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The Power of a Neighborhood- Pine Brook Association, Larchmont

Rendering of resident-funded playground

In cities like Seattle, nearly every homeowner belongs to a neighborhood association. New York City has a few. They can be very powerful. But in this neck of the woods, they are few and far between.

That’s one reason the Pine Brook Association founded in 1946 in Larchmont, and now comprised of 600 families, is so remarkable.

Now, the Pine Brook Association  is working with the Village of Larchmont to (again) renovate the playground at Pine Brook Park  with new equipment, a new safety surface, and landscaping.

“We need to raise $40,000 to replace aging equipment that will be taken down by the town,”  says association member Janice Loll,  “But due to the economic times, the village will not pay to replace it. So…that leaves us!”

This approach to quality of life is hardly something new. According to Ralph Engel, Vice-President, Counsel of Pine Brook Association, over the years,

  • “We led the effort that resulted in NOT closing Chatsworth School and selling the land on which it stands, at a time when the Mamaroneck Board of Ed’s demographer projected that there would be too few kids to justify keeping it open and recommended that it be closed and the land sold, as it would never again be needed for an elementary school
  • We led the effort that resulted in the traffic light at Palmer and Pine Brook — it took ten years
  • We led the effort that resulted in the installation of three of the four traffic lights around the Chatsworth Avenue School (one was there already, and there were some blinking yellow lights
  • We led the effort that built the playground in Pine Brook Park in the first place (in about 1978), renovated parts of it in 1999 and are working on renovating the rest of the playground at this very moment
  • We led the effort to stop the erection of an office building where the Acura dealer on Palmer Avenue is now located, and we wrote the Town zoning law that regulates the dealership
  • We led the effort to stop the erection of a Cadillac dealership, a tennis center and a 100-unit condominium where the Pine Ridge condos now stand on the Post Road
  • We got the Town to redesign Hommocks Road just south of the Post Road, so that there are two lanes heading toward the Post Road where there once was one, all without widening the street
  • We have been involved, for years, in efforts to control the flooding which plagues parts of the Pine Brook area
  • We redid the large traffic island at Pine Brook and Stuyvesant, with help from Joanne of Larchmont Nurseries

Not bad.

As for the playground, the big event is March 24.  Excel Martial Arts is donating space, instructors, equipment, refreshments, raffle prizes and 100% of the proceeds to raise money. Donations are also being taken at


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March 10, 2012 3:22 PM

Rules should be appropriate to situations and made only when they can be reasonably and equitably enforced.

March 9, 2012 6:22 PM

Now if only we could get people to actually STOP at the traffic light at Palmer and Pinebrook, that would be nice. Yes, the majority of people do, but every time that light turns, there are one or two who blast right through it. One day, they will hit someone who sees the “Walk” sign and just walks.

March 9, 2012 10:26 AM

With great respect for our Senator, it takes a neighborhood; not a village and a town and a city and a county and a labor union. It takes the common sense of people opening their doors and their minds and their common concerns to together envision and build the future of our nation.

Believe in the unbelievable.

• C O M M U N I T Y • C A L E N D A R •

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