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Old Mill Project: One Okay

Developer Frank Lalezarian inched one step closer to developing a landlocked parcel that was previously owned by Nassau County and deemed to be unfeasible for development. The Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning and Appeals voted unanimously to grant him the right to build 11 single-family houses on the 3.104-acre property. 

The only obstacles in the path are approvals from the Village of Great Neck Estates Board of Trustees who would need to give permission for access from Clover Drive to create a private road and cul de sac to service the houses as well as resoundingly defeating a disputed title claim by a resident on Clover.

A number of Clover Drive residents have been following the application closely as it worked its way through the zoning board’s process and have been quite adamant in their opposition and argument that such a development would substantially alter the character of the neighborhood that has enjoyed the steep wooded lot behind their homes. They have also testified that the sight lines on the hill will make it more difficult to safely navigate the area with the added traffic that 11 homes will bring.

The zoning board in its decision found “no significant undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood or detriment to the nearby properties,” however, the decision did not spell out the basis for the finding.

If the project does clear all hurdles, all of the homes would need to be fully sprinklered since compliance with the NYS Fire Code cannot be achieved due to the constraints of the steep topography and limited secondary access and egress from the nearest fire service access road.

Further, the decision of the board calls for the owner to apply to the Estates and request that both the 100-feet portion of Clover directly to the south of the proposed private street and 25-feet both to the east and to the west be designated “no parking.” In addition, the decision outlines that no trees or shrubbery be planted in areas where access might be blocked to emergency vehicles. Load bearing pavers would be required to be installed at the homes adjacent to the street so that emergency vehicles could be accommodated. 

A homeowner association would be required and its members would be responsible for repairing, maintaining and plowing the street; however, they would be eligible for sewer hook-ups and garbage collections from the Village of Great Neck.

The developer has not applied yet to Great Neck Estates, but that will be the arena in the next stage of this story which has been tracked since 2006 when the developer proposed two apartment buildings on the site.