Written by Joe Scotchie Wednesday, 06 May 2009 12:28
Decisions on major development issues facing the Roslyn area continue to be debated by both the Town of North Hempstead council and the Village of East Hills board of zoning appeals (BZA).
At the most recent meeting of both of those bodies, no decision was made, respectively, on the application by P.C. Richard to expand its current location on 51 Northern Blvd. or the applications by both Omnipoint and Metro PCS to construct cell antennas and equipment on the roof of a medical building located on 70 Glen Cove Road. The East Hills BZA is also considering an application by Active Kidz for a variance to expand its current facility.
Beginning on Jan. 6, the Town of North Hempstead, officials with P.C. Richard, and members of the Greenvale Civic Association have debated plans by the electronics chain to expand its Greenvale facility.
At both its Jan. 27 and April 28 meetings, the Town Board debated the application again. At the April 28 meeting, the town board voted to continue the hearing on July 14.
The Greenvale P.C. Richard is located on 51 Northern Blvd. (or Route 25A), between Walnut and Marion Streets, one block east of Glen Cove Road.
The longtime appliance chain is seeking a change of zone from Residence C to Business B for the premises so that the existing 25,754 sq. ft. store may be expanded to 44,089 sq. ft. and related construction of a 104-space parking lot.
At a previous meeting, Gary Richard, the current CEO of the company said that the desire to expand the Greenvale store wasn’t based on making more money, but simply being competitive with the larger chains. Richard said his company is happy to remain in Greenvale, but he also claimed that its current interior is insufficient in size.
Bruce Migatz, an attorney for P.C. Richard, noted that progress had been made in negotiations