The board held a public hearing Tuesday on a proposed parking lot on an empty parcel of land behind the Apple store in Manhasset on Tuesday.
But residents will have to wait until at least October 2 – the date of the town’s next public meeting – for a resolution about the future of that property, located at The Gate, which is 400 feet south of Northern Boulevard. In the meantime, residents may continue to submit comments to the town.
The property owner is asking to add 90 parking spaces. Between this parcel and the one next to it, there would be 230 parking spaces in this area, exceeding the town's requirement of 125.
Previous town meetings about this property . At Tuesday night’s meeting, two North Hempstead security personnel maintained a presence at the front of town hall, as they had during prior hearings on the topic – an added measure to the town’s usual public safety presence. A North Hempstead spokesman said that since the issue has become “contentious,” safety remains an important concern.
An updated traffic study had been conducted by the applicant, Gate Park LLC, to reveal any new data now that school is in session. However, this study had basically the same findings as a 2011 report.
“A parking lot does not increase traffic,” said Rebecca Goldberg, a Cameron Engineering & Associates LEED accredited professional.
But one resident at the hearing asked if an objective traffic study could be conducted in addition to the one that was commissioned by the property owner.
While the Town Board has not yet asked to commission an independent study, if it chooses to, it could recoup up to $5,000 from the applicant to cover the costs, a town spokesman said Wednesday.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, a question arose about future tenants in the area.
For instance, without knowing who would move in – especially since the Daffy’s and Astoria Federal buildings are or will be vacant – an informed decision about parking cannot be made, said the president of the Strathmore Civic Association. He noted that with additional parking, the property could be marketed toward more high-trafficked stores.
Vito Palmieri, partner at Palmieri, Castiglione & Associates, PC, who is suing the town about this issue, echoed this idea.
Patch will have more on the story as it develops.