Town BZA set for auto body hearing on Bayview Ave.

Town BZA set for auto body hearing on Bayview Ave.

The North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday, Aug. 16 will be hearing a variance request by Schmitty’s Auto Body to operate as an auto body repair shop.

The business, located at 55 Bayview Ave. in Manhasset, currently operates as an auto service station.

An online petition was started in late June by Preserve Manhasset in opposition to the appeal, saying Schmitty’s is already operating as a repair shop as opposed to a service station, which is what it is approved to do. 

An earlier public hearing with the Board of Zoning Appeals May 10 was adjourned to a later date after counsel for applicant Guillermo Ortiz, John Farrell, said he wanted to speak with neighbors of the property. 

“Approval of this variance would set a dangerous precedent for Manhasset in the industrial use of Business B Zoning,” according to the online petition, which has over 250 signatures. “This owner may be looking to add the Locust Street Manhasset Park District lot and the Citibank property to expand his auto empire, further diminishing both the Business B and Residential zoning character and harmony experienced over the past decades.”

The petition says additional issues with the body shop include its location on the corner of Bayview and Locust Place – which is one block off Plandome Road – a chemical spray application facility it contends was illegally installed and other quality-of-life concerns. 

“It presents hazardous environmental, fire, mobility, and traffic conditions and is incongruous with the immediate neighborhood that is lined with beautiful homes where children and families walk and bike to town to local schools and to Plandome Road shopping,” the petition says. 

The petition points out the property’s current limit on parking spots is 12 and the application seeks to increase it to 17.

Schmitty’s variance appeal on Aug. 16 is set for the 2:30 p.m. commercial calendar for Wednesday’s meeting. The board also convenes at 10 a.m. for the residential calendar.

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