The Village of Great Neck turned down a proposal to consider establishing a new residence district, C1, within the village, on Helen Lane, an undeveloped road off of Steamboat Road. Generally citing public opposition, the board of trustees declined to move on the proposal at the June 20 meeting.
A developer had proposed building six single-family homes on Helen Lane, as opposed to three houses that could be built under current zoning on this approximately one-and-a-half acres of land. However, in order for six homes to be built, the developer had to seek new zoning, and, as well, he would have had to develop this ''dirt road'' and compensate the residents for loss of property that they own into the middle of the street (property owned in what would have become a village road, a road then maintained by the village).
There had been much controversy, and considerable opposition on the part of residents, following meetings and hearings to consider rezoning all or part of this Helen Lane property. The public hearings were closed at the last board meeting on June 6, and the board had promised a decision at the June 20 meeting.
On June 20, the board failed to act on the proposed local law. Mayor Steven Tell asked the board for a motion, but none of the trustees moved the law forward for a vote.
Deputy Mayor Stephen Falk read a statement, explaining why he felt the concept was a good plan. It is his belief that the proposed development would be a substantial improvement of Helen Lane as a public street, with better access and community services for the residents at the end of Helen Lane. Mr. Falk also stated that he felt the development would be good for the village, satisfying a need for affordable housing. He said that the proposed homes were modest in size and would help provide a new stock of housing for empty-nesters wanting to remain in the village and for young couples wanting to move into the area.
The other three trustees, David Lurie, Jerome Reisman and Peter Waldes, all stated that they could not support the proposal, in light of such strong opposition from residents of the community. Mr. Waldes did state that he was unhappy with the way in which Helen Lane resident Elizabeth Allen had handled herself during the ''process.'' He wished that she would put her energies to better use, and he stated that now it was quite obvious that all of the allegations of the board acting improperly were false.
As for Mayor Tell, he did note that he had the ''fortunate position,'' as mayor, of not having to vote, unless there is a tie. He stated that ''obviously'' the proposal was not going forward.
However, Trustee Reisman did note that there can be other opportunities for developers to present new Helen Lane plans to the board. Not all plans would require a local law amendment, with new zoning.