The Village of East Hills Board of Trustees will hold a meeting Monday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. to discuss the village's new master plan and zoning regulations.
In late April, the BOT approved a code that placed a temporary moratorium on residential and commercial construction in the village and on additions of 25 percent or more to the floor area of existing dwellings. Those provisions were scheduled to end Oct. 31 and the upcoming meeting will discuss, in general, the impact of the moratorium on local homeowners.
Local residents, according to a homeowner who prefers to remain anonymous, have been expressing serious concerns about the codes once they know more about them. The main complaint is that the codes are too restrictive, especially concerning bulk and height issues. Some residents also wonder if attic space and garages, to name just two items, are included in the height plan.
One resident worried that the new codes may make it hard to maintain a "normal four-bedroom house." Another concern is that the new codes may be applied so broadly that even "moderate extensions" may be done away with.
In general, residents are looking for a compromise that will allow for reasonable new constructions on their homes. One homeowner claims that some changes to existing homes have been constructive, in the process, "[enhancing] the beauty of the neighborhoods" in certain East Hills residential districts.
Enactment of the moratorium was inspired, in part, by instances of overbuilding in the village. Mayor Michael R. Koblenz said that some contractors have wanted to buy a property in East Hills and then build a house "three times the size" as other houses in the same neighborhood.
While considering the moratorium measure, the village also hired a consulting firm to look at bulk and height issues. In addition, the village began evaluating land lot ratios, the height of buildings and subdivisions, all in an attempt to prevent builders from overbuilding on a lot.