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New Hyde Park Village Passes Budget, Addresses Unanswered Questions

In the absence of New Hyde Park Village Mayor Daniel Petruccio, Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro took over the meeting and after the proposed budget was passed said he would address the questions asked at the last meeting after the trustee reports.  

One of the village residents, who had asked many of the questions at the last meeting, said he was surprised that the answers to his questions had not been provided in writing as he requested. Lofaro said that the information was not obtained in time to mail the answers to the resident and would therefore answer his questions later in the meeting.

Trustee Reports

Trustee Richard Coppola

Trustee Coppola announced that the village summer recreation program will be held from July 5 to August 4 in two sessions.  The first session for children from 8 to 10 years old and the second session for children from 9 to 12 years old.  

Registration will be held at New Hyde Park Village Hall on June 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Needed at the time of registration will be a picture of the child and a tax bill verifying that the resident lives in the Village of New Hyde Park.

Trustee Coppola also said that he is working with Recreation Chairman Rich Pollisco and that they have many new and exciting events planned for the park including the completion of both the basketball and volleyball courts at Memorial Park.

Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro

Deputy Mayor Lofaro said that the men in the Department of Public Works are currently planting trees throughout the village and to date 31 trees have been planted.  He said any resident who would like a tree planted, please let the village know as soon as possible.

He also announced that Saturday, April 23 was the date chosen for Community Clean-up Day but it was postponed due to heavy rains and will be rescheduled for a date-to-be announced in May.

The village will hold a Bicycle Registration and Safety Day on April 30 from 10 a.m. to noon. It will be a chance to register your bike with the Nassau County Police Department.  Old bicycles may be brought to village hall for donations. This event is sponsored by the New Hyde Park Kiwanis.

Trustee Donald Barbieri

Trustee Barbieri announced that the number of New Hyde Park Auxiliary Police Officers has grown.  He said, “It’s terrific that we have residents who have come forward and are willing to contribute their time. In the beginning it was a very small organization and now it has expanded which is great.”

Trustee Barbieri then said that the Hillside Public Library, now located at 155 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park, has announced that on May 16 at 6 p.m. they will have a program on down-loadable books.  On May 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. they will hold a Safe Driving Course and he suggested anyone interested to call the library for further information at 355-7580.

Barbieri went on to announce that the newly renovated William Gill Theatre, atop New Hyde Park Village Hall, on the corner of New Hyde Park Road and Jericho Turnpike will be presenting a children’s show, under the direction of Marilyn McClean, entitled The Prince Who Wouldn’t Talk.  Show times are Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m.  Tickets will be available on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  at village hall and on Saturday, April 30 from 2: 30 to 4:30 p.m. upstairs in the theater and on Monday, May 2 at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  He added, “So come in and let’s fill the audience for the first show for these kids and kick this off the right way!”

Barbieri continued, “Mayor Petruccio has some friends, a group called Nexus, who are going to perform a jazz concert for the village on May 14 at 8 p.m. upstairs in the William Gill Theatre.

“Finally, the plans for the Jericho Turnpike Project are still being reviewed.  I reached out to everyone today to see if there is any new updated information and there is nothing new.”

Trustee Lawrence Montreuil

The Zoning Board of Appeals met recently and heard two cases.  One at 510 South 13th Street, which was approved and 601 Stewart Avenue, which was a request for a second kitchen.   Montreuil said, “I have said month after month that we have a waning number of building permits that I guess is driven by poor economy and people have less disposable income to invest in their homes.  Now, more than ever,  we really need to maintain the standards of homes in the village.  We all made significant investments in our homes and in order to keep those values up we don’t want them to go into disrepair, particularly in the case of absentee landlords.  It pains me to see another second kitchen approved.  It is basically increasing the density of the home and I think it is high time we take that updated law off the books.  That’s just my personal opinion and I am sure we will be addressing that law in the near future.”

Department of Public Works Superintendent Thomas Gannon

After the resolutions were approved, Deputy Mayor Lofaro turned to Department of Public Works Superintendent Thomas Gannon for information on the questions asked at the last meeting regarding loading zones, signs and parking restrictions.

Gammon started by stating, “Second Avenue, on the north side, between South 4th and South 5th Streets is posted loading zone no parking.  The codebook refers to it as loading zone with footage.  I physically went and measured it out and it does not match up.  You asked who the signs belong to?  I believe that they belong to the New Hyde Park Village, on both sides,”

Lofaro added. “The village board has not discussed this fully, but either the signs will be adjusted or the regulations will be adjusted.”

Gannon continued, “On the south side, which runs along the railroad tracks there is signage again between South 4th and South 5th Streets, which calls for a loading zone.  I found nothing in the codebook referring to that as a loading zone.  I’m not sure if a resolution was ever made and if the code ever made it into the codebook.  I am in the process of trying to find out any information that made that into a loading zone as well.  It is the same dimension between South 4th and South 5th but I did not measure that.”

