Chatham long IslandLong Island Chatham
Justin Rivers received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York in Binghamton.
5 postcodes and no city centre
Two years ago, when Michael and Kristine Marrale purchased a three-bedroom townhouse in a watched parish in North Hills, it was a way for Mr. Marrale, who works in investments, to move out of Manhattan, but still find an easier way." Both the gate-keeper's lodge was a decoy, as was the homeowners' union, which embodies the spoiled lifestyle in this well-kept hamlet with hidden estates of over $1 million in townhouses, condos and free-standing houses on the north shore of Long Island.
"You' re paying your service and you don't have to do things that other home-owners have to do like paddle snow," Mr Marrale said. Marrales, who have a three-year-old girl, Isabella, a one-year-old boy, Michael, and a newborn expected in January, also liked the forested area behind their back yard that disguised their position between the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway.
It was not long before Mr. Marrale went from a lucky suburban dweller to a worried environmental activist. He was alerted at community hearings via schemes for 58 more houses as part of Chatham's second stage, in addition to a 244 unit Ritz-Carlton residences next-door, to learn developpers were allowed to plant in an environmentally vulnerable area in return for millions ofe dollar which were pecuniary reward.
Designers benefited from the so-called zone of incentives legislation that liberated North Hills from building more houses than the default zones would allow. Marvin Natiss, the town' major, said the funds they gave the villagers in exchange can only be used to improve the communal amenities for the people.
Chatham Development Snr. McInerney said that the Chatham, which is situated in a protected ground water area, has so far added $12 million to the town. Unimpressed by the presence of zone incentives legislation, however, Mr. Marrale went on to join environment groups to take the town to court.
"â??We claim that the community has introduced a pay-to-play plan in which Developers have a lot of sums to buy zone deviations,â? he said. Long Island Pine Barrens Society Chief Operating Officer Richard Amper, one of the environment groups that appeal a verdict that allowed the building of the second stage of Chatham, said that the 19 hectares destined for the second stage of Chatham were covered with "permanent restriction agreements" during the first stage of work.
Chatham Development attorney Louis Soloway seemed unworried that the case might eventually go to court and said: "The client felt that it was a very low level of risky to move forward. For this reason, the building of the second section of the Chatham is making rapid progress: 32 townhouses are under building and 25 underway.
Until now he has purchased a laserspeed pistol for the Nassau County Police for use in North Hills. 5-acre, are under legal threat in a state top-level lawsuit filed by Mr. Marrale and the Long Island Drinking Water Coalition against the settlement. In receiving the Ritz Carlton Project's consent, its Condominia' comfort-forgiving victims ratchets up yet another score, with residential lifts and a concierge and valet concessions such as room facilities from the Residents-only Inn and on-demand maids services provided by the Ritz-Carlton Hotels Chain.
More recent than most of the island's residential populations have seen the emergence of personal development since the 1970s, such as the Daisy on the former Gold Coast Estate and equestrian ranches belonging to very wealthy homes such as the Whitneys, the Paleys and the Graces. The Census Bureau North Hills was the wealthiest municipality in the Northeast in 2002 with an avarage per capita GDP of $100,093 per year.
Mayor Natiss said at least 40 per cent of the 5,000 inhabitants of the city are empty nests, many of whom like the lightness of closing the doors and moving into a better climate with little concern. The majority of privately owned cul-de-sacs in the 2. 8 square miles town ripple off Shelter Rock Road and Searingtown Road, north-south axes spanning the Long Island Expressway and Northern State Parkway.
Without a city centre, without a restaurant or shop, the gentle curves of the countryside merge with the nearby Manhasset, Roslyn, Herricks, Albertson and Searingtown outskirts, with just one splash of offices along New Hyde Park Road on the west blur. There is no postal service or train station in the town.
It comes as no surprise that North Hills' ports for the well paid premiums. On the lower end of the island according to Long Island's Multiple Listing Service, selling rates in Acorn Ponds, an uninhabited condo, are between $585,000 for a twin room and $899,000 for a triple room. The first 80 Chatham townhouses came onto the scene in 2002 and, according to Mr. McInerney of Chatham Research, three- and four-bed rooms between 3,300 and 3,600 sq. ft. began pricing around $900,000.
As well as clearing away glaciers and landscape design, the charge includes the use of outside and covered swimming pool facilities in the communal club house, which also has practice and map rooms. Additionally to the members - only Deepdale Golf Club, North Hills Country Club and Shelter Rock Tennis Club, the town is home to Nassau County's 98-acre Christopher Morley Park.
Whilst there are no eateries or retailers in North Hills, the top of the Lord & Taylor car park protrudes into the town. It is part of a series of high-end stores along near-by Northern Boulevard, known as Miracle Mile, and ends with the 225,000 square meter boutique Americaa Manhasset, the island's response to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
The North Hills is serviced by four of the most prestigious areas of Long Island: The Manhasset Union Free School Area, Herricks Union Free School Area, Roslyn Union Free School Area and Great Neck Union Free School Area. For the Manhasset Ward, the SAT score for the 2005 category (the most recent available) was 586 for the oral test and 622 for the maths; national averages were 497 on the oral and 511 on the maths.
Mean values in Herricks Ward for the 2006 grade were 545 on the oral and 594 on the maths; state averages that was 493 and 510 academic year, respectively. In 2006, the Great Neck School District achieved 619 points in maths and 575 points in writing and speaking. Grade 2006 at Roslyn High school averages 591 on maths and 566 on oral.
The Buckley Country Day school is located in the centre of the town. It is an independant infant day care centre for children up to 8 years of age. Lessons range from $8,000 for kindergarten to $20,000 for 8th graders, but there is a funding programme. The North Hills is 20mph from Midtown Manhattan, a mere 20mph from the Queens frontier on the west side.
It is a 50 to 55 minute drive during peak hours, with fast connections to the Northern State Parkway or Long Island Expressway. Manhasset Postal Codes - one of five that cover North Hills - can be parked at Manhasset Railway Terminal, where Long Island Railroad's Port Washington line fast passenger services run 29 min directly to Pennsylvania St.
For those in the south of the town, take the Albertson railway at the Oyster Bay junction. St. Ignatius Retreat House, an Elizabethan manor house with 87 rooms on 33 hectares of turf and garden along Searingtown Road, is one of the last remnants of the North Hills as it appeared when it was integrated in 1929 as a 2 Morgen zonation area.
In spite of the continuous flow of motorways through the town, the well-sheltered and lushly laid out privately owned municipalities seem like an oasis of peace. Since the town has no city centre and no feeling of togetherness, it is only in the name.