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Old Village Explores Rezoning

As the Village of Great Neck continues the process of revitalizing the Old Village, public hearings have begun to consider rezoning for the “core” of Steamboat Road and for most of Middle Neck Road. At the village board’s Nov. 5 meeting, five local laws concerning the proposed rezoning were introduced, and several more public meetings and public hearings were announced.

The mayor and the trustees were definitive that any plan is far from final at this point. Neither has the board revealed its own position; the trustees want to hear from the public first. The mayor noted that he was eager for a “public consensus” and would not only assure website, press release and newspaper notices or stories that would announce meetings and hearings but that he would also notify local builders, property owners and architects of the meetings, and as well notify others who had previously shown a strong interest in these areas.

Mayor Ralph Kreitzman explained that this process had begun three years ago when they worked with an architectural firm developing their Old Village/New Main Street concept. Focus groups and public meetings were held in order for the village officials to obtain a consensus on plans for the business district. Today a new set of consultants, VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture P.C., are ready to advance that consensus.

More meetings, more public input, further public hearings are scheduled, and, of course, eventually, when a plan is firm, it will have to go through the SEQRA environmental process and also have to be presented to the Nassau County Planning Commission.

Village consultants, VHB, introduced their concepts, first stating that they have reviewed the  “history” of the areas concerned and now will take this information “to the next level.”

As for the parts of Middle Neck Road involved in the rezoning, their concept would be to make the core approximately three-quarters of a mile on Middle Neck Road “more walkable.” Their plan would include “book-ending” each end of this strip with multi-family homes with some areas in the center to have “mixed uses” with a multi-family “over-lay” at the north and south ends.

For Steamboat Road, the plan is to transition the area from commercial to residential. Currently there are numerous commercial and industrial uses, even though it is zoned for single-family houses.

The mayor said that although they do not want to delay in adopting new zoning, they want to be certain that public input is included. To that end, the public hearing was adjourned until Dec. 3, at 7:45 p.m. In the interim, public meetings will be held at Village Hall on Monday, Nov. 25; one meeting at 5 p.m. and a second meeting at 8 p.m., to accommodate all members of the public.