Public voices concerns over potential Harley-Davidson dealership in New Hyde Park

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IMG 4187 696x464
Charles Voorhis, an environmental consultant working with the New Hyde Park board, explains the draft scoping review process at a public hearing for the proposed Harley-Davidson dealership. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

A revised plan to create a Harley-Davidson dealership in New Hyde Park was offered at a public hearing on Tuesday, but some residents continued to raise concerns about noise.

In 2015, the applicant, Amir Jarrah, proposed to move his Miracle Mile Harley-Davidson dealership from Great Neck to New Hyde Park. He quickly faced strong opposition from members of the community who thought it would be disruptive to the village due to noise levels and traffic.

To mitigate these concerns, the property was shifted further south in the revised plan and now the building is more of an “L” shape and acts as a buffer between the “activities that happen on the Jericho Turnpike frontage and the residential community that exists behind us,” said Scott Grupp, an architect for the project.

The site is at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Herkomer Street, the current home of Miller Brothers Plumbing & Heating.

The new proposal is about 1,000 square feet larger than the original, Grupp said. The building has an 8,000-square-foot ground floor with an 1,800-square-foot mezzanine level. The entire building is about 30 feet high.

Following the applicant’s presentation, residents had the chance to voice their concerns to the village board. The board will take all relevant concerns into consideration when reviewing the draft scoping document, said Charles Voorhis, an environmental planning consultant helping the board through this process.

Another public hearing will be held to discuss the revised document.

There were two major opposing points made by residents – those who said the dealership would bring too much noise to the village, and others who think it will increase the value of the neighborhood.

John Gervais said he would like the board to take into consideration the cumulative noise when reviewing the dealership’s impact.

“Yes, we have the trains, but also multiple planes and helicopters,” Gervais said. “I’d like to be able to play outside with my children without constant, constant, constant noise.”

Debbie and Thomas Wojcik said they deal with noise every day living by both garbage transfer stations, which they said were not there when they first moved in 35 years ago.

“It’s not all farm here anymore,” Thomas Wojcik said. “Any business you put in there is going to make noise. I would rather have a national business like this who you could talk to.”

Others, including John Brown, said that the dealership would raise the value of the neighborhood.

He added that bringing a national chain in will bring a continuous flow of business that will help local businesses, including pizza parlors, delis and bagel shops.

“Changes must occur in this village for it to stay vibrant,” Brown said.

Michael Polfeldt said it is important to consider what could end up there if the Harley-Davidson dealership is not approved.

“It could be a 7-Eleven. You want that?” Polfeldt said. “Is it really that bad?”

He added that it is “nonsense” for anyone to think the dealership would attract hard-core bikers.

The general audience for a Harley-Davidson dealership is middle-aged, white-collar people, Polfeldt said. Hard-core bikers would be “laughed out of the club” for going into a dealership to buy a new bike, he said.

“It’s like saying you don’t want a BMW dealership because a lot of drug dealers and thugs like BMWs because they’re stylin’,” he said.

The board adjourned the meeting and will review the comments made.

Members of the public can continue to submit written comments to the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26.

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About Craig Ballantyne 24828 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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