Roslyn Estates revises proposed garage law

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Village of Roslyn Estates trustees decided to strip down and revise a proposed law that defines through lots and prohibits detached garages at the second public hearing for the bill on Monday.

Village Attorney Chris Prior said the law is intended to clarify lots located between two streets and would prohibit a detached garage on new and reconstructed structures. 

Following discussions, the board agreed to revise the law to remove the prohibition of detached garages and only define front yard lots on properties that lie between The Hemlocks and Searingtown Road.

“Are we trying to fix something not broken here,” Village Mayor Jeffery Schwartzberg said. “We don’t need to change the code just for the sake of changing the code.”

The Board of Trustees invited village Superintendent of the Building Department Joseph Richardson to provide input from the building department on the proposed changes.

Richardson said the village only has three “through lots” located in the village, with the rest located only on the perimeter road The Hemlocks. 

Richardson presented the position that it would be unnecessary to extend the law to the three homes in the village, and suggested the proposed bill be revised to only specify front yards on properties between The Hemlocks and Searingtown Road.

He also outlined currently coding and provisions that already limit garage placement, size and orientation.

Schwartzberg said that for detached garages, “it’s the traffic flow I’m concerned about. Having a detached garage in your yard invites traffic flow into that yard, and could impose on neighbors with lights and sound.” 

Richardson presented the board with a drawing showing current garage coding, offering insight into extra complications that would arise if the village decided to prohibit detached garages. 

The village currently defines an attached garage as a structure attached to the main living space by at least 10 feet of shared wall, it must be attached to an area larger than 120 square feet, and the space it is attached to must be heated. The code specifically rules out “breezeways” and other non-heated spaces.

Any other garage is considered a detached garage, which the code states cannot be placed on a backyard, but must be a side yard.

The village code also states garages cannot open facing the rear yard, to prevent cars from having to make a turn on their property to enter the garage, thus causing lights to shine in neighboring yards and houses.

Schwartzberg said he did not want to enact any unnecessary changes that would make things even more complicated for the Village.

The board adjourned the public hearing to revise the proposed law and will reconvene with revisions at the next meeting on March 14.

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