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Opinion

Bert Brodsky, of Port Washington, owner of BFS Realty at 26 Harbor Park Drive in the Planned Industrial Park off West Shore Road, has requested several variances from the Town of North Hempstead's Board of Zoning Appeals regarding the building of a parking structure at the rear of his business.

This application for variances is the first under a newly adopted (April 18, 2000) local zoning law that permits parking structures/garages in the Planned Industrial Park immediately adjacent to the incorporated Village of Flower Hill.

The garage, for 249 cars, will be a three level, open steel structure, 30 foot high facility that abuts the end of Hewlett and Birchdale Lanes. It will be built into the steeply rising slope just below the homes at the top of the cliff. The roof parking area is to be illuminated by several 20 foot high poles with commercial lighting reflecting from the concrete paved roof.

The nature of many of the businesses in the Planned Industrial Park has changed over the years resulting in a much greater number of employees and cars. Undoubtedly, more businesses will want to build similar parking structures.

If these variances are granted, the quality of life in Flower Hill will be permanently diminished. The backyards of every property on Woodland Road, Birchdale Lane, Hewlett Lane and Country Club Drive that back onto the Planned Industrial Park will become parking lots. The businesses are 24 hours, seven days a week operations. The noise associated with the cars and trucks will assail us day and night. The lights will never be out. The quietude and the beauty of this residential area will have been destroyed.

The purpose of the new zoning law that permits structured parking garages is to improve the aesthetics of the commercial property by removing "front yard" parking. Shockingly, there is not one provision in the code to protect adjacent residential property owners from the impact of these structures. There is no special setback requirement for commercial property that abuts residential property. There is no restriction on illumination. There is no requirement for structures or landscaping to shield residential property owners from the structure. There is no limitation on the hours of operation. The only concern is front yard parking.

We cannot believe that this was the intent of the men and women to whom we gave our votes. The code must be amended.

Our homes have been here for 50 to 60 years - long before the creation of the industrial park. We urge the Town of North Hempstead and the Board of Zoning Appeals to support the Village of Flower Hill and its residents and to deny the variances.

Maria Balletta

Laurie and Jim Courage

Barbara and Larry Kessler

Rachael and Stephen Klein

Jeanne Miller

Karen and Herb Reichenbach

Adele Sanicola

Patricia and Frank Trotta

Gail and Bob Trunz

Pat and Leon Weissman

Mairi and Chris Young


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