Plaza trustees relax law for automated garages

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The Village of Great Neck Plaza Board of Trustees at a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (Photo by Ted Ryan)

By Ted Ryan

The Great Neck Plaza Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously approved less restrictive regulations for automated parking garages after about two months of discussion.

The changes to the village code include a requirement that there must be an on-site attendant at the garage for the first three months after the garage starts operating.

The owner of the garage must also specify what hours the on-site attendant will be present.

After the three-month period, the operator of the automated garage will present themselves to the Board of Trustees to eliminate or reduce the monitoring of the garage by the attendant.

The board will decide whether or not they will be removing the on-site attendant based on several factors that will be monitored during the three-month period.

“Based on various factors, such as the type of person to use the garage, what’s happened during those first three months, how occupied the building is, what off-site systems there are to assist the users of the garage, the board can remove that condition and establish a set of terms and conditions as it deems necessary to ensure the safe utilization of the garage,” village Attorney Richard Gabriele said.

The three-month period may be extended as the board deems necessary.

If there are any complaints that the garage isn’t functioning properly, the board can re-impose the condition of having an on-site attendant as they see fit.

Effie Namdar, a Great Neck developer, wants to build an automated underground parking garage at the proposed 61-unit apartment complex at 15 Bond Street.

In December, the board proposed a law that required a 24-hour on-site attendant at the garage, which Namdar’s attorney, Paul Bloom, called an “extreme expense.” The board agreed to discuss a less-restrictive version of the law.

A draft of the changes to the law was sent to Bloom, and although he was not present at Wednesday’s meeting, he can come to the board with any feedback on the revisions, Gabriele said.

Also on Wednesday, the board unanimously approved conditional use permits for Long Island Hebrew Academy, a Northwell-GoHealth Urgent Care facility at 46 Great Neck Road, and Element Seafood, a restaurant at 20 S. Station Plaza.

Element Seafood, based in New York City, is a family-run seafood distributor that offers classes and events at its existing markets.

The Great Neck location will be a higher-end restaurant offering corporate events and brunches, Nellie Wu, Element Seafood’s general manager, said.

The location is close to the Long Island Rail Road station, so the restaurant would be a good place for commuters to get food or a drink, Wu said.

A fourth business, a cleaning service called Maidpro located at 34 S. Station Plaza, has not yet been approved and was tabled on Wednesday for later discussion due to issues with staff parking.

Northwell-GoHealth Urgent Care has several other locations in Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn and Westchester County.

At the facilities, health professionals screen patients and give feedback on what they should do, and whether they should go to a hospital.

The board tabled discussion on changes to its affordable housing law for the second board meeting in March. Trustees are waiting for recommendations from a zoning consultant that the board has commissioned.

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