Manorhaven board refuses variance for development

Manorhaven board refuses variance for development
Andrew Levenbaum shows the Manorhaven Board of Trustees the plans for subdivisions on Juniper Road (Photo by Luke Torrance).

The Manorhaven Board of Trustees decided during Thursday’s meeting not to grant a variance for a proposed development on Juniper Road, where the owner sought to construct a pair of two-family homes instead of one.

The decision came after several residents spoke out against the proposal, which would allow the project to use village land, due to concerns over overcrowding. That is a constant issue in one of the most densely populated villages in New York, according to data from the U.S. Census.

“I read those variances … should be granted in exceptional circumstances,” said Tom Judge, who lives on the same street as the proposed building. “Greed is not an exceptional circumstance. And that’s all we’re talking about here.”

The proposed subdivision would be located on a hillside at the dead end of Juniper Road, close to the border between the villages of Manorhaven and Sands Point. Village land would need to be sold for construction to be possible. The architect for the project argued that the cosmetic change to the hillside would be minimal, but residents said that the area was already crowded enough and that adding more housing would just make thing worse.

“I hope you act with reason and tell this guy to take his 6,600 square feet, build one two-family house and go somewhere else and try and screw them,” Judge said.

After half an hour of discussion between disgruntled residents and the building’s architects, the Board of Trustees decided not to go forward with the variance on the property.

At the start of the meeting, Mayor Jim Avena commented on the recently released waterfront analysis. He said that residents would have the ability to discuss the analysis at a Q&A session on March 3 and at the next Board of Trustees meeting later that month. He added that Cameron Engineering & Associates did good work on the analysis and there was no improper influence. And the village staff stressed that any actual action on the waterfront was a long way off.

“This is just one point in a process,” said village Attorney Steven Leventhal.

Avena also commended the village’s response to this month’s snowstorm and said the village’s goal for next year was to eliminate alternate side parking entirely except in snow emergencies.

The village did pass a law and several resolutions. Local Law 1 of 2018 requires that tow truck operators remove towed vehicles directly to the vehicle storage facility and to make certain reports and keep certain records of towed vehicles in a snowstorm or other emergency.

Avena said the village wanted a more comprehensive towing law and modeled it after the Town of North Hempstead’s.

The village executed a grant agreement with the state’s Environmental Facilities Corp. The trustees agreed to match 20 percent of a state grant for $30,000 that will go toward pipe replacements.

They also approved a resolution setting Election Day for the village on Tuesday, June 19, with polling located at Village Hall.

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