Great Neck resident sues village over LED lights

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Great Neck resident sues village over LED lights
One of the hundreds of LED lights installed throughout the village shines down on a portion of Baker Hill Road, right near Village Hall. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Village of Great Neck residents see the light, but for some it might be causing serious damage, a legal complaint filed in Nassau Supreme Court alleges.

Great Neck resident Judith Youngblood filed a nearly $1 million lawsuit on Feb. 7, naming Mayor Pedram Bral, the Board of Trustees, the clerk-treasurer and the village as defendants, in an attempt to get an injunction against LED light fixtures being installed within 200 feet of her home.

According to the legal complaint, the new fixtures “emit high levels of intense light directly” into Youngblood’s home, making it “impossible to sleep, use and enjoy the home she has lived in for the past 28 years.”

The complaint also says the village “falsely assured residents that the new lights would not be of a high intensity and would not pose a nuisance to the use and enjoyment of residents’ homes” and intentionally continued to install the lights, despite some opposition.

Tamara Harris, a Manhattan-based attorney, is representing Youngblood.

Andrew Preston of Bee, Ready, Fishbein, Hatter & Donovan LLP, who is representing the village, filed documents seeking to get the case dismissed, according to legal documents provided to Blank Slate Media.

In the court documents, Preston argues “a street light is not a substantial interference,” “not unreasonable in character,” and that turning off individual lights to avoid annoying neighbors “could result in an unsafe condition to the general public and expose the Village to further tort liability.”

The village has nearly finished its $600,000 plan to install more than 800 streetlights with LED bulbs, village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill said at a Tuesday night board meeting.

The project, paid for by the Community Benefit Fund, is partly offset by a $250,000 state grant.

Some residents have previously expressed concern and opposition to the LED lights both in village meetings and through newspaper letters, questioning trustees about possible health risks and the process through which the lights were installed.

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