Shopping center seeks changes to parking lot

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The owner of a Northern Boulevard shopping center is seeking to reconfigure the parking lot to make it safer and more convenient, a Manhasset civic leader said.

The plaza at 1900 Northern Blvd., which is occupied by an Apple Store and other retailers, currently has its loading zone on the south side of the building by the stores’ main parking area and front entrances.

Proposed changes to the site plan would move the loading zones to the north side by Northern Boulevard, and eliminate the nine parking spaces at the rear, said Richard Bentley, president of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations.

“It’s safer for pedestrians and shoppers so they’re not mixed in with truckers loading and unloading at the front of the store,” he said.

Bentley said the plans are a logical change for the site because the current configuration isn’t well-suited for truck drivers, and the rear parking spaces aren’t often used by customers.

The proposed loading spaces are larger than the current ones, and will reduce congestion during deliveries by moving away from the customer lot, according to the civic group’s website.

The number of customer parking spaces in the new site plan will drop from 230 to 221, and the loading area will have three truck spots instead of four.

Since the current site plan was approved by the North Hempstead board in 2012, furniture retailers Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Design Within Reach have moved into the shopping center, possibly prompting the need to relocate the loading zones.

Bentley’s organization, also called the Greater Council, typically reviews building applicants in Manhasset, but he said there won’t be a meeting on this one because it isn’t controversial. 

He spoke with the owner of the retail space to get an understanding of the changes, he said.

“It was something that wasn’t working to begin with,” he said.

The site plan revisions were circulated amongst Greater Council members and Manhasset residents, and Bentley said there was only one concern raised about the change. 

One resident said trucks traveling on Northern Boulevard may slow traffic when making a hard right turn into the new loading area, which runs parallel to the road. Bentley said the deliveries are made by small trucks, not tractor trailers, so turns shouldn’t have much of an impact on traffic.

“I can understand that it’s a concern, but do we really think it’s going to be a meaningful concern? No,” Bentley said.

The North Hempstead board will hold a public hearing on the application on Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.

by Chris Adams

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