The Village of Great Neck is considering an application for a new assisted-living facility to be built on the corner of Middle Neck Road and Hicks Lane. Most of the objections to the project at the first village meeting to discuss the plan centered on traffic, and the effect this building would have on one of the busiest, most dangerous intersections in the village. Suffice to say, at the same meeting, it was announced by Superintendent Massaro that a light post at that very corner was “taken out” by a driver this very week!
But I speak now to another, potentially more devastating, issue about the character of the village. The developers have planned a five-story building! So much for any height restrictions in the village. The limit has been three stories. A five-story building is 67 percent over code! Up until now, developers have tried squeezing in an extra couple of feet, or an extra floor, tops. This new plan fits the times so well—it is so over the top, so brazen in its disregard for local norms, that anything scaled down even a micrometer will seem like salvation.
Our previous administration broke the height restriction for Avalon Bay—six stories. This was justified by the cleaning up of the Brownfield toxic site the complex is built upon, its being at the bottom of Vista Hill, and so less obtrusive to houses at the top of the hill, and the fact that it is on the very edge of the village.
This new proposal is at the very heart of the village and will tower over its neighbors; creating a dark intersection crowded and out of scale with the people who live here, and worse—set a precedent for all development to come.
If the need for assisted-living housing is real, but its only worthwhile building it if it is five stories, what will the next developers be told, when they come before the village, telling us that there is a real need for apartment housing, but that they can only be built if five stories are allowed? Six? Where does this stop? Why ever say, “No”?