Old Westbury residents question board on synagogue construction

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Old Westbury Mayor Fred Carillo, third from left, addresses residents at the village's Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 21. (Photo by John Nugent)

BY JOHN NUGENT

Residents made their concerns known on plans for a proposed 7,700-square-foot synagogue at 267 Glen Cove Road at a meeting of the Village of Old Westbury’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday night. 

The meeting, which saw a draft scope for the planned project’s draft environmental impact statement, attracted speakers whose homes were located near the area. 

Several nearby residents expressed concern over how the new facility, which will include an addition to the residence and new driveways and parking areas, will affect their properties.  

One resident said that recent removal of a large number of trees and bushes to accommodate construction of a parking lot on the property has given him a view of the Long Island Expressway.  

The site presently contains a residence occupied by the rabbi and his family, a ritual bath building, called a mikvah, and two swimming pools.  

The statement contains a description of the proposal, potential adverse impacts and the extent of information required to mitigate such impacts, as well as alternatives that might be considered.  

Included among a list of several issues cited in the draft scope are stormwater and soil erosion, traffic and pedestrian safety, noise, and the overall effect on the character of the community.  

Mayor Fred Carillo reminded the audience that the sole purpose of the meeting was to present the draft scope statement, not to address specific issues related to the proposed project.  

The board voted to continue discussion on the matter, and the mayor said that the residents will be “given a reasonable time to review the statement, after which they will be given an opportunity to express their particular concerns to the board.”

In an unrelated matter, the board voted to approve an expenditure of $272,925 for the purchase of 15 license plate reader cameras that will be placed at 13 permanent locations throughout the village, meant to assist the Police Department in the enforcement of traffic safety. The amount will cover only the cost of the equipment, and installation costs will be additional.

The Village of Old Westbury Board of Trustees will next meet on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.

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