Great Neck Estates Village residents want an environmental impact study on a proposed upscale kosher food store proposed for Middle Neck Road to include its potential impact on traffic and noise in the area, parking and pedestrian safety.
Those were the main recommendations made to the board of trustees Monday night during a special "scoping session" about the controversial proposal.
Great Neck-based Great Neck Gourmet Inc. wants to open a 14,500-square-foot food market in a building on the site of a closed Rite Aid. Trustees voted to conduct an environmental study before deciding about a permit. That process could take years to complete, Mayor David A. Fox said.
Fox noted that during packed public hearings residents expressed many concerns about the plan ranging from the effect of truck deliveries on traffic to the odors that might be generated from food preparation.
"There's already double parking on Middle Neck Road," resident Lucille Glasser said during the 15-minute scoping session. "I can't imagine if there's a supermarket there." She was one of about a dozen residents who spoke.
Alan M. Stein, a Garden City attorney representing store owner Mike Karam, objected to a full environmental review because he said it would stall the application process indefinitely. He said during the Monday night gathering that he heard no new concerns and asked that the environmental review be expedited.
"We're trying to move this along in a reasonable way, we're not dealing with any new issues," Stein said. "We have traffic, we have noise, we have cooking . . . I think everyone's on board and knows what we have to look into."
Fox told Stein to prepare a report for the board on the issues that have been raised but that "in an effort to move it along we don't want to preclude anything we should be doing. This is a major project."