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Ruling Limits Smyles

Court affirms Mineola expansion denial

Learn and Play Day Care on Herricks Road will not be granted a permit to expand from its current location, according to Supreme Court proceedings obtained by the Mineola American. Owner Arthur Smyles filed suit against the Village of Mineola after the board of trustees opposed the day care center’s application in June 2012, noting safety and parking concerns.

Smyles originally wanted to add space from the neighboring 99 cents store, which he also owns but is now vacant. Board members hammered Smyles with questions at a public hearing in 2011.

The board had cited a single entrance/exit onto Herricks Road as a prime issue. The board also felt that emergency vehicles would have difficulty accessing the location and that there was an inadequate amount of parking for both employees and customers.

Day care attorneys from Farrell Fritz argued that Mineola’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious.” However, the court agreed that Mineola made its decision on “common-sense judgment and personal familiarity with the area” and “reasonably analyzed and reviewed” the issues of the property.

Smyles revealed in a phone interview that he plans to appeal the court’s decision. The Dix Hills resident kept the dollar store empty, hoping for a favorable court ruling.

“We’re going further on it,” Smyles said. “There’s never been an accident there. It’s no different than the property next door or in that area. We think that has no validity other than just a personal opinion, not based in fact. That’s why we’re appealing it.” 

Main sticking points in Mineola’s denial were parking and drop off/pick up procedures for daycare attendees. According to the court documents, 39 onsite parking spots are on the current property. Eighty-six would be needed for the proposed expansion.

“The Mineola Village Board carefully considered all aspects of this application and found it would not be in the best interests of our residents, the children being served at the facility, passing motorists, or our first responders,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said. “I am very pleased that the New York State Supreme Court has upheld the Village of Mineola’s decision in this matter, and our authority to make these zoning use determinations.”

According to architect Anthony Dei Properizo, the two buildings combined represents 21,084 sq. ft. of floor space with 14,236 sq. ft. for the day care and 6,848 sq. ft. for the dollar store.

The facility is open to infants as young as six weeks, and toddlers from 2 1/2 up to 4 1/2 years of age. The building is currently set up to house approximately 207 children with 180 children currently in attendance, some of whom only attend part-time.

Traffic experts reported the expansion would generate a 69 percent increase in traffic and parking needed for a second building. Smyles’ reps found that during peak traffic hours, most northbound cars obeyed a “no-left turn” sign near the day care center.

The document read that about one-third of all exiting drivers turned left as they exited the day care site. Drivers exiting the dollar store property “were less likely to obey the no left turn prohibition.” 

Board members felt, according to the document, that the number of children and teachers “would exacerbate a dangerous traffic condition.” Village officials said that parking in and around the center is “extremely limited with no long-term parking in the vicinity of the property…the board reasoned that lack of adequate parking along with the concern for lack of interior circulation created a potentially hazardous situation.”

News

The Village of New Hyde Park Board of Trustees held their 2014-15 tentative budget hearing on Monday, April 7, where a proposed budget of $6 million was presented.

 

The appropriation represents an increase of $160,512 from the 2013-14 budget and a tentative tax levy of $4.135 million, a 1.8 percent increase from last year.

 

“Working on this year’s budget was one of the hardest we’ve ever done,” Village Mayor Robert Lofaro said.

Following her uncontested election last month, trustee Donna Squicciarino was officially sworn in by Mayor Robert Lofaro for a one year term on Monday, April 7. 

 

Squicciarino is the second woman in New Hyde Park’s 86-year history to serve as trustee. Florence Lisanti was the first woman to serve on the board, whose term expired in 2001.

 

“I think it’s great,” said Squicciarino. “We needed a woman at the table with a different point of view. We have a lot of different perspectives that guide the village in the right direction.”


Sports

Sewanhaka’s boys lacrosse coach Peter Burgess has one rule when it comes to his goalies: make the saves that you’re supposed to make. 

 

Luckily for Burgess, senior Jake Mellen does that and more. 

 

“Once or twice a game he’ll make a save that no one’s supposed to make,” Burgess said. “I’ll look over to my assistant coach and say, ‘Wow, that was a special play right there’”

 

For three years, Mellen has been making those kind of spectacular saves for the Indians as the starting goalie. Before his senior season started, he was voted captain by his teammates and coaches. 

Coaching to some can be measured by wins and losses. But New Hyde Park’s head baseball coach Doug Robins measures his success through the success of his players, on and off the field. 

 

Robins has coached the Gladiators varsity baseball team since 1999 and made the playoffs 10 out of those 15 seasons. His teams have finished in second place in their league twice. 

 

Despite his teams on field success, Robins goal is to help his players succeed and receive the opportunity to play college ball. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - April 16

Kids Eat Free At Applebees - April 20

School Board Meeting - April 22


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