Roslyn Estates Reduce Its Architectural Review Board Members to Five

Adedamola Agboola

Village of Roslyn Estates trustees on Monday night unanimously passed a law that reduce the number of members on the Architectural Review Board.

Local law 2 of 2016 calls for the number of members constituting the Architectural and Landscaping Review Board, which examines the exterior design of buildings for the purpose of maintaining standards of appearance around the village, reduced from seven to five.

Trustees said they reduced the number of people who serve on the board because of the difficulty of finding committed people who will serve.

“We have a small village here and it is not always that easy to find people to serve on these boards,” Village of Roslyn Estates Mayor Jeffrey Schwartzberg said.

Schwartzberg said the Architectural Review Board which was initially established with five members was increased to seven a decade ago before his time.

“We have four boards in the village and each of the three boards has five members other than the ARB,” Schwartzberg said.

Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Lindenbaum lent support to the amendment. 

“I’ve been on the board and I’ve attended meetings and I’ve always felt that seven people serving on the board was too many,” Lindenbaum said. “The ARB gets a little more subjective and you sometimes hear comments from members at the same time.”

The ARB will now consist of five members who will serve up to two years and up to two alternate members, who will serve up to a year, all without compensation.

ARB members are appointed by the mayor, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. 

The mayor also annually appoints one of the members as the chairperson, and the chairperson has the authority to appoint a deputy chairperson who will act in the chairperson’s absence.

“There’s usually a mix of personalities on these boards and reducing the number will force the quiet ones to participate more,” Trustee Brian Feingold said.

Schwartzberg said he has spoken with Steve Halper, chairperson of the ARB, and that he is in favor of the law.

“Five works well with our board,” said Halper, who attended the meeting. “If you have two alternates who can serve in case someone isn’t around, I don’t see a reason why not.”

“You still have seven people, really, just that two of them will now serve as alternates,” Schwartzberg said.

Paul Peters, who was selected Monday night by trustees to serve out retiring trustee Sandy Siff’s term, has served as an alternate on the ARB. Peters said that the two alternates can also serve in the same capacity on other two village boards — the Planning and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

“The Board of Zoning Appeals is the board which all the other boards differ to look into issues with applications,” Village attorney Chris Prior said. “You might run into issues of conflict of interest if you do that.”

“I know we are thin on alternate members but they aren’t utility players on a baseball team,” Schwartzberg said. “They are expected to be as engaged as members who serve on the board.”

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