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Lindenhurst considers a 1-year moratorium on new 24-hour businesses

South Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst is seen on

South Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst is seen on Oct. 22, 2019. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Lindenhurst Village officials will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposed yearlong moratorium on 24-hour businesses.

The proposal would ban any new establishments, such as gas stations and convenience stores, from operating from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Bars and restaurants, which have their own special permit process, are exempt. Existing 24-hour businesses are grandfathered in, officials said.

Should the moratorium be approved by the board of trustees, “no application for the construction, erection, maintenance, or change of use to a use which is prohibited herein may be filed, accepted, or processed.”

Mayor Mike Lavorata said village officials have received complaints from neighbors whose homes are near businesses that are open late.  

“There are some businesses that aren’t supposed to be operating 24 hours, but in the dead of night there’s a body shop working on a car,” he said. “This is really just to get control of things.”

Lavorata said the moratorium would serve as a chance for officials to determine whether there’s a need for a permanent ban on such businesses across the board or just in certain areas.

“If somebody’s in an industrial spot, and it’s not a problem with the neighbors, we would consider it,” he said. “But a lot of these places are literally two or three doors down from a home.”

Village attorney Gerard Glass said the measure is also needed due to the village’s “explosive” downtown growth.

“Businesses are flocking to the village,” Glass said. “With growth, you need planning. The growth is something that is almost like a wave that is peaking. . . and the village wants to make sure to get ahead of that wave.”

Glass said a permanent ban on 24-hour businesses is possible but that it’s unclear whether such a ban could include existing businesses.

“That’s one of the things we’re going to explore during the process of the moratorium . . . what regulations are appropriate and will withstand constitutional muster,” he said.  

The hearing will take place via a Zoom meeting at 2:30 p.m. Information on the meeting and how to submit questions in advance will be on the village website.

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