Readers Write: Gov’s zoning plan endangers Great Neck Village

The Island 360

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Town of N. Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena are in agreement that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s  plan for “accessory dwelling units” would result in a negative cascade effect to our water supply, electrical supply, emergency services, sanitation, traffic and utility resources.

Gov. Hochul also called for dramatically changing zoning laws.  That’s not news in the Village of Great Neck.  In the Village of Great Neck, zoning laws are constantly evolving each time a developer or religious institution seeks a building permit  to construct a new project. For years, I have witnessed my one-mile village become the site of deterioration and demolition in order to make way for religious use, non-tax-paying properties.

Temples in my village frequently buy up single-family homes.  Each time taxable, residential and commercial properties are taken off the tax-rolls, the impact stems far beyond the village taxes.   What about the Nassau County tax rolls and the 60-plus percent school property taxes?   Who is left to foot the bill for the lost revenue?  Great Neck residents—that’s who.  You, me, elderly seniors on fixed incomes.

Not so long ago, we had only a handful of tax-free properties.  Presently, we have at least 50-plus tax-free properties  with more being added every day.  To date, Wood Road has five residential houses waiting to be demolished.  The former Friendly Taxi at the corner of Wood Road and  Steamboat Road is a good illustration.

What about Ravine Road,  East Shore Road and  Baker Hill Road?  The county desperately needs taxes to pay for services that homeowners receive.   Think of the police, sanitation and road repair work.  I, like my fellow neighbors, have paid my fair share of taxes over the years, so I admittedly resent having to absorb and pay for the overwhelming number of so-called “not for profit institutions.”

It is imperative that Sen. Brad Hoylman introduce legislation regarding the number of tax-exempt properties one village or town can sustain.  It’s all about sustainability.  How can we hope to continue our suburban way of life if our local roads are crammed, jammed and gridlocked much like the Long Island Expressway?  What about our finite water supply?

What about our two volunteer fire companies, Alert and Vigilant?  Will it soon become the “new normal” for both fire companies to become routinely overwhelmed, requiring more and more outside assistance from neighboring fire companies? The current crisis that many Great Neck residents easily refer to as only “a village problem” eventually becomes everyone’s problem.   Ultimately, our entire infrastructure is at stake.

I firmly believe that Gov. Hochul should consider focusing on New York’s drug scene, crime scene, and violence against law-abiding citizens.  Gov. Hochul should leave Nassau County housing problems to local leaders and local law.  Perhaps, she, too, can propose legislation which minimizes the number of religious properties, recreation centers, learning centers, dormitories (for both rabbis and students) in any one village or town.

Let’s start with “revitalizing” and prioritizing suburban life issues in the Village of Great Neck.  It’s all about sustainability.

(If you would like  to share your thoughts with Gov. Hochul on the above matter,  telephone:  518-474-8390,  Press the Option that allows you to speak with a live agent or leave a message.  Fax:  518-474-1513)

Jean Pierce

Great Neck

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