Written by Carol Frank Wednesday, 10 June 2009 17:07
The Village of Great Neck’s Board of Zoning Appeals, on advice of counsel, has deferred making a ruling on the application by the United Mashadi Jewish Community of America for the construction of a parking lot on 2 Potters Lane until it can be heard in the village court.
Chris Prior, from the law firm of Ackerman, Levine, Cullen, Brickman & Limmer, stated that village law requires that “every department, board and committee of the village shall withhold the processing of any application” made to them “if the building inspector has determined that a violation of any provision of the Village Code exists on or at the subject property, or a summons has been issued with regard to an alleged violation of any provision of the Village Code on or at any other property owned by the owner or the applicant within the village.” Further, village law states that the prohibition may be lifted if “the Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, grants a waiver from such prohibition. Among the criteria the Board of Trustees may consider in determining whether or not to grant such a waiver is if the applicant is acting in good faith and with due diligence to cure the violations, or presents a case of hardship, similar to that required for a use variance before the Board of Appeals.”
Peter Mineo representing the applicant argued that the provision in the village code is invalid because a local law cannot supersede a New York State law. He cited a few legal precedents to back up his point.
Mr. Prior countered that the village law which was passed in 2002 has not been challenged in court and that the board must conduct itself in accordance with the village ordinance. The meeting came to an abrupt close.
The next court date set for such cases is Wednesday, June 24 at village hall, 60 Baker Hill Road.
Right of Way
The Record has confirmed the Great Neck Park District has filed a lawsuit against the United Mashadi Jewish Community of America seeking to reverse the decision on adverse possession of the right of way, Partage Lane. In a statement from the park district, it was noted that this is being done “solely to protect its rights and its concern for a long-standing right of way that is essential for the park district to provide proper maintenance to the indoor tennis facility.”
After the meeting, this reporter was approached by a member of the Mashadi community who very politely stated that he felt that the sentiments of his community were not being represented in the articles on this matter in the Record.
We informed him that at the first court date in March, we had attempted to talk with members of the leadership of the center who attended the meeting. They seemed quite willing and eager to speak, but were interrupted and warned by their attorney that it would be best not to speak with the press. This certainly is not unusual advice from attorneys when there are legal actions in play.
The Record, however, would welcome an opportunity to talk with members or leaders of the congregation and may be reached at 482-4490.