Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 01 April 2011 00:00
At the beginning of the last New Hyde Park Village Board meeting, mayor Daniel Petruccio introduced new village/clerk treasurer Catherine (Cate) Hillman to the residents.
Mayor Daniel Petruccio said, “We are looking forward to a bright future with Cate Hillman, as she joins our fabulous board of trustees and employees of the Village of New Hyde Park.”
The board then held two hearings; one was to approve the CDBG 37th year application for commercial rehabilitation and residential rehabilitation, and PF and I Streetscapes Enhancements which is part of the Community Block Grant Funds.
Trustee Donald Barbieri explained that the village has been working for years for these funds for a Streetscape Traffic Calming Project on Jericho Turnpike and the final plans for this project were submitted to the DOT on March 28.
Further, the village will include in its budget a line that will include the residential rehabilitation providing any residents meet the income criteria. For further information on this subject, please contact village trustee Donald Barbieri. The motion to accept the application was approved by the board.
The second hearing was to expand a mini-mart at the gas station on the corner of New Hyde Park Road and Jericho Turnpike known as 1501 Jericho Turnpike.
The owner, Hidir Yildiz, was represented by attorney William DiConza, of Oyster Bay. The attorney explained that the area is currently a gas station with two plumping areas and three service bays and a small mini-mart area.
DiConza said, “We are looking to eliminate the service bays and expand the mini-mart into those areas. One of the service bays will be used as a storage area and the other two would be part of the store area of the mini-mart.
This would require a Special Use permit from this board as well as two parting variances from the New Hyde Park Village Zoning Board; one for the deficiency of the number of onsite parking spaces and another for the size of the stall. Five of our spaces do not meet the criteria of 10 x 25. We believe that the special use permit is harmonious in the business zone and that will provide a facility that is a beautification of what is currently at the property as well as serving a need in the area.
“We looked up and down Jericho Turnpike and the one most similar that had been granted by this board was in 2006 at 205 Jericho Turnpike. That store is much bigger than our store and they maintain several bays for service and created a 1400 square foot mini-mart store.
“We are looking to create a mini-mart that will be 820 square feet. We had some concerns that the parking would block a neighbor’s access to the rear of their property and we have amended our site plan to take that issue off the table and will discuss that issue with the neighbor at another time. Our parking is now parallel to the rear property line so that access remains open.”
The board then had an opportunity to question both the owner and DiConza and the first question was what would the hours of operation be? Will they be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. or from 6 a. m. to 11 p.m. It was established that they will probably be from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Mayor Petruccio asked if the owner plans to apply for a liquor license and he said he was.
Trustee Barbieri wanted to know how many employees would be at the facility. Yildiz said probably one shift with two employees or maybe just one employee. Barbieri then wanted to know how many patrons would be anticipated at the facility between the 5 p.m. to 7 or 7:30 p.m. time frame. He said, “Would this be a busy time and what traffic would you anticipate coming through the facility at this time?”
Yildiz said he thought maybe 40 or 50 patrons would be in and out at that time. Both those on foot and in cars.
DeConza established that the service station is full service at this time and so when the attendant takes care of the car the patron can go in to the mini-mart. Barbieri then said, “But if you have a self-service gas station people will gas their own cars and will they then go in to the mini-mart?”
Mayor Petruccio wanted to know if the applicant had another similar business and it was established that he does not. However, he does have five other gas stations.
It was also established that there will be no cooking on the premises and the garbage will be contained in a dumpster operated by an outside company and not by the village.
Trustee Barbieri inquired of Department of Public Works Superintendent Thomas Gannon how many parking spaces are required in this kind of facility and he was told 18 are required but only eight are provided.
DeConza again referred to the gas station at 205 Jericho and said they were required to have 28 spaces and only provided 5 and they maintained a bay service. He said, “They had three businesses on the site: gas, convenience store and bay service.”
Mayor Petruccio said, “The biggest difference in this application and the one you mention at 206 Jericho is that this intersection is one of the busiest and one of the most dangerous in New Hyde Park.”
DeConza said, “One of the things we had discussed was installing a right-turn exit sign so that everyone exiting the facility would have to go north and go around the block to go south.”
He continued, “People don’t usually come to these places on a ‘shopping spree’ they come to get gas, so we are not putting any new traffic on the road.”
