Village of Great Neck postpones hearing on mixed-use building proposal

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The Village of Great Neck Board of Trustees postponed the review of a proposed mixed-use complex on 777 Middle Neck Road on Tuesday night. (Photo from The Island Now archives)

Village of Great Neck officials postponed a hearing for architectural, facade and site plan review of a proposed mixed-use complex at 777 Middle Neck Road during Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Village Building Superintendent Stephen Haramis said the applicant for the project was not ready to conduct the hearing on Tuesday night.  The board postponed the hearing until March 16.

Residents have offered extensive opinions on the proposed multifamily dwelling unit that features nine one-bedroom apartments, 31 two-bedroom apartments, four three-bedroom units and 79 parking spaces on the first floor.

Village residents said they wanted to ensure the safety of other residents on streets such as Gutheil Lane, a dead-end street that will be directly affected by the project.

Rosita Ebrani, a Gutheil Lane resident, said that her biggest concern was the potential increase of traffic on the cul de sac.

“It’s a tiny, tiny street full of children playing outside,” Ebrani said during an October meeting. “Right now in our street there are maybe overall 10 to 12 cars. Once the building is approved there will be 10 times more cars.”

Fellow Guthiel resident Ken Lee also expressed concerns about traffic, especially during rush hour in the morning between 7 and 8 a.m.

“When I am leaving my house and backing out of my driveway in the morning, I don’t know how many cars will be coming in and out,” Lee said during the October meeting. “How do I back my car out when there are cars backed up the entire road due to a red light?”

Lee said one of the main concerns Gutheil residents have is the potential influx of traffic and parked cars that would be unsafe and congest an already narrow road, which eventually turns into a cul de sac, with an entrance on Gutheil.

Support for the project was shown at the October meeting with various residents of the Great Neck peninsula representing the younger generation’s thoughts.

Kings Point resident Joshua Kadden was one of the most talkative people in the virtual chat room of the October meeting, discussing the trends of retail, newer amenities in communities and the importance of catering to younger populations.

“My question to the board is, why the hesitancy on moving forward with this project and investing in the community to attract newer and younger families,” Kadden said.

“We are not here to discuss the final plans for the project, we are just here to start the administrative process to get into it,” Saddle Rock resident Daniel Weisen said in the same meeting. “No one’s going to be here forever but we want to have this place grow for more younger generations who want to start their lives.”

Village of Great Neck resident Sam Yellis said younger adults who spoke who do not reside in the village may not be fully attuned to what happens. Yellis said not everyone is against development, but many are opposed to overdevelopment.

“No one is saying no new apartments,” Yellis said in October. “We’re not all against development, but we are against overdevelopment.  I understand we want more apartments for the empty-nesters, for the younger generation, and places that are close to shul, but how can we do it safely is the question.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously declared itself lead agency of the project in October, along with granting the board jurisdiction over site plan approval, facade approval, architectural jurisdiction and sending the application to the Nassau County Planning Commission.

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