The Village of Great Neck will form a citizens advisory committee for developing the Middle Neck Road corridor, officials announced Tuesday night, as part of an effort to form a master plan for the area.
According to officials, the goal of the five- to seven-person committee is to gather input from the community and serve as a liaison to the Board of Trustees to help “in the visioning component” of the improvement project.
VHB, the engineering consultant for the project, analyzed possible zoning law changes and areas of interest to encourage residential and commercial development along Middle Neck Road and East Shore Road.
The consultant presented a draft report, now available on the village website, to the public at the last board meeting.
“While VHB has helped the village identify locations which are underdeveloped, and which may lend itself to improvement, we are seeking experienced volunteers who can think ‘out of the box’ with respect to what we need, what we want, what is possible and how, as a village, we can encourage that kind of development,” Great Neck Village Mayor Pedram Bral said. ”
Bral added in an interview Wednesday that the board, even before hiring VHB, planned on forming a citizens advisory committee to help with the development project.
“The catalyst for the formation of the Middle Neck Road Corridor Advisory Committee is the need to elicit the best and brightest visionary ideas to enhance the village with the end goal of boosting the tax base, provide the housing we want and need, and provide the availability of local services and goods,” Bral said.
Bral also added that the board is open to ideas from members of the public, regardless of whether or not they join the committee.
Among some of VHB’s suggestions for Middle Neck Road were raising the maximum allowed building height to five stories, embracing mixed-use development, adding traffic calming measures at three intersections and easing parking restrictions.
For East Shore Road, VHB recommended streetscape improvements, boosting walkability and improving access to Manhasset Bay.
Officials previously said this study follows a 2013 corridor study, which resulted in the creation of incentive and overlay districts, but did not get the results the board wanted.
“The purpose of the study was to identify potential amendments to the zoning code that could stimulate the desired multifamily residential and commercial development to desired sites,” Robert Barbach, the superintendent of the Building Department, previously said.
Trustees said residents interested in joining the committee should submit a letter and outline their qualifications and initial ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mayor and Board of Trustees will announce the committee members at the April 17 meeting.
Editor’s note: This article now includes more expanded comments from Mayor Pedram Bral and removed comments from Rebecca Gilliar, which were misconstrued.