Mayor Petruccio then asked for any comments from the audience and a resident who lives right next door, Mrs. James Stasin came to the micropohone with her husband. She said, “I would like to see on the map you have where my house is located. I am not in favor of this. Once in a while, when their bathroom is out-of-order, the men urinate in the alleyway. At the beginning, the new owner was very nice, but a couple of nights I was awakened at 2 or 3 a.m. because they are delivering gas at that hour. That is my home. We are going to have lots of kids around once they begin selling alcohol and that will create problems. My neighbors, who are in Florida, do not like this either. There is a deli and luncheonette right next door, why do they need more food? I have been living here for 49 years.”
DiConza said the owner is going to put in new plantings and new lights and will do whatever the board feels is necessary to screen off that area for the neighbors.
Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro said that he uses that crossing every morning to go to the LIRR and he said it is very, very busy with not only cars and pedestrians, but with school bus traffic.
The hearing ended and will be left open until the parking hearing and the traffic study is completed. Basically, the board wants to know what impact this facility will have on the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and New Hyde Park Road. Further, no tentative date was set for the hearing to resume.
The board ended the hearing and called for the trustee reports.
Prior to his announcements Trustee Coppola thanked the residents who came out to vote for him in the election.
Trustee Coppola reported he attended a dinner honoring Fire Commissioner Ricky Stein and New York State Senator Jack Martins.
He also announced that the Chamber of Commerce will hold its next meeting on April 21 at the Inn at New Hyde Park.
He also said he attended a meeting held by the Third Precinct with various members who voiced traffic concerns.
On April 7 there will be an Awards Ceremony at Nassau County Police Headquarters for its members.
At Memorial Park the park attendant will be starting on April 1 and work has started on the fences and on the basketball and tennis courts at the park.
DPW Superintendent Gannon said, “Apparently, someone is riding around the village and taking the newspapers that are placed for recycling. It was established it is illegal to take these newspapers and Mayor Petruccio urged anyone who has seen this van to call 911.”
Deputy Mayor Lofaro also thanked those who voted for him and said, “I look forward to another four years as trustee. The job does not get tiring because there are constantly new faces and new problems and that changes the dynamic.”
He reported that there are two main things on the agenda for this department and that is potholes and street sweeping. He said, “If we haven’t gotten to your block to fix potholes we are out every day. It has been a tough winter and we have more potholes than we can remember in quite a long time.
Additionally, we are getting ready to do spring planting of trees. Any resident who would like a tree planted in front of their house, please call and they will put your address on the list
Yard waste will resume on the first Wednesday of April.
Representatives of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) have informed the village that they are eligible for 87 percent reimbursement of what the village spent in conjunction with the cleanup of the December 26 blizzard: Labor, wear and tear on trucks or whatever expenses were incurred.
The board reviewed the expenses of the renovation of the William Gill Theater. He said, “As reported in the past, former New York State Senator Craig Johnson awarded a grant for this theater, but after he lost the election, the Democratic Committee withdrew the grant money he awarded. Lost was about $150,000. The way the grants work is that you first spend the money and then you are reimbursed. We spent the money, but are not getting reimbursed. So at the last work session of the board, we passed a resolution to deduct approximately $33,000 from the DPW equipment line to the theatre so that the village can pay those who worked on the renovation. Unfortunately, a piece of equipment that we originally had planned to buy for the DPW this year, will not be purchased, but we had to pay those bills.”
Trustee Barbieri said that Director Marilyn McClean has been holding auditions for the first production at the new theater of a children’s play, The Prince Who Wouldn’t Talk. “Rehearsals will begin and the first weekend in May and shows may be seen on both Friday and Saturday. He added, “We are excited to be able to use that renovated theater once again.”
Trustee Montreuil said, “I just want to thank Trustees Lofaro and Coppola for agreeing to another four years of service. And, welcome to Village Clerk/Treasurer Cate Hillmann. Looking forward to an exciting time, plus under the leadership of DPW Superintendent Tom Gannon and the relocation of that office to village hall, coupled with the excellent staff in place at the village, it’s wonderful. It is a very delicate time, budget time, for a change of leadership, so thank you to Eileen for keeping everything in place. I feel like we are entering a new era. I’m very happy to be part of this.”
Mayor Petruccio announced that the New Hyde Park Village Reorganization Meeting will be held on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Marcus Christ Hall, on the grounds of village hall, corner of New Hyde Park Road and Jericho Turnpike.
The New Hyde Park Village Annual Budget Meeting will be held on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Marcus Christ Hall, corner of Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park prior to the regular meeting which is set for 8 p.m.