Munsey Park denies request to split lot

Munsey Park Village Hall is pictured Friday, April

Munsey Park Village Hall is pictured Friday, April 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

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The Village of Munsey Park has denied a subdivision application -- the village's first in at least 30 years -- from a developer who wants to build two homes on the property.

Developer DJD Residential NY LLC had sought to divide the roughly half-acre property, owned by a trust. The developer had planned to split the land into two nearly 11,000-square-foot plots. Village trustees served as the planning board in two public hearings that took place in November and April.

Neighboring residents had complained that such a split, at the southeast corner of Manhasset Woods Road and Bellows Lane, would be aesthetically displeasing and amount to jamming two small homes on the property. The developer and representatives had said the property would be in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.

Village officials wrote that the property at 80 Bellows Lane is subject to restrictions, covenants and agreements "set forth in certain Declarations made by Munsey Meadows, Inc." when the first homes were built and dated in 1927 and 1930.

That declaration "reserves to the Village the right to refuse or deny an application for any reason," such as "the outlook from the adjacent or neighboring properties and any and all other factors, which . . . shall affect the suitability or desirability of the property."

Officials also wrote that the developer's plan would have required importing 1,100 cubic yards of fill and removing 10 trees. That proposal "would severely alter the unique topographical, geological and natural features which presently exist within the village."

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The proposal "fails to preserve the existing natural features and natural cover of the property and the neighborhood, as it has existed for generations."The trust had sued two families opposed to the project. The trust accused the families of trying "to interfere with the plaintiff's efforts to sell a subdivisible lot."

The families countersued, and State Supreme Court Judge Daniel Palmieri dismissed the case in March, ordering the estate trust to pay court and attorney fees. The judge fined an attorney for the trust $10,000 for "frivolous conduct."

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