Manorhaven proposes permanent ban on cell nodes, mulls proposed Manhasset Isle apartments

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Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Jim Avena)

The Manorhaven Board of Trustees is planning to implement a permanent ban on the installation of cell nodes in the village – despite the potential for inviting a lawsuit.

In proposing the ban, Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena said at Wednesday’s said “why don’t we just prohibit it and see where the ball falls.” 

Currently, the village has a temporary moratorium banning the installation of cell nodes from the village that is set to expire Oct. 25.

A number of villages on the North Shore of Nassau County are receiving building applications for multiple small cell devices throughout their municipalities.

The applications are being filed by ExteNet, an Illinois-based infrastructure provider that is contracted to install the cell nodes by Verizon in order to improve the wireless service provider’s 4G network.    

Municipalities have had different responses. The Village of Lake Success denied nine out of 13 cell nodes in May which has been met with a lawsuit by ExteNet. Earlier this month, the Village of Flower Hill denied each of its 18 applications. 

Despite there not having been any applications filed in the village as of yet, Manorhaven’s village attorney Jonathan Fielding suggested that the village put in place a permanent resolution.

While Manorhaven does not have any nodes in the village, there is a cell tower installed on Pequot Avenue, a residential neighborhood. The tower was approved by the village in 2007 when Nicholas Capozzi served as mayor. 

The cell tower was met with lawsuits from village administration that followed Capozzi, as well as organized protests against the tower that brought out hundreds of residents, according to multiple news reports. 

After attempts to halt the construction of the tower, it was eventually completed in 2012, five years after it had been approved. 

The village’s moratorium on marijuana is also set to expire on Oct. 25, which was set in place in anticipation of state legalization of the substance, according to Fielding. 

He said because the state failed to legalize marijuana, however, there is no need for a village ordinance because it is already prohibited by the state. 

“So we could let the moratorium expire,” he said. 

The board agreed with both of Fielding’s suggestions: to impose a permanent resolution prohibiting cell nodes and allowing the village’s temporary moratorium on marijuana to expire on Oct. 25. 

A public hearing on the village’s proposed prohibition on cell node will be held on Sept. 26. 

In unrelated business, trustees discussed 32 proposed apartments at Haven Marina on Matinicock Avenue, which is to go before the village planning board at its Oct. 15 meeting. 

Trustee Ken Kraft said the proposed apartments were brought to his attention by Bill Rogel, superintendent of buildings, and he had concerns because the board had told residents there would be no building in the C-1 zoning district. 

He said that Rogel informed him that the application was in the Business Overlay District, or BOLD. The overlay district is comprised of the C-1, C-2, C-3 and E-1 zoning districts and according to the village building code, was designed to promote mixed-use development on top of existing businesses that are permitted in those districts.

“And to help retain historic/existing structures instead of replacing them,” as stated in the code. 

Since the applicant is complying with the code of the business district, the proposal does not require any variances and therefore the applicant does not have to go before the village Board of Zoning Appeals and was approved by the village building inspector, Avena said.

Haven Marina is located on Manhasset Isle, an area of Manorhaven where residents have raised concerns about overcrowding. The village zoning board approved an application earlier this year for the construction of 16 apartments at 22 Sagamore Hill Drive.

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