Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00
The Glen Cove City Council held four public hearings and passed a number of resolutions at Tuesday’s city council meeting, establishing the Payment In Lieu Of Parking (PILOP) fees that have been discussed at meetings since May and amending the zoning codes of three lots near the Lee Gray Court properties.
At the start of the meeting, a moment of silence was held for several Glen Cove residents who recently passed away. Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi expressed his condolences for the families of Dominick Torquato, Mitzi Farnan and Bertha Muldoon.
Bobby M. Citko was presented with a citation for his 28 years of service in the fire department. Citko retired from his full-time position as a fire alarm dispatcher-caretaker with the department in June, and was then reinstated at Tuesday’s meeting as a part-time employee, in the same position.
“It’s been a pleasure working for the city,” said Citko. “I truly loved the job.”
Jesse Mayreis, a 10-year-old resident of Glen Cove, was given a life-saving award from the city for rescuing his 13-year-old friend from drowning in a swimming pool. Earlier in the summer, his friend was visiting from North Carolina and dove into the pool. Sensing that something was wrong when the boy did not emerge from the water, Mayreis jumped in and pulled him out. He then learned that his friend had never been in a pool before and had not known how deep it was. Mayreis was also given citations for his actions from Assemblyman Charles Lavine and Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton in mid-August.
After the presentations, the council began the public hearings. The first discussion was about setting the PILOP fees in the central business district, which includes School Street, Bridge Street and a section of Glen Street. The fees will cover the cost of maintenance and repairs to the municipal parking garages and were set as an alternative to metered parking that could discourage patronage of businesses in the downtown area. If the repairs are funded by businesses rather than by the general tax levy, city residents and businesses that do not benefit from parking resources will not have the financial burden.
The fee structure is meant to avoid impacts to small businesses considering locating in the downtown area, and no existing businesses will have to pay the fee. The fee structure for non-residential use allows the first five spaces to be free; six to 20 spaces are $750 per space and anything beyond 20 costs $3,000 per space. Residential and mixed uses are $3,000 per space.
Councilman Tony Gallo voted no on the resolution, saying, “I’ve gone around town, discussing and explaining the fee structure and everyone is against it and says it’s bad for businesses…it’s not good policy or legislation.”
Councilman Nick DiLeo abstained from voting, though the other four councilmen and Mayor Suozzi voted in favor.
“In my opinion, it will have no impact on businesses. No small business falls under the umbrella of these fees, only large chains. It would be silly for us to enact something that has a negative impact on businesses,” said Councilman Reggie Spinello.
The city passed a resolution to change the zoning of three two-family residences from industrial to residential, to make it consistent with the surrounding environment. The properties, located on Charles Street, are in a residential area though near the Konica Minolta buildings that will soon be demolished; when the large structures are gone, the zoning of these properties would be out of character with the surrounding area.
A resolution was also passed to authorize the mayor to execute a letter on behalf of the city council regarding the contract for sale of land and redevelopment of the waterfront project. Though the contract is between the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency, the Glen Cove Community Development Agency and RXR Glen Isle Partners, LLC, the letter of agreement sets forth certain actions and responsibilities to be performed by the city.
The original contract is dated May 14, 2003, with amendments made on April 12, 2005, September 9, 2008, October 14, 2009 and June 29, 2012. The City of Glen Cove Planning Board served as lead agency under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the city was an involved agency in the review, considering the environmental impacts; it has found that all requirements have been met and the social and economic considerations are consistent and avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts.
The resolution passed unanimously after some discussion about the density of the project. Attorney Michael Zarin clarified that they are now asking the developer to pay for the remedial clean up, bulkheads and public amenities that the city does not have the funds for, and that they will be committed to maintaining in perpetuity, at no cost to the city.
“I would still like to see less density but am satisfied with this amendment,” said Gallo.