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Trustees postpone vote on road zoning after residents' opposition

Comments from residents have caused trustees to postpone their vote until perhaps the March 5 meeting, said Mayor Pedram Bral.

A view of some of the vacant storefronts

A view of some of the vacant storefronts along Middle Neck Road in Great Neck on Feb. 7, 2019. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Dozens of Great Neck residents overflowed village hall Tuesday to oppose village trustees’ plans to adopt zoning changes along Middle Neck and East Shore roads.

Comments from residents have caused trustees to postpone their vote until perhaps the March 5 meeting, said Mayor Pedram Bral.

Trustees were planning to adopt the zoning changes after reading a study from Hauppauge-based consulting firm VHB. The study, which the village commissioned, examined how Great Neck could revitalize businesses along Middle Neck and residential options on East Shore. In the study, VHB suggested that Great Neck officials create a new section of the village’s zoning map called the Corridor Incentive Overlay District. In that district, developers who proposed assisted living, affordable housing, a ground-level business or a project that somehow improves public infrastructure could build up to five stories as opposed to four stories, which is current village law. Applicants in the district could also get a waiver for certain parking requirements on their proposed project.

Residents said Tuesday adopting VHB’s recommendations will create more traffic on East Shore Road and overcrowd the Great Neck school district. VHB’s study notes that their recommendations come with seven adverse impacts, including “additional solid waste generated” and an increase in “traffic due to the introduction of mixed-use development.”

Bral told residents Tuesday that approving the recommendations does not give every developer the green light to start building four- and five-story buildings in the village. If the village adopts VHB’s recommendations, every development application will still need trustee approval, he said.

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