Taking care of Lawrence village's business


It came at the end of the Oct. 11 Village of Lawrence board of trustees meeting, but it might be the most significant item that was approved.

Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin put forth a motion to hire a company to conduct a feasibility study on what he called the “best, highest use for us,” concerning the 4.35-acre property on Rock Hall Road where the village sewage treatment plant was housed. The village owns 3.83 acres of the site with Nassau County retaining roughly a half acre of the land zoned for single-family homes.

In March, Fragin said that, “the seven-house plan is the right way to go,” and a month later defended the board’s approval of sending out a request for expressions of interest. The 45-day RFEI is yet to be sent out.

What to do with the site has been a constant source of debate among the trustees.

Residents in the area have advocated for a park and submitted a petition that had more than 40 signatures to the village last December.

Since then, Trustee Uri Kaufman floated the idea of a hotel. Having an assisted living facility there was also discussed. Mayor Alex Edelman stoutly believes that selling the land to a developer to build up to seven homes is the most favorable outcome for the village as it maintains the neighborhood’s residential aesthetic and generates money for Lawrence that could possibly pay for the proposed swimming pool at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club.

Reflective address signs

In an effort to help the first responders — ambulances, firefighters and police — the village is seeking to establish a uniform size and height for reflective address signs that would visible from the street. There was some debate on the measure.

“I have issues with how the law read as of right with the height of the pole, five-fee is too high,” said Trustee Syma Diamond, who also asked if the signs had to have a white background with black lettering.

Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department Chief David Campbell agrees that five feet is too high. “We need it to be high enough to see over plowed snow,” said Campbell, who explained that most segments of the village have consistent numbering, but in Back Lawrence the house numbers are inconsistent. “The numbers jump all over the place,” he said, adding that GPS is not always helpful.

The public hearing closed with all officials agreeing to rework the proposed local law and possibly vote on the resolution at the Nov. 13 board meeting.

Other actions

Trustees approved extending village office hours on Thursdays to 6 p.m. Typically Village Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week. Lawrence’s sexual harassment prevention policy was also approved.

The board set a public hearing to prohibit noise audible at the property line past 11 p.m. Another public hearing was tabled, concerning allowing outside mechanical equipment to exceed 90 decibels. The issue is expected to be reviewed.

Lawrence’s next village board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. in Village Hall at 196 Central Ave. in Lawrence.

Have an opinion about Lawrence village? Send your letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.