VGN mulls bill on permit penalties

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The Village of Great Neck is considering a law to clarify and expand its procedures for confronting property owners who violate the terms of their permits

The proposed law expands on current code, which grants the village the right to reconsider or revoke permits if an applicant gained the permit based on a “material representation.” The new law would allow the village to also revoke permits if an owner violates conditions, and would establish more detailed hearing procedures for owners accused of violations.

“Basically this is a clarification. Also a lot of boards have been inserting provision like this into their [code,] so it’s really just making very clear what we can do,” Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said at Tuesday night’s board of trustees meeting.

Should the village board of zoning appeals or board of trustees find either a substantial permit violation or continuous violations after the property owner had been notified of the problem, the proposed law would allow the village to place the permit under a probationary period, impose additional conditions, suspend the use the property until the violation is resolved or revoke the permit.

The law would allow the board of trustees the same latitude if a property owner is found to have violated the law.

Paired with the more detailed enforcement powers are specific hearing procedures, which guarantee property owners the right to a hearing to contest the violations.

Recent controversy over the opening of a hookah lounge on Middle Neck Road had sparked questions earlier this month from some residents, who petitioned the board to alter or revoke the lounge’s conditional-use permit. But Kreitzman said the new law had been in the works since well before the hookah lounge was approved.

“This has nothing to do with that,” Kreitzman said.

Kreitzman also announced at the meeting that work will begin next week on a major drainage project on Middle Neck Road. Work on the road surface and sidewalk is expected to begin in October, with a lane of traffic carved out on each side of the road, Kreitzman said. The work is expected to continue through the winter.

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