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Parked Van at Center of Decade-Long Dispute

Long time Port Washington North residents say they are frustrated with a van parked in front of their home for more than 10 years.

"There's a saying, you can't regulate bad taste," said Port Washington North Mayor Robert Weitzner in regards to a decade-long dispute between two neighbors on Soundview Drive. The mayor was addressing a 1989 Ford van that has been parked in front of Parviz and Shahin Farahan's house at 23 Soundview Drive for more than 10 years during the Village of Port Washington North's May Board of Trustees meeting.

The problem: the van's owner, Charlie Lee, lives in Manorhaven and his family houses the vehicle on the street in front of their next door neighbor's home.

"I don't want this here," Shahin Farahan said of the van. "Everyone in my family says, 'This car is still here?' For holidays, when my family comes they can't park in front of my house."

Having lived in their home on Soundview Drive in the Village of Port Washington North for more than 30 years, the Farahans said they never thought they would endure such a long-term dispute with a neighbor. The issue has been going on for about 12 years, facilitating more and more frustration each year, according to the Farahans. The couple has asked village officials to put up a sign to regulate parking on the street.

"We're not looking for a fight; we're not looking for anything," said Kathy Farahan, Parviz and Shahin's daughter. "We're just hoping the village will put in some kind of sign so that he doesn't have the full permission to park here — 24/7."

The Farhans also said that the van causes an aesthetically unpleasing view from their front porch and promotes a lack of neighborly etiquette. Mayor Weitzner seems to agree. "It's just not neighborly to have a large van in front of a driveway," Weitzner said. "I think they need to know that we're at least thinking about other options."

During the meeting, Traffic Commissioner Steve Kaplan expressed his concerns about the van and said he favors scheduling a hearing to tackle the issue. "That stretch of land is in a precarious place," Kaplan said. "There are turns and there is a lot of traffic. We can't clean the street there. I'm just suggesting we have a hearing."

Despite multiple phone calls, Lee nor any member of his family, living at 25 Soundview Drive, could be reached for comment.

Kathy said she is deeply angered by the issue, stating that, as a mother of three young children, she has no choice but to park across the street from her parents' house. She claims this has created a somewhat dangerous situation as cars on the road come relatively fast.

Kathy added that when her father worked, the van situation wasn't as noticeable. "But in the last 10 years, now that he's been stuck home, for him to get up in the morning and sit here and stare at this [van], it's been annoying," she explained.

She added that despite several attempts to get their neighbors to move the vehicle,the family had no choice but to bring the issue to the village. "We have gone back and forth with our neighbor on good terms in the beginning," Kathy said. "We said 'Can you move the car? Please, please.' It came to a point where there was no more saying please, because I've spoken to him, my brothers have spoken to him. The situation remains hopeless until some sort of action is taken."

Village officials have said they are in the process of trying to set up a hearing between the two parties. No date has yet been scheduled.

Dave Franklin May 26, 2010 at 08:48 AM
Move the van! When I grew up, it was the unwritten rule that the space in front of your house was yours. Nobody violated that rule, and for the most part ( unless someone on the block is having guests ) nobody in my present neighborhood violates it now. It should be done out of common courtesy, but perhaps in an attempt to clean the street some community intervention should be utilized to solve the problem.
dlemieux May 27, 2010 at 06:08 PM
Good luck getting that van moved. The Village of Port Washington North say they are in the "process" of trying to set up a hearing..... when they get around to it.

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