Subdivision application delayed until drainage fixed: Great Neck zoning chair

Justine Schoenbart

Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning Appeals Chairman Dennis Grossman said Thursday that an application for the conversion of two Forest Row properties into nine single-family lots would not move forward until the applicant has completed the proper drainage system tests around the property. 

“Without the proper drainage information, this is not going any further,” Grossman said.

His comments came during a continued hearing for Forest Glen LLC, which is seeking two building variances for 43-45 Forest Row and 47 Forest Row, during which residents opposed how the firm has handled application changes requested by the board. 

Among the primary source of complaints was a series of tests to the drainage systems of the two sites, which are located at different points of elevation.

Residents alleged Forest Glen LLC had only tested the southern portion of the site, and not also the northern part, prior to Thursday’s meeting.

“My home, as well as a couple other homes of people who are here tonight, is on the lower end of that street. We’re at the water table that is affected by this,” said Forest Row resident Eyal Akler, who lives north of the proposed development. “What’s going on on the Kings Point south side of this is not necessarily what’s going to affect us.” 

Grossman replied that he has asked the village engineer to supervise and witness these tests to ensure that all areas affected in the village will be covered. 

Paul Bloom, the attorney for the applicant, said his client is in the process of obtaining additional drainage borings and percolations for the site to confirm that the drainage system designed will be capable of conforming with the village’s requirements. 

“The goal of this was not only to do this project but to alleviate the issues in the area if they are pouring off of this property,” Grossman said to Bloom. “Maybe you’ll do some extra things to make sure this alleviates any issues on surrounding properties that may be going around from this property.”

Though Akler also opposed a request for parking on both sides of the street — which Bloom noted is not uncommon for village roadways — Bloom said the board would not consider the proposal until drainage issues are alleviated.

“If you can’t satisfy drainage, parking is not a relevant issue,” he said. 

Resident Jean Pierce of Arrandale Avenue expressed frustration about the lack of notice provided to residents of the area regarding the zoning hearing. 

She said Bloom previously said that renters in the area did not need to receive notification of the meeting because they are not homeowners. 

“I think Mr. Bloom’s client should have the common decency to let those residents know,” she said. “They shouldn’t have to hear about it at Parkwood Pool.” 

Village Attorney Ken Gray said that the applicant is only required to notify homeowners, but the applicant is allowed to send out additional notices to be considerate to the other residents. 

“This is our neighborhood, and these people live and work in our community and should be respected too,” Pierce said. 

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Justine Schoenbart

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