Kimco Realty, which made unauthorized changes to its Manhasset Center property on Northern Boulevard, has applied for a building permit that would allow it to restore the property, according to the Town of North Hempstead.
The violations were on a plot of land between the shopping center parking lot and Brinkerhoff Lane where the company clear cut trees and paved. Kimco only had a permit for ongoing work on its underground parking garage, which neighbors that square of land.
The shopping center includes King Kullen and Michaels among other stores.
The company filed an application for a building permit on April 5 that would allow it to begin the restorative changes, said Rebecca Cheng, a spokeswoman for the Town of North Hempstead. Once it is approved, Kimco will have 90 days to begin the restorative work.
The Town of North Hempstead first issued a notice of violation to the company on Dec. 5, which prohibited Kimco from further violations and gave it 90 days, or until March 5, to address the violation. It also required that Kimco secure a gate so that no one could pass through the site, according to the town.
The company met with the town’s building inspector on Feb. 6 and presented its plans for addressing the violations, Cheng said.
The changes Kimco made in that section were meant to ease the work on the garage and were intended to be temporary, Jennifer Maisch, Kimco corporate communications director, said in February.
Kimco’s headquarters is in New Hyde Park. The publicly traded company had interest in 437 shopping centers across the country at the end of 2018, according to its website.
Brinkerhoff Lane is a two-lane residential road that also hosts Saint Mary’s Elementary School and High School.
The shopping center has entrances only on Shelter Rock Road and Northern Boulevard.
Kimco was prohibited from allowing access to the shopping center through Brinkerhoff Lane years ago because it would cause congestion in the neighborhood and around the schools, said Richard Bentley, president of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations.
Currently, the square of land separating the lot and Brinkerhoff Lane has a paved section that connects the two. Trees previously populated the land. Now, there are none.
Kimco placed a chain link fence around the space, but that has been pushed open, allowing passage, said Cathy Word, a Terrace Manor resident who has been emailing town officials for months about the issue.
“They should not be using a residential neighborhood to ingress and egress,” she said. “They’re not paying our taxes. We’re paying our taxes and that little lane can’t accommodate that kind of traffic.”
About 20 years ago, an open gate on a property at Third Street and Brinkerhoff Lane allowed traffic through, Word said. The neighborhood worked together to get it closed, and once it was, the character of the neighborhood changed.
“Suddenly you saw kids playing in the street, and it was just mind boggling that there were so many kids here,” Word said.
The new curb cut at the Kimco property and the temporary fence are reminiscent of a time when an exit off the side of Brinkerhoff Lane created bumper-to-bumper traffic in her neighborhood, she said.
“We were held hostage, and I don’t want anybody to go back to that,” Word said.