Town holds on zoning tweak for subdivided lots, dog tethering law

Janelle Clausen
Councilman Peter Zuckerman and Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth suggested the applicant meet with neighbors to resolve their differences. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Councilman Peter Zuckerman and Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth suggested the applicant meet with neighbors to resolve their differences. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

North Hempstead council members put off approving a modification to subdivided lots in Roslyn Heights where developers want to build three homes and a commercial building Tuesday.

Napoleon Prime Properties LLC had sought to adjust the zoning district boundary to allow construction of three single-family homes and a one-story 5,121-square-foot commercial building on a 29,211-square-foot parcel at 154 Mineola Ave. and 25 Lambert St.

The Nassau County Planning Commission approved the subdivision into four smaller plots last year, while the town’s zoning board approved variances for lot width.

Jessica Leis, an attorney with Forchelli, Deegan and Terrana representing the applicant, said the plot is occupied by a vacant single-family dwelling and a two-and-a-half-story commercial building last occupied by School of Rock.

By adjusting the zoning lines, she said it would allow for the construction of the homes and correct the current nonconforming business use previously extending into the residential portion.

“Overall, it’s an improvement to the area,” Leis said.

A handful of residents expressed concern about the project, however, suggesting the development could compromise the safety of the neighborhood, add congestion and threaten the “essence of being suburban.”

Among those residents was Angela Homapour, a resident of nearby Donaldson Place, who said she moved out of Queens to find a quieter neighborhood. She said that it is unfair that her block is looking “more and more like a city.”

“Our concern is that the neighborhood itself is getting very stuffy,” Homapour said. “There used to be three, four cars on the block – now there’s tons of cars.”

Councilman Peter Zuckerman, whose district includes Roslyn Heights, said that in light of concerns raised by residents and a lack of residential presence at the Zoning Board of Appeals, the town should delay a decision.

Leis said there will be a landscape buffer, the lots meet the 5,000-square-foot minimum, there will be a fence dividing the commercial area from the residential, and the projects would be in character with the area.

The plan also calls for eliminating a curb cut, she said, making it easier to exit and enter the commercial property.

“We know you want to be good neighbors and we’d like you to meet with these neighbors and hear what their concerns are and see if there are any ways their concerns could be addressed and mitigated,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said.

Zuckerman moved to continue the meeting to June 18, which the Town Board ultimately approved.

In unrelated business, town council members continued a public hearing regarding the outside tethering of dogs to their June 18 meeting to modify the proposed law.

“It’s our goal to create a law that ensures that dogs in the Town of North Hempstead are treated humanely,” Bosworth said. “The law will include, among other things, regulations regulating the amount of time a dog can be tethered and prohibiting a dog from being tethered in extreme temperatures and weather events.”

Susan Carroll, a Great Neck resident who raised the issue with the town, said it is good that the town is taking action to strengthen the laws.

“To me, this is a no-brainer,” Carroll said.

In other business, the board continued a public hearing for a law that would amend the code to add a penalty for violating a stop work order to its May 21 meeting.

Council members also approved an application from Remica Property Group to replace tank top equipment, vent piping, dispenser islands and associated paving at a gas station at 570 Port Washington Blvd., which is a 15,464-square-foot parcel.

They also moved to increase the “No Stopping Anytime” restriction on Lambert Avenue north of Main Street in Port Washington from 25 feet to 45 feet as the area deals with streetscape renovations.

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