Written by Carol Frank Friday, 10 December 2010 00:00
The first step in a full-scale study of the possible negative environmental impacts of the proposal to sub-divide 11 lots on a land-locked 3.104-acre parcel between Clover Drive in Great Neck Estates and Old Mill Road in the Old Village has been taken. Egress to the proposed development, that would be primarily located in the Village of Great Neck, would be through Great Neck Estates. Developer Frank Lalezarian presented a document to the Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning Appeals in which he outlines the various categories to be studied by his consultants. The process of “scoping” under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) is basically an outline of the areas of concern to be addressed in a full-blown draft environmental impact study (DEIS).
Last month the zoning board, by making a “positive declaration” on the proposed project, acknowledged that the project could have significant negative environmental impacts and with such, under the law, the clock ticks with certain requirements for an orderly, systematic review of all pertinent information. Mr. Lalezarian’s scoping document was received by the village on November 23; therefore, within 60 days, the board must review the document and decide if everything that should be studied, will be studied.
If anyone from the public believes that there are more areas of concern that should be thoroughly analyzed, they may submit written comments to the board and should do so before December 23. Consultants in the fields of engineering, planning and the law who are assisting the board on this project will also review the document to see if there is anything else to be studied.
At the board’s January 6 meeting, zoning board members plan to make a determination on whether the scoping plan is sufficient. At that meeting, the public will be allowed to speak on the scoping, the parameters of the study.
The scoping proposal is available at village hall for perusal. The following is a summary of what the applicant proposes to study in depth in the coming months and was taken from the document he submitted.
The applicant will describe the proposed project in detail, including the engineering reports, and the lay-out of the sub-division. It will also outline the developer’s assessment of the “purpose, need and benefits of the proposed project.”
Based on the BZA’s initial assessment of potential problems involving “slopes, ecology, existing ground or surface water quantity and flow rate, traffic, noise levels, increased potential for erosion, flooding, leaching and/or drainage problems and change in the use or intensity of use of land,” the applicant will address those areas of concern.
A topographical map of the area will be provided and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) will discuss the changes in topography that would result from the proposed project.
The document states that a “qualified biologist/ecologist” will inspect the site and do an inventory of the flora and fauna and the general habitat character. Protected native plants and any plant or animal species that are classified as endangered or threatened will be identified. This is the section of the report that will spell out the landscaping and buffers that would be installed to mitigate any negative impact.
Water and Stormwater Management
This section states that current conditions pertaining to the flow of water will be analyzed. It will take into account the Nassau County project, currently in progress, to correct the flooding conditions at Middle Neck and Old Mill Roads. This part of the study will project how the drainage patterns might change due to the proposed project and how the developer plans to manage all matters pertaining to water in the area.
A traffic study will include an assessment of current conditions, a trip generation analysis, ingress and egress evaluation, parking demand and any need for traffic control devices.
This section refers to the noise levels that would be generated by construction in the immediate vicinity. It proposes to keep a schedule of weekday work starting at 8 a.m. and halting at 7 p.m. On Saturdays, construction would begin at 9 a.m. and end at 7 p.m.
The report, in a section about possible mitigation strategies, states that erosion would be controlled by the use of hay bales and silt fences. Seeding or mulching is proposed to stabilize graded areas until final landscaping.
This section addresses the “impact and compatibility of the proposed action on land use, zoning and the established development policies, patterns and neighborhood character, especially with respect to proximate single-family residential development.”
After the zoning board determines exactly what will be studied and how, and the scoping is deemed complete, nothing will happen until the DEIS is prepared and the board’s consultants review that document. At that point, the board will begin their review and hold public hearings on the content of the information provided.
(In a prior application to the zoning board, Mr. Lalezarian had proposed to erect two apartment buildings on the parcel with access through the Versailles Apartment building on Old Mill Road which he owns.)