Flower Hill Discusses Exhibition Local Law

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Flower Hill board of trustees

The Village of Flower Hill held its regular monthly meeting on June 4, where they passed local law 12 of 2018 “Regulation of Lighting” concering exterior lighting and illumination. The board of trustees also discussed two more local laws including an amendment to “Building Construction” and an amendment to “Exhibitions and Shows” that were adjourned to the July 2 meeting.

Local law 12 cites that residents should not place or orient exterior lighting in such a way that it will interfere with other properties or the vision of motorists.

The local law that amended “Building Construction” added that “every major or minor construction permit, plumbing or demolition permit expires one year after issuance, unless there is sufficient reason to extend as determined by the discretion of the Building Superintendent.” The local law was adjourned until the July 2 board of trustees meeting.
Also adjourned was the amendment to “Exhibitions and Shows,” which was discussed at last month’s public hearing. After the public hearing and a meeting with Bob Young, owner of the property on Sunnyvale Road that sets up a Christmas display in memory of his daughter, the board made a few changes to the proposed law.

“One is that the proposed law had considered that there would be a permit request,” said village attorney Jeffrey Blinkoff. “The change here would be that there would be a form designed to make it easy for any applicant to have something to work off of in submitting their application to the board. The second is there was concern expressed about how to set the fees. Is $100 a day a lot? Where do we come up with that? The proposal here would be to modify that so the fees would be determined either by resolution of the board or as separate in the code so as each application comes in, it can be considered under the facts the board is dealing with.”

Other changes included increasing the deposit, which will be submitted with the application and applied to the costs for which the applicant is liable, from $350 to $500 and an added limitation on the time the exhibition must be taken down.

During public comment, Young questioned, “If you determine that a traffic study is warranted, you can hire a consultant for $15,000 and say here’s a bill for the traffic study, is that correct?”

“The law does allow that if the village does need to reach out to a consultant because an exhibition is going to create a certain amount of traffic, that in the village’s mind, the board’s mind, could create a danger or cause harm to an individual, that the village could hire a consultant for that purpose,” explained Blinkoff. “Depending on the cost, if the village deems it appropriate, that would be billed.”

Young explained that he sent a plan for his 2018 Christmas exhibition to the board of trustees to review and further expressed his objections to the law.

“I think this law is a very bad law,” said Young. “I think it’s discriminating against me personally, anyone who puts up a holiday display. It’s pretty much targeted at a Christmas display period. The other thing I think, I listened to so much nonsense here last month from LED lights causing cancer to environmental damage to hundreds of cars blocking the street every night. We’ve never had a single night with 100 cars on our street. If I see three cars backed up to Cherrywood that’s a lot. I’ve never seen it go much beyond that.”

Blinkoff responded that the board is not stopping anyone from having a Christmas exhibition, but that they are trying to make sure things run smoothly in years to come.
Roslyn resident Jean Pardalis said of the display, “I’ve just come into this conversation recently and the lights every year are very pretty. They are very Christmassy. Maybe you could limit the times or the days so people will not be so offended. I have many friends who come by just to see the lights up and down Port Washington Boulevard, everyone is looking that way, so I don’t know who they’re hurting.”

Also discussed was the 2018 Road Project which includes the repavement of Knolls Lane, a portion of Sunset Drive, Dogwood Lane from where it turns from concrete pavement at Manhasset Woods Road to the Dartmouth Circle, Chestnut Road, Mason Drive, Center Drive and installing a new catch basin on Knollwood Road and Knolls Lane.

Regarding an update on the Port Washington Boulevard Project, village clerk Ronnie Shatzkamer explained that village architect Peter Albinski looked through a plan sent by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and sent back the village’s comments regarding what they felt should be part of the reconfiguration.

“One of the big highlights that we all agree on is that there should be some pedestrian/bicycle path as part of that project,” said Shatzkamer. “So we got an acknowledgement of his comments back from the DOT in April telling us that if we want a bike path we should apply for transportation alternative funds which we can’t because we don’t own the property and they asked us if we had a master plan for a bike path, so I came up with a very brief document. We’re working on it.”

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