Protected by restriction
Westmoreland was first developed at the turn of the 20th century. The Rickert-Finlay Company took the first steps, marking plots for houses and laying streets. Some 300 houses came up in the area bounded between 39th Road and Northern Boulevard, with Little Neck Parkway and Nassau on its sides. The quality of home design was high and construction durable enough to stand for decades. Social infrastructure in terms of schools, transport, shopping and local jobs have come together nicely to make Westmoreland a coveted residential part of Queens.
Queens has neighborhoods other than Westmoreland with desirable qualities to own a home and to live. Yet this neighborhood stands apart from its peers. Titles to property in Westmoreland come with restrictive Covenants. These have applied since the inception of Westmoreland and apply without exception, no matter how many times and under what terms property may change hands. The objective is to enforce strict zoning that preserves the essential realty value. Some of the 13 Covenants are timeless in relevance, such as the ones that specify minimum plot size for homes, provide for open spaces, and protect street width and home frontage. Others belong to the past century and make for ludicrous reading today: new homes cannot be built for less than $ 3 thousand and stables for horses are limited to designated areas! The Westmoreland Association works hard to enforce the Covenants. The latter appear restrictive at first sight, but truly protect value for existing home owners.
Westmoreland residents have taken affirmative action to keep crime away from the peaceful stretch of their neighborhood, as far as possible. They have a telephone network that cajoles the Police in to rapid action, through a series of calls, whenever someone sees the streets being defaced by graffiti or behaving in suspicious manner. Parks are kept locked and out of bounds after dark. The Westmoreland Association maintains close liaison with the local law enforcement machinery, so that concerns can be adequately addressed.
Westmoreland proves that location, history, administrators and resources are not the only ingredients for neighborhood development, though they are tangible strengths as recognized by convention. Residents must stand up for their rights, care for their locality and make individual prerogative subservient to the common good.