Another resident asked Lofaro why the resolutions were not all in one place so that they could easily be looked up.  

Lofaro said, “They are all in one place, but they are not in the system electronically, they are listed in many volumes of code books and you have to look them up volume by volume.  I have been on the board for 12 years and it is my belief that in discussion with Hall Flooring it was decided that would be a loading zone, but exactly when that happened, I don’t remember.”

The resident then asked if a loading zone was meant to be used as a parking zone and Lofaro said it was only to be used as a loading zone.

Lofaro continued, “We know why there have been issues related to loading zones on the south side of the street because Hall Flooring was using the middle of the block to load and unload trucks.  That may still be occurring and the Nassau County Police Department is supposed to be maintaining this situation and issuing summons.  But loading zones were established on both the north and south sides of the street so that Hall Flooring trucks could be on either side of the street so that they could unload.”

The resident then asked, “So basically you gave an entire Second Avenue block to somebody who is located on South Fourth.  Is that correct?  He has a Fourth Street address and you gave him an entire city block that he doesn’t live on to load and unload his trucks. His loading zone is Fourth and Fifth on Second Avenue, is that what you are telling me?”

Lofaro said, “We don’t give loading zones based on an address.”

The resident countered, “Then I might get one in front of my house.”

Lofaro answered, “Request one and if we deem that it is appropriate, we will give you a loading zone. Basically, those areas were voucher parking spots that were unused.  So it was decided to put adjusted meters back between South Fifth and South Sixth on the north side of the block and eliminate the voucher parking and put loading zones between South Fourth and South Fifth.”

Another resident said, “Trustee Montreuil just said he doesn’t like granting a second kitchen because it increases the density in New Hyde Park, but you have no problem with having multiple 18 wheelers stacked up constantly.”

Montreuil said, “I recognize we have different zones in the village residential, commercial and industrial zones,  I see these zones from the southside, where I live.  For example, I recently saw vehicles using the loading zones to unload for construction to do what they have to do inside their buildings.  I really don’t like looking at all of that as I come out my door, but it occurred to me if those loading zones weren’t there those trucks would be parked on South Fourth Street or maybe South Fifth.  We have to look at the whole picture.  These businesses have to be conducted with respect to the folks in the neighborhood. I have called the police many times when trucks have been idling too long.  For that very reason we put a village law on the books that limited the amount of time a truck can idle in a parking spot, so that we can write a ticket for that violation.”

There was then a discussion about what light manufacturing zone is and what constitutes a storage zone and how it becomes grandfathered in.

Lofaro said, “The next situation we are going to address is the building on the north side of Second Avenue between South 4th and South 5th Street.  From your prospective, as a resident, you know when the building was established and what the rules were, but things change.  As Tom Gannon will report that use has changed in that particular building.”

Building Superintendent Gannon continued, “In 1972, I have on file, the original CO that gave the first floor as warehouse, the second floor as warehouse and the basement as parking only. In 1975, they made an amended CO and they made the first and second floor as warehouse and the basement permitted on the easterly portion was for 18 vehicles on the west side there was permission for light manufacturing.  However, when I went in there recently there were no cars but they had provisions for about 25 to 35 parking spots.  I did not measure them out and I did a walk through.”

A resident pointed out that in the bumper zone of that building there is room for eight cars. The resident said, “At the last meeting the mayor said that parking on First Avenue between 5th and 6th is reverting back to four hours parking and anybody who is there all day, they will be tagged.  Now, they have been parking on that block all day long and no tickets have been issued.”

Lofaro said, “I know tires are marked and I can’t say if that happened.  I will refer back to Tom Gannon.”

The resident said, “I know that no tickets were issued and it looks like people on that block are getting preferential treatment.”

Gannon said, “I checked the meters and they were open.  I checked the parking violations and I didn’t find any cars parked illegally. If they are parked illegally, they will be ticketed.”

New Nursery Being Built on Jericho Turnpike

The final question was asked regarding a nursery across the street from the New Hyde Park Inn.  Superintendent Gannon said they will be building a greenhouse and it will eventually be a full-service nursery and the trucks parked there will only be those of the owner.”

New Hyde Park resident Edward Powers wanted to know if a road improvement project was contemplated for 2011- 2012.

Lofaro said, “The board will be talking about what to do about that in the future.  In June of this year the board will be making the 9th payment on a 10 payment note, which means we could possibly borrow a million dollars again for 10 years to do a more expansive road improvement project and the first payment wouldn’t be due until 2013.  To answer your questions I would say that we will more than likely be looking to do a road improvement project in the spring of 2012.  We might consider it in the fall of this year, but it might be too soon.”

Powers added, “I’d like to thank Tom Gannon and his crew for keeping up with the roads that were so badly damaged due to this harsh winter.”

The very long meeting finally ended.  The next village board meeting will be held on May 3 at village hall at 8 p.m.