Great Neck Plaza sets date for introducing zoning laws

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Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender, as seen at a previous board meeting. Her village signed onto a NYCOM resolution that opposes eliminating the SALT tax deduction. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Great Neck Plaza officials on Monday gave a potential date of Oct. 18 for introducing legislation to encourage affordable housing units in two zoning districts, after more than a year of consideration.

While the law has not yet been drafted, it would amend chapter 225 of the village code to change zoning regulations in the Residence T (RT) zone and the Residence D (RD) zones.

It follows the completion of a report from the Regional Planning Association, which featured analyses of three sites and recommendations like increasing the allowed floor area ratio in developments and reducing minimum apartment sizes.

The RT zone currently has less density because it borders other municipalities and contains lots along Bond Street, Shoreward Street, the LIRR right-of-way and a block along Knight’s Bridge Road, the report says. The RD zone, meanwhile, is “mapped throughout the Village,” mainly in the northeastern and southeastern parts.

Trustees first began considering changing the regulations in April 2016, according to previous village agendas.

“We wanted to promote the provision of affordable housing, but at the same time we wanted to maintain the financial feasibility of development,” Moses Gates, a representative for the Regional Plan Association, previously said when presenting the report to the public.

Trustee Pamela Markshied said the project was a part of an attempt to create a more successful downtown and more transit-oriented housing. But, she noted, this doesn’t necessarily mean the village will develop all the properties.

“We’re just allowing it to happen,” Markshied said. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to push for it to happen.”

“We have to balance everything between how it’s going to impact our current residents with bringing in new residents,” Markshied added.

In other business, the village adjourned a hearing regarding a local law to regulate vehicle-mounted mobile signs to the first meeting in November.

Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender said she had met with Joseph Haghighat, the owner of Great Neck Printing, Signs & Graphic Design, who has said the law would unjustly burden his business and target him, and that the board would not vote on potential legislation without him present.

In other business, the village approved two conditional use permits for Acumiracle Acupuncture at 23A Middle Neck Road and MJ Skincare at 45 Middle Neck Road, signed onto a resolution opposing the elimination of state and local tax deductions for federal taxpayers and authorized the clerk-treasurer to pay over $1 million.

Officials said that this is such a high number is because it groups together five months worth of payments to Vigilant Fire Company for ambulance services and serial bond payments.

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