Flower Hill withdraws law on surveillance cameras

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The Village of Flower Hill approved Tuesday a ban on new bamboo and added language to the village code to limit existing bamboo in the village. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

A complaint from a Flower Hill resident about a neighbor using cameras to spy on his wife and daughters spurred a proposed law to regulate surveillance cameras in the village. During Monday’s Board of Trustee meeting, Flower Hill decided to withdraw the law from consideration and defer to the state.

“We should look at the state law and the way it is implemented, and then take it from there,” said Trustee Brian Herrington, referring to a law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August that gives New Yorkers the ability to sue if they feel their privacy is being violated by surveillance cameras.

Other board members pointed out that it would be difficult for the village to police the matter.

“Enforcement would be extremely difficult, because we would really not be able to tell when the camera was filming, where it’s actually pouinted at … it puts a real burden on us that we can’t fulfill,” said village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer.

Discussion of the law, Local Law U, was part of a public hearing on three laws and a change to the North Hempstead Country Club. The board voted to approved Local Law W, which set a limit to the length of time a tree replanting bond must be retained.

“We have many tree replanting bonds on file, some going back to 2007,” Shatzkamer said. “We felt that there should be a cutoff point for forfeiture.”

The trustees decided that the $500 bond would be forfeited after one year.

The trustees decided to further discuss Local Law V, which would define the height of  buildings, at the December meeting. They also agreed to hold further hearings on a proposed driving range that will be added to the North Hempstead Country Club on what is currently residential property.

Flower Hill recently opened a sports wall in the village park using funds from a state grant. There are some leftover funds, but with no room left in the park, the trustees debated how to spend the additional money. One suggestion was to put a traffic island at the intersection on Northern Boulevard between Middle Neck Road and Ridge Drive West because drivers were cutting through the Joanne’s Pizza parking lot.

“My neighbor was just in an accident there,” said Trustee Randall Rosenbaum. “Somebody was cutting through, she was backing out of a spot, and they got into a collision. It’s on a regular basis.”

The trustees decided to hold off on a decision.

Christmas season is just around the corner, which means that Flower Hill resident Bob Young will soon be setting up his holiday light display. The lights have drawn visitors but have brought some noise and traffic complaints. Herrington said he met with Young to help prepare and expected the situation to be better than in 2016.

“It’s been an improvement every year, and we hope this year is another improvement,” he said.

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