Sidewalk repair frustrates Village of Great Neck residents

Sidewalk repair frustrates Village of Great Neck residents

Some Village of Great Neck residents voiced dismay Tuesday night after receiving village notices to repair their sidewalks.
The village recently asked residents whose sidewalks were cracked or in need of repair because of trees growing through them to repair the sidewalks because they are a tripping hazard, village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill said.
But residents at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting asked who was responsible for paying for the repairs.
The trees belong to the village, but maintaining sidewalks is the homeowner’s responsibility, according to village code.
“The village planted flowering pears with roots that go all over. Why am I responsible for that?” said Lisa Smith, a resident of Baker Hill Road. “We didn’t ask for them. The roots have done major damage.”  
Smith’s neighbor on Baker Hill Road said village officials told her she could not remove the trees to solve the problem.
“You can’t walk on the sidewalk,” the neighbor said. “I’ll plant another tree. I’m willing to do anything.”
Louis Massarro, the village public works superintendent, said the trees are large and old.
“It’s a problem in every neighborhood on Long Island,” Massarro said.
Massarro and Pedram Bral, the village mayor, said residents could get an arborist to do a risk assessment to see if the trees would cause damage.
“You might be able to get a permit,” Bral said.
Some residents also voiced concerns Tuesday over a request to put a wireless antenna on top of the commercial building at 307 East Shore Road.
Village officials told resident Jean Pearce that the antenna was not a cellular tower.
But Philip Butler, the village attorney, said the village needs a consultant to find out more about the equipment and its compliance with federal regulations.
“It’s equipment within an enclosure on top of the building,” Butler said.
Robert Barbach, the village building superintendent, said the equipment “is about 12 feet taller than the existing building.
“I don’t believe it complies with our zoning laws,” Barbach said. “It might exceed height requirements.”   
The board also postponed until Dec. 20 a decision on Mike Yaroush’s plan to convert his former hookah lounge at 435 Middle Neck Road to a catering hall.
The Nassau County Planning Commission must review the application first because the building sits on a county road, officials said.
Barbach asked that the operator, Lederman Caterers, be present at the next meeting to avoid misunderstandings about any of the conditions.  
David Zielenziger, a resident, wanted to know whether music would be permitted there.
Butler said “no noise may escape from the lounge” and no outside music is allowed under village law.

By Maz Troppe

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