Changes proposed for transparency of North Hempstead zoning board meetings

Robert Pelaez
Supervisor Judi Bosworth speaks on the transparency for video streaming and other changes to the accessibility of board of zoning appeals meetings. (Photo by Rob Pelaez)

The North Hempstead Town Board unanimously passed a resolution last Thursday to authorize the broadcast and live video streaming of Board of Zoning Appeals meetings.

Video streaming, which would not go into effect until 2020, was among several  changes that have been proposed by the board. According to a news release sent out by the town on Friday, these changes are to ensure that the board’s business and discussions are more transparent and accessible to residents.

“I believe that these changes will make information more easily accessible,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “The business that comes before our Board of Zoning Appeals is linked to the quality of life of our residents and these adjustments to some of our policies will give everyone concerned the facts they need.”

Until the approval of the resolution, the only live streaming service that the town provided was for Town Board meetings.

Board of Zoning Appeals meetings typically occur twice a month and are held in the afternoon at Town Hall at 220 Plandome Road in Manhasset.

Proposed changes have also been put forward to make local residents more aware of applicants’ proposals. 

The proposed changes would require applicants to post a notice of the hearing date on the premises and to notify property owners within a 300-foot radius of the property, according to the town.

Additionally, the town will email the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting agendas to individuals who choose to sign up for the notification service, as well as civic organizations that are listed on the town’s website.

At the Oct. 10 Town Board meeting, council members heard several residents voice their lack of knowledge and frustrations with what they called a lack of notice.

The town will also ensure that legal notices will be made easier to read and understand by using more “plain language,” according to the news elease.

The public hearing for these proposed changes will take place on Oct. 24 at Town Hall.

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