Plaza trustees unanimously approve extension of moratorium on development

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Great Neck Plaza trustees voted to extend an existing moratorium on developments with three or more residential units for an additional four months, during a teleconference meeting on Wednesday night.

Village Attorney Richard Gabriele said the temporary moratorium, which was approved by the board last July, was due to a number of recent developments made over the last several years.

“The village wanted to evaluate the effects of that on the village and possibly amend the zoning code based on what it learned,” Gabriele said. “The village hired a consultant, Vision Long Island, to make recommendations and do certain studies.”

According to Gabriele, since the extension requires an amendment to local zoning code, the Nassau County Planning Commission adopted a resolution on March 12, which leaves the extension up to the village board’s determination.

Since the study was not completed by the end of the initial nine-month moratorium, village trustees voted to extend the process four more months, until July 24.

Mayor Jean Celender said that by extending the moratorium consultants would have more time to report on its findings and allow the village to act on any zoning changes they might want to make as a result.

“We need the time to evaluate,” Celender said. “In the next four months, I believe we can wrap it up.”

The extension will give the consultants additional time to examine earlier developments, the people they have brought in, traffic and parking impacts and how other communities handle transit-oriented development.

Transit-oriented development zoning was implemented in 2011 in the Plaza in an effort to fill vacant locations, but instead got bigger developments, which include 15 Bond St. and 16 Maple Drive among others.

The moratorium extension prohibits the Plaza from issuing conditional-use permits, site-plan approvals, variance and permit of compliance involving a large residential project for four more months.

This would not affect projects that were pending before the law’s approval or prevent modification of previously approved use, provided it does “not result in a more intensive use of the building or structure.”

In addition to extending the moratorium, members of the village Board of Trustees voted unanimously (5-0) to reappoint Michael DeLuccia, chairman of the Board of Zoning and Appeals, to a five-year term; and associate Village Justice Richard Kestenbaum, to a one-year term.

Gabriele said that while Gov. Cuomo has postponed local elections – which were initially scheduled for March, but postponed due to COVID-19 – he failed to indicate the status of appointed officials.

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