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Nassau County Planning Commission Insight For County Mayors

Commission chair Jeffrey Greenfield presents information to NCVOA

Nassau County mayors and trustees had the opportunity to learn more about the Nassau County Planning Commission at the Nassau County Village Officials Association’s annual meeting on Thursday, June 28. Planning Commission Chair Jeffrey Greenfield presented an overview of his commission and offered updates on certain crucial issues.

The Nassau County Planning Commission’s vision is to “oversee the orderly growth and development of the county, seeking to balance economic growth with environmental protection and historic preservation.”

The Planning Commission is mandated by law to approve subdivision of land within the unincorporated areas of the county and offer recommendations to municipalities on zoning referrals. The planning department staff processes and reviews subdivision applications and zoning referrals, and makes recommendations to the Planning Commission. The department is also charged with advising the county executive, the county legislature and county departments in regard to the physical development of Nassau County. The Nassau County Planning Department is comprised of two divisions: comprehensive planning and transportation.

The Planning Commission consists of nine members appointed by the county executive. The county charter stipulates that all commission members must be residents of Nassau County and the commission must include at least one resident from each of the county’s three towns. The charter also requires that certain interests — environmental, business and minority — be represented on the commission. The term of office for planning commissioners is three years.

The current chair is Jeffrey H. Greenfield, with Marty Glennon serving as vice chairperson. The deputy commissioner is Satish Sood. Mr. Greenfield emphasized that the nine-member commission is “very diverse.”

At the NCVOA meeting, Mr. Greenfield said that he does understand villages as he “comes from a village.” He said that he has “a lot of respect for mayors and trustees” and tries to accommodate them “in any way possible.” Mr. Greenfield assured the large contingency of village officials that he is “approachable” and that if an issue is important to a village, “it’s important to me.” He assured that he and the commission are “trying to give better service to the villages.”

Mr. Greenfield also noted that “business is a little slow” at this point in time and so it is a bit easier for a village to be placed on an agenda now. “We’re open for presentations,” he said.

Turning to the specifics of the commission and its mission, Mr. Greenfield explained that the commission handles both major and minor subdivisions. “Via the County Charter, we have original jurisdiction,” he said. And it’s the county clerk who creates the tax map for all sub-divisions.

Mr. Greenfield said that a commission’s staff visits every site. The major sub-divisions reviews are costly, as it is a lengthy process. The minor sub-divisions are much less costly.

Mr. Greenfield also told the NCVOA members that the county is looking to make money by selling surplus county properties. These are properties that are in other counties and might have been acquired through an estate. Not only will the sale generate income for the county, but the sale will also put the property back on the tax rolls. Mr. Greenfield noted that when the property is in, or near a village, that village will get the right of first refusal when the property is put up for sale.

When it comes time for the commission to make a decision, the commissioners can either approve, disapprove or send it back to the village for local determination (the village decides).

Mr. Greenfield mentioned that the commission is also working on a Nassau County master plan, but had to put it aside as there is “so much else to do.” He said that they have had to put the master plan “on the back burner.”

In general, Planning Commission meetings are held every other week on Thursday at 1550 Franklin Avenue in Mineola. All meetings are open to the public. The Planning Commission can be contacted by phone at 571-9600 or by fax at 571-9450 with any questions regarding meeting schedules and/or agendas.

Also at the NCVOA’s annual meeting, a slate of officers was elected and sworn in by Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth. The officers include: President Ralph Kreitzman, mayor of the Village of Great Neck; First Vice President David Tanner, mayor of East Williston; Second Vice President Barbara Donno, mayor of Plandome Manor; and Treasurer Peter Cavallaro, mayor of Westbury.