Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 17 December 2010 00:00
The Village of Mineola approved the special use permit application of Wei Ji Lin to establish a Chinese take-out restaurant on East Old Country Road at last week’s board of trustees meeting. The restaurant would sit in a row of stores located between Juniper Avenue and Geranium Avenue on Old Country Road. It seems like the perfect spot to complement the fairly new Kemistry Restaurant and Lounge and stores of the like.
However, unlike most restaurants in the area, it would sit directly south of residential housing, particularly Geranium and Juniper Avenues. Various residents have said that they’re inconvenienced already by restaurant-goers parking illegally to “get a quick bite” and the smells and odors that have been emanating from restaurants nearby.
The village held a public hearing on Aug. 11 pertaining to the take-out restaurant. Legal council for Lin, traffic experts, etc. came before the board to present the village with its findings.
Furthermore, the application is subject to 11 conditions set forth by the board of trustees on Dec. 8. Mayor Jack Martins stated that food special use permits before the board are permitted uses in its business district subject to, “the boards consideration as to those items that may impact the surrounding communities.
“We are certainly cognizant and concerned with any impacts that they may have on village residents as they border our business community.”
The 11 provisions were outlined last week. All putrescible waste will be refrigerated indoors until pickup. No dumpster can be placed at the rear of the property.
Martins stated further that all garbage will be placed on the morning of pickup, all ventilation and exhaust should be vented through the building’s roof, away from residential properties and filtered; a maximum of 10 chairs can be utilized by patrons waiting for their take-out. Other provisions included that the rear door to the property remain closed at all times and only be used as an emergency exit, all lighting will be designed so that it shines on the premises only and not directed toward neighboring residences with no new lighting installed at the rear of the property.
Any deliveries to the property will occur during off-peak weekday hours and no deliveries between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The last three provisions included that each of these conditions is material to the approval granted by the board, violations will be enforced in line with the village code, the representations made by the applicant on the record have been deemed material to this application and have been relied upon by the village and any violation of these provisions will be considered a violation of the village of Mineola’s zoning law.
Martins likened this application to Papa Sorto’s Pizzeria and Kemistry. “This application for a Chinese restaurant would be consistent with the businesses in the area subject, of course, to those provisions that we identified during the hearings,” he said.
The storefront was originally constructed in 1956. The proposed spot for the establishment is now vacant. According to representatives of the applicants, the store is 100x100 feet and the existing structure is 95x60. Lin is seeking to sign a 20-year lease on the building.
The store would consist of a kitchen area, waiting area and a counter. The kitchen area would take up 75 percent of the establishment. Furthermore, that it will serve as a walk-in walk out restaurant. It would not be used for dining-in.
Only 268 square feet is available to the public. There will be seating available, according to Lin’s legal council Leonard Genova. However, Lin expects to get most of its business from foot-traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, which is why he opted for a take-out restaurant, rather than a full service business.
Residents of that area have complained of traffic issues on the residential streets near that strip of storefronts. According to parking signs on Geranium Avenue, there is no parking on the street from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Furthermore, Geranium Avenue is one of the few residential blocks in that area with a traffic light, which makes it easier to make left turns onto Old Country Road.