Plaza considers online parking payments

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The Village of Great Neck Plaza is considering adoption of a system of online payments for parking violations in a move that board members say will make paying fines more convenient for ticketed drivers.

But the convenience of online payments would come at a cost – the standard surcharge added by credit card companies. 

Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender said the cost of the online service would be passed on to ticket payers to prevent the charge from cutting into village revenues.

“The person who wants to make an online payment will agree to an extra surcharge to do that,” Celender said.

Celender added that she believed the convenience of paying from home would be worth the cost.

“I think this is a great deal,” she said.

The board also held another in its series of public hearings on developer Hooshang Nematzadeh’s proposed mixed-use rental building at 5-9 Grace Avenue. The project is the first presented under the village’s new zoning, which is intended to improve the retail climate by increasing the number of people living in the area.

Nematzadeh presented a to-scale schematic to the board, showing the relative heights and distances between the project and adjacent buildings – a document Celender indicated was important in evaluating how the development would affect the neighborhood.

“Grace Avenue is one of the major ways in and out of the village, so it’s important that we get that right,” Celender said.

Nematzadeh’s proposed four-story building, which after board concerns over density was reduced to 37 units, will still require three zoning variances, Nematzadeh said at a previous meeting.

The plan calls for a five-foot setback from the street instead of the 25-foot setback required by village zoning. Nematzadeh has said the variance is necessary for the viability of the building’s retail space. The 42 -foot height planned for the building exceeds the 40-foot maximum set out in village code, and Nematzadeh has also requested a variance to allow both commercial and residential units on the building’s first floor.

“We’re looking at a manner of construction that will have a minimum of impact,” Nematzadeh said at Wednesday’s meeting.

Celender said the next step in the project will be to conduct a State Environmental Quality Review Act examination, and asked Nematzadeh to forward details on planned construction staging and environmental analysis of the project. The next hearing on the project will be held March 6.

The board is also considering an adjacent proposed commercial-residential development from Namdar Realty Group. 

That project was first publicly presented earlier this month, and is yet to have a formal public hearing. Board members have expressed concerns about the possibility of two major construction projects being staged on Grace Avenue simultaneously.

Reach reporter Dan Glaun by e-mail at dglaun@theislandnow.com or by phone at 516.307.1045 x203. Also follow us on Twitter @theislandnow1 and Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

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