Great Neck Estates trustees adopt policies on cellular networks, boats

Great Neck Estates trustees adopt policies on cellular networks, boats
Great Neck Estates trustees adopted a policy on cellular networks and new regulations on boats on Monday night. (Photo by John Nugent)

By John Nugent

The Great Neck Estates Board of Trustees adopted a policy that would set standards for the expansion of cellular networks in the village and passed a law regulating boats parked on residential properties at its Monday evening meeting.

In presenting an overview of the cellular network issue, village Attorney Thomas Levin said that the FCC has adopted new rules designed to supersede local laws that regulate 5G infrastructure. He said, “The FCC regulations do not give us a lot of leeway” and “the purpose of the FCC regulation is to tie our hands as much as possible.”

Levin noted that the deadline was “today” to enact a local policy to establish acceptable guidelines for construction of antenna equipment. Without this legislation cellular network companies would be free to place any kind of equipment anywhere in the village regardless of its size or appearance, he said.

The 5G technology, while 100 times faster than 4G in transmitting data, will require more and larger equipment to function, Levin added. That can mean as many as “96 antenna sites per square mile,” he stated. With four carriers looking to implement their systems in the village, there exists the prospect that nearly 400 antennas might be erected.

“Antennas on new and existing poles would have to be at least 50 feet high,” Levin said.

In unrelated village business, the board passed a bill that will prohibit residents from parking boats and other recreational vehicles on the front of their properties.

In Mayor William Warner’s opinion, the presence of watercraft and other large vehicles sitting in driveways is unsightly and will devalue properties.

Warner commented, “I don’t want to see boats when I drive down the street.”

Great Neck Estates resident Jay Corn opposed the new rule, saying, “Why have a boat if you have no place to put it?”

Interviewed later, Corn said that in recent years the accumulation of silt in the harbor has caused the water level to decrease, which makes it impossible to bring a boat to the village dock except at high tide. This has forced many boaters to move to Port Washington.

Corn contends that only small boats now use the dock and by passing this law, “there will be no usage of the dock at all.”

In other unrelated business, the board voted to set public hearings for authorizing a property tax levy in excess of the existing limit and to review the 2019 Vigilant Fire and Ambulance agreement.

Additionally, Warner proposed that rather than holding a design competition for the new Village Hall, as was suggested at a previous board meeting, the architect should submit several design proposals for consideration.

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