By Rebecca Melnitsky
A three-way intersection and a controversial parking lot were among the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations’ chief concerns at its meeting on Wednesday night.
The council endorsed a letter calling for more safety measures at the triangle of land on the intersection between Bayview Avenue and Maple Street in Great Neck.
The three-way intersection was the site of a fatal road rage incident March 12. A man allegedly attacked two people with a baseball bat after he was honked at for not moving at a stop sign. A Nassau County police officer attempted to get the man to drop the baseball bat, but he refused. The officer fired his gun, hitting the man in the torso. He died at a hospital an hour later.
“We asked the county whether they would be willing to give that land over so we could design a bigger intersection with turn lanes,” said council President Richard Bentley. “Because most of the traffic is either coming down Maple and going up Bayview or coming up Bayview and going out to East Shore Road.”
According to Bentley, the Town of North Hempstead has only conducted an analysis to see if the intersection needs a traffic signal. He said the space really needs a traffic circle or turning lanes.
The council also drafted a protest against a private commuter parking lot on 17 Myrtle Street in Manhasset.
The property contains a lot with 31 parking spaces and one house. There is no lawn.
The parking spaces are sold privately to commuters who live outside of Manhasset. According to First Vice President Andrew Schwenk, there are no handicapped spots in the parking lot.
“These are people from outside our community who come here every day, clog our streets, and park in this area,” said Schwenk. “It would be a different thing if these people came and ate in our town and shopped in our town, but they don’t. They come and they go.”
The Town of North Hempstead granted the property a conditional use permit so the area can be used as a commercial parking lot. The Board of Zoning Appeals must reapprove this permit every three years, and it is currently up for renewal.
The Manhasset Park District tried to buy the property, but it was sold for $1.7 million a few years ago.
“For a house that might have gotten $700,000,” said Bentley.
The council drafted a letter to read at the Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals hearing to argue that permit should not be renewed. Instead, the group hopes that the Manhasset Park District could buy the property and turn the lot into shopper parking.
“When the original permit was granted, circumstances in the Manhasset community were very different,” the council argued in its planned letter. “The demand for parking was significantly less. Building of large developments along Shelter Rock Road has significantly increased the population of the town and the need for a variety of types of parking.”