The current owners of the Baxter House (on the corner of Shore Road and Central Drive) have abandoned and neglected our beautiful historic landmark for years. To those of us concerned with the preservation of historic landmarks, this is known as “demolition by neglect,” a strategy a homeowner can use to obtain permission to develop a historic property. Adding insult to injury, these owners now want to divide the property and build a second house in the backyard.
The Board of Zoning Appeals of the Village of Baxter Estates doesn’t think there is much they can do. Chris Bain, president of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, disagrees: “Several Baxter Estates residents have told us that if a village homeowner allows their lawn to grow wildly to an unkempt and unsightly state, the village has the power to send in a crew to clean up the mess. The village then sends the homeowner the bill. If that is so, why doesn’t the village employ the same principle, and fix the roof, the gutters, the front porch?”
This issue concerns not only the residents of Baxter Estates, but all the residents of Port Washington. To really understand how important the Baxter House is to all of us, visit the website of the Cow Neck Historical Society, where you can view a fascinating “Then and Now” photo essay about the Baxter House and its role in our history. After that, I hope some of you will be inspired to email the Village of Baxter Estates your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should the Village of Baxter Estates fail to step up to the plate, perhaps you
would also like to suggest some alternate names for the village as well, maybe along the lines of McMansion Estates?