Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 05 March 2010 00:00
As the result of a very long Williston Park Village meeting held last week and a follow-up work session by the Williston Park Village Board, the board voted to deny the application by the Willy Parker restaurant at 67, 69 and 71 Hillside Avenue, Williston Park.
Mayor Odierna said he was voting no because there were no residents in support of this application. Deputy Mayor Smith was absent and trustee Swendsen-Dowd and Dunn voted against the application and trustee Darmstadt abstained.
The special exception application was to seek permission to turn the existing rear yard into an outdoor terrace consisting of an opercula (a flap to serve as a covering), a barbeque pit and a bar for restaurant/patron use, the dimensions being about 1800 square feet.
Attorney Kyle Lynch said that the reason for asking for the application is that the members of the community are aware that there have been many businesses in and out of that location. He added, “And, the business is not doing very well and in order for the business to survive we have to do something different. Further, outdoor seating and dining is not something that is available in Williston Park and it could attract local residents and businesses to Williston Park.
“Due to the fact that it does abut residents on Sheridan Street we would put as much of a buffer zone as possible to reduce the noise and sight of the use of that area. Further, the maximum seating would remain the same, since due to the fact that we aren’t doing that well in the main portion of the restaurant we could move the tables to the rear area,” the attorney said.
Mayor Odierna asked what kind of “buffer” was planned and Lynch said that there are restrictions. He said, “We currently have a 6-foot fence with a 2-foot retaining wall. With the permission of the board we could install a fence that is higher and we can also do as much vegetation as possible. There are spaces between the aborvitae trees that are already there and we could fill in those areas with more vegetation and more arborvitae.”
Attorney Reers said that just before the hearing he received a drawing that depicts the bar with seating at the bar and tables for a total of 54 seats in the rear area and the entire number of seats in the restaurant would then be a 130.
Reers also wanted to know the plans for any music and Lynch said, “At the time no music is planned, but if it were planned, it would accommodate the residents that surround the area.”
As soon as he finished speaking resident after resident came forward with reason after reason for not developing this backyard area. It was also established that the barbeque would also be supplied with propane gas that would be extremely dangerous for the neighbors that are so close in proximity to the back of Willy Parkers.
One neighbor, in particular, came with photos showing exactly where her home was located and how the outdoor dining area would have an adverse affect on her “quality of life.” In fact she said, “I love Williston Park, I am raising my children here, but if this application is granted, I will have to think seriously about moving from Williston Park. The odors now from the restaurant are unbearable as well as the rodents that come into my backyard. In fact, now I have to sleep with earplugs.”
The very long hearing finally ended with no decision rendered by the board.
Cablevision/Verizon Hearing Continued on March 15
The continuation of the Cablevision and Verizon hearing was held over until the March 15 meeting at 8 p.m. at Williston Park Village Hall.
Other Village Business Discussed
Hockey Booth Set Afire
Williston Park Mayor Ludwig Odierna announced that it appears that some youths were at the hockey booth by the hockey court early in the evening and started a fire to keep warm and after they left some of the embers flared up again and set the booth on fire.
The mayor said, “When I arrived at the scene I was filled with admiration for the fire department and how they attacked the fire. The roof was burning and they went inside to shoot the water to the roof, while the firefighters were on top of the roof trying to attack the fire from that angle. I have nothing but admiration for these volunteers, remember they are volunteers who protect our village.”
Mayor Odierna said that they have been “going around in circles” to try to free up the monies promised in the Congressman Gary Ackerman’s grant. Odierna said, “When we called his office in Washington we were told they are waiting for the engineer’s report. This is something new. Our last communication was from the DOT saying that the state is not advancing any money. We, however, are staying on top of it and trying to get that $1 million for the roads. As soon as that comes through we can proceed with the road repair north of Hillside.
“As soon as the weather clears we can proceed with the roadwork south of Hillside Avenue, mainly Sheridan Street. The reason why that street is so cut up is that when it was first put in it was all asphalt without an under layer and it just didn’t accept the heavy traffic that it receives. The engineers have looked at it and we are going to do it the right way. This will be financed by our own $1 million grant.
“Further, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman called and he is interested in the village using the town for our solid waste. He said the town was now charging only $72 to $73 a ton. I told him I haven’t received any communication to confirm that amount. Presently, they are charging us $88 a ton. Now, if we can get it down to $72 or $73 I would rather deal with the town because they would take a lot we don’t have to pay for such as our recyclables. As soon, as receive something firm from the town, I will present it to you folks. We opted out because the board did not want to pay $88 a ton.”
Trustee Kevin Dunn
Deputy Mayor Ann Marie Smith was on a business assignment so the mayor called on trustee Kevin Dunn for his report. He announced the court report for January.
He said that honorable Alan Reardon heard 101 cases collecting fines of $5,090 along with the New York State surcharge of $70. The honorable Kevin Kiley heard 125 cases collecting fines of $7,190 together with the New York State surcharge of $265.
Trustee Swenson-Dowd said that the senior citizen Valentine party at the American Legion Hall was a huge success. She said, “As a sign of the times, King Kullen used to give the village $250 worth of goods and they even packed everything very nicely. However, this year they gave us $100 and said to ‘shop as you will’ and see what you can get with that $100. We did that and it worked out very nicely and I think the seniors had a very nice time.” She thanked King Kullen as well as her son Gavin who was responsible for the bar-tending chores.
She said that they have almost wrapped up the Department of Public Works contract and it has been sent to the union for their approval.
She added, “Since trustee Smith will not be running for re-election, I will handling the pool this year. So, as the pool opens and you have any issues or thoughts just forward them to the village and I will receive them.”
Trustee William Darmstadt
Trustee Darmstadt announced that at the last Neighborhood Watch meeting it was announced that a residence in Williston Park had been robbed and jewelry removed. He said, “Please don’t keep your jewelry in a place where if your home is entered, it would be easy to find. Hide jewelry boxes, etc. Make sure your windows are closed and locked and that your doors are locked.”
He also announced that the library is concerned about the cuts coming from the state and he also said that the fire department did a great job and the DPW was also there to do the massive cleanup from the fire.
Building Inspector Kerry Collins
Building Inspector Kerry Collins announced that two residential building permits have been issued; residential plumbing permits-seven; commercial plumbing permits issued five; carters, food and drink-11 dumpsters licenses-four; landscapers-five; oil burner licenses-one; sign permits-four; sidewalk replacement-one; Board of Appeals application-one;
Sewer connection- one and HBAC permit with fees of $12, 960; issued four Certificates of Occupancy and four notices of violations and issued 79 summons on the snow emergency day of Feb. 10. He added, “That’s a lot of summons and each car is charged $150 for being on the street. I don’t think you folks are listening. It’s a terrible way to spend your money. Please, bang on your neighbor’s doors and tell them to move their cars. Otherwise, we will just keep tagging you. We hate to do, but it’s the only way to get compliance.”
Department of Public Works Superintendent Keith Brunnel
“We have taken care of 10 tree complaints, three sign complaints, 10 street light outages. We have had two major snowstorms and three minor snow sanding events and to date we have done 1, 426 water meters leaving us with about 967 to go,” Brunnel said.
Brunnel said, “I want to apologize to everybody for plowing in your driveways probably at least six times during the snowstorm, but unfortunately that’s where the snow goes off the end of the plow. Our policy is to go curb to curb and we try to do that as much as possible. With our trucks we have to plow about 3” or 4” inches of snow, so we have to come through about six or seven times. Maybe you should wait until we have finished and you could actually be shoveling a little less.”