Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00
With the recession of 2008, Manhasset and other downtown centers in the Town of North Hempstead have seen an increase in vacant storefronts. Because there is no regulation of these landlords, these empty storefronts, many of which have been vacant for several years, are unattractive eyesores and detract from the downtown shopping experience.
The Village of Easthampton, Long Island, in June 2010 was the first governmental agency on Long Island to establish guidelines for how property owners could maintain attractive storefronts when a business is vacant or temporarily closed. In June 2012, the village board of Easthampton enacted these guidelines into a new law requiring that an owner of a storefront vacant for more than two weeks must fill the windows with a display of products, art work or other materials which would make the windows look less empty. Any posters or graphics put up must be at least four feet from the windows. “For Rent” signs must be of a certain size and placed in the lower left or right hand portions of the windows.
The guidelines established by Easthampton do not solve the vacancy issues, but go a long way to enhance the attractiveness of the downtown area. East Hampton officials say the law is the first of its kind on Long Island. Violations carry a penalty of up to $250 a day.
We feel the Town of North Hempstead should establish similar guidelines and laws to motivate landlords to keep their vacant storefronts as attractive as possible and enhance the beauty of the downtown areas.
The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce