 

Major Hopkins Park

 

1)      The area immediately adjacent to Woodville Road will continue to be maintained and improved with appropriate landscape plants.

2)      The remainder of the park will continue to be maintained as much as is feasible as natural woodland. Improvements will be limited to walking trails, including the maintenance of the existing walking trail; cutting down or removal of hazardous trees, poison ivy, and brambles, such as catbrier; and the suppression of invasive exotic vines, such as wisteria and bittersweet.


 

Border Parkland

 

1)      The parkland along the southern and western sides of the Village will continue to be maintained as much as is feasible as natural woodland. Improvements will be limited to general maintenance such as: the maintenance of  walking trails; removal of debris; removal or cutting down of hazardous dead trees, poison ivy, and cat briar; the suppression of invasive exotic vines and plants, such as wisteria and bittersweet; posting of signs as necessary or required.

2)      Motorized vehicles will be prohibited from the parkland except as authorized by the Board, or its designee, for the purpose of maintenance, access to utilities, etc.

3)      A program to enhance security will be established. This will include fencing as appropriate, patrols and proper maintenance. Action will be taken to abate any specific security problem that may arise

4)      The desire for privacy by residents will be accomplished by the residents concerned through the use of barriers such as plantings, natural vegetation and fences, all on their property, as appropriate.

5)      Private fences are not allowed in the parkland. The piece of parkland on the Southwest corner near King Street presently fenced in and occupied by a Rocky Point resident is to be returned to Village control and reincorporated into the adjacent Village parkland.

6)      There is no public access to the beach from the parkland at its northern end; the only access to the beach is by crossing private or Rocky Pt. Beach Association property.

7)      There is no public access between the North and South sections of the parkland

 

Resident’s Responsibilities

 

1)      Residents visiting the parklands are responsible to preserve its natural beauty and to respect the privacy of residents living along the parkland.

2)      Prohibited activities include: lighting fires or matches; camping; discharging firearms; littering or dumping including leaves and vegetation; unauthorized cutting down of trees or vegetation; disturbing the peace.

 

References

 

[1]   The border land north of Overhill Road was deeded to the Village in 1934 by Edwin D. Belknap (M. Oberdorf, The History of the Western Border Land of Shoreham Village and How It Got Its Shape, October 28, 2004). It is described by Mervin Pallister (Mervin G. Pallister, A History of the Incorporated Village of Shoreham in the Town of Brookhaven, p. 32, 1976) as follows: “In 1934, a group of citizens raised a fund with which they acquired a strip of some 11 acres along the entire west side of the Village, and deeded it to the Village for park purposes.” On p. 44, he writes, “When the western buffer strip was deeded to the Village in 1934, it was designated for park purposes.”  It has generally been used as and considered parkland by Village residents since that time. The border land south of Overhill Road adjoining the Slopes development was specifically deeded to the Village as parkland by Charles Wood in 1965.

[2]   Donna Giliberto, General Council, New York State Conference of Mayors, Regulation of Parks and Other Municipal Property, December, 2003.

[3]   Letter: Village Attorney Hamburger to Mayor Klatksy dated January 19, 2005.

 

 

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