By Ted Ryan
The New Hyde Park Board of Trustees on Tuesday moved to start analyzing a research study of a proposed Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership on Jericho Turnpike.
The board named the Village of New Hyde Park as the lead agency to determine the potential impact of the dealership under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act.
“What this will do is identify us as the lead agency should the village decide to have a more intensive investigation of what the impact would be of the application,” Deputy Mayor Lawrence Montreuil said. “This is the first step in that process.”
Amir Jarrah, the applicant, wants to move his Miracle Mile Harley-Davidson dealership at 1215 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck to a new 8,000-square-foot motorcycle showroom and 6,200-square-foot basement repair shop at 1324 Jericho Turnpike, the current site of Miller Brothers Plumbing & Heating.
Construction would take about a year.
A study Jarrah commissioned from Hauppauge-based VHB Engineering says the proposed dealership would not harm the surrounding area, property values or the character of the village.
But New Hyde Park residents have voiced concerns that the dealership would affect noise, traffic safety and the village’s image.
The village hired the environmental planning firm Nelson, Pope & Voorhis to review the findings of the VHB study and expects to receive a report on it next month, Montreuil said.
Based on the Nelson, Pope & Voorhis analysis, the Board of Trustees will make a declaration as to whether the dealership could have a significant impact on the environment under the state environmental review law.
VHB will not perform any further research on the impact of the Harley-Davidson dealership and is no longer involved with the matter now that it has submitted its study, Montreuil said.
If Nelson, Pope & Voorhis finds inaccuracies in VHB’s study, the Village of New Hyde Park will issue a positive declaration, indicating it thinks the dealership will significantly impact the environment.
If the village’s firm approves the VHB study, the village will make a negative declaration, indicating no significant environmental impact.
If a positive declaration is issued, Jarrah would have to draft another environmental impact statement that addresses the issues raised by the public at a future hearing.
Jarrah would then bring the updated environmental impact statement to the village board for approval.
Montreuil said he expects there will be another hearing on the proposed dealership this summer.
In an interview Wednesday, Jarrah said he thinks the application process has taken far too long.
The first public hearing on his proposal was in October 2015.
“I really don’t know why they’re dragging their feet,” Jarrah said.