The Village Board of New Hyde Park passed new legislation to control illegal apartments. Citing illegal dwellings as a major deterrent to the administration’s goal of preserving and improving the suburban life-style of New Hyde Park, the Village Board is proposing a series of new laws and amendments to the Village code aimed at making it tougher for illegal apartments to exist.
The Board of Trustees held a public hearing on December 4, 2001 at Village Hall at 7:30PM and heard input from residents on the proposed changes. The Mayor and the Board of Trustees considers illegal apartments to be a major detriment to the suburban life style that they have pledged to preserve and improve.
Mayor Petruccio stated: “Illegal apartments create a higher population. They are contrary to our Zoning code that aims to control land use and over development. More people bring more cars and traffic on our roads. There is an increased cost of municipal services without a commensurate increase in revenue.”
LOCAL LAW TO AMEND CHAPTER 195 OF THE
CODE OF THE INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF NEW HYDE PARK,
“ZONING”, ARTICLE XVII, ENTITLED “ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES”, §195-58,
ENTITLED “ENFORCING AGENCY; PENALTIES FOR OFFENSES’,
(B), TO PROVIDE FOR INCREASED FINES
VIOLATIONS OF THIS CHAPTER
§ 195-58. Enforcing agency; penalties
B. The Incorporated Village of New Hyde Park is aware of and duly acknowledges the existence of §20-2006 of the Village Law of the State of New York, and hereby supercedes such section. Any person or corporation whether as owner, lessee, occupant, architect, building contractor or the agent or employee of any of them who violates or is accessory to the violation of any provision of this Chapter or any regulation made under the authority conferred by this Chapter or who shall erect, construct, alter, enlarge, convert, or move any building or structure without a building permit or in violation of any statement or plans submitted and approved under the provisions of this Chapter, or who shall use any building structure, or land in violation of this Chapter or any regulation made under the authority conferred by this Chapter or violation of any building permit (including a special use permit) without a building permit or certificate of occupancy or certificate of existing use where one is required by this Code shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation pursuant to this Chapter only, unless otherwise designated by law, punishable by a fine of not more than Two Thousand ($2,000.00) Dollars or imprisonment of not more than fifteen (15) days, or both. The conviction of a second violation of any such provision or regulation both of which were committed within a period of five (5) years, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than Five Thousand ($5,000.00) Dollars or imprisonment of not more than fifteen (15) days, or both. The conviction of a third or subsequent violation of any such provision or regulation, all of which were committed within a period of five (5) years, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand ($10,000.00) Dollars or imprisonment of not more than fifteen (15) days, or both. Each week’s continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
Another step amended the code and utilize the Supreme Court to obtain search warrants when there is compelling evidence of more than one family in a single-family home. For example, more than one mail box, doorbell, cable TV lines, or separate entrances will be beacons alerting officials of trouble.
In order to implement some of these initiatives and encourage greater compliance, the village has recently added another part time Building Inspector, and they are very close to establishing a new Code Compliance Officer to concentrate on property maintenance and quality of life issues. “Our Building department is very busy with plan and permit reviews and is not as able as they would like to be to address some of the more visible items that degrade our community. This part-time person will address garbage that is left out and sidewalks and graffiti filled walls that are neglected. This person will also be utilized to help identify and follow up on illegal apartments”, said Trustee Montreuil, liaison to the Building Department.
Additionally, the Village established an Architectural Review Board to in part eliminate the construction of large box like homes that are ripe for future conversion to multiple family uses. The Architectural Review Board will review plans for both commercial and residential building and major exterior modifications. The intent is to make sure that changes that are made are in harmony with the character of the Village. The Village Board is actively seeking residents who may wish to participate on this panel. Of particular interest are people with backgrounds in architecture, civil engineering, and landscape design. People with a keen sense of aesthetics are also encouraged to come forward.
Clearly, the Board is united in its commitment to root out illegal apartments in New Hyde Park with the goal of improving the character of the Village we all treasure. “We understand that not everyone will be pleased with these steps. But after long consideration, we feel the eventual decline of the Village is the alternative future we face if we take no action at all", said Mayor Dan Petruccio.
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