Village of Great Neck holds off on zoning changes, proposes new law

Village of Great Neck holds off on zoning changes, proposes new law
Great Neck Village Mayor Pedram Bral listens as residents speak at a board meeting. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Village of Great Neck trustees held off on passing a set of laws to change the limit on how large an accessory structure can be and whether people could build a detached garage in a sector of the village at a board meeting Tuesday night.

Except for the A1 residential zone, which contains the Strathmore residents and parts of other streets, residents can have accessory structures up to 500 square feet or 40 percent of the yards under current law. The A1 zone is the only zone limiting it to 100 square feet, and the laws would make the zone match the rest of the village.

Mayor Pedram Bral argued that the proposed laws would bring uniformity through the village, as it would be “unfair to treat one segment differently.”

He also said they would just allow people to build if they wanted to and that neighbors could raise concerns about proposed changes during the Architectural Review Committee process.

One resident at the meeting said it would be best to leave the laws alone, as there are no detached garages in the area he is aware of and that he believes “this will open the windows for others.”

Another resident said they should hold off on the law for now for a more comprehensive review of zoning laws.

At least two other people publicly expressed their support for the law.

Maureen Klein, a Strathmore resident, pushed for the board to extend the public hearing regarding the laws when a motion was made to close it because families travel during the school holidays, it takes time to circulate notice to residents in surrounding areas, and more people likely want to speak on the matter.

Deputy Mayor Bart Sobel said, based on his conversations with Strathmore residents, they did not all seem in favor of changing the zoning. He said he wanted to take time to speak to more residents and filed a motion to continue the hearing.

Ultimately, four trustees voted in favor of continuing the hearings to the March 6 meeting. Bral abstained.

Robert Barbach, the building superintendent, and Peter Bee, the village attorney, also highlighted the need to consider a third law to change how much space driveways can take up on side lots across the village.

There will be a public hearing on the matter on March 6.

In unrelated business at the meeting, the village said that VHB, its engineering consultant for potential zoning changes meant to revitalize a portion of Middle Neck Road, will give a presentation on March 6 and seek feedback.

There will also be a public safety hearing at that board meeting.

Other business at the meeting included discussing a survey and soil testing around the area of the proposed Essex footbridge meant to connect two parts of Great Neck and allowing residents to use credit cards to pay for Building Department and tax matters with a surcharge.

When asked about a lawsuit against the village by a resident seeking to halt the installation of LED streetlights outside her home, Bee said, “We’ve objected to it and we’re trying to get it thrown out of court.”

Village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill also noted progress about the LED light installation, saying that officials are “exploring further dimming the lights at night” and tying up “loose ends” with streetlights.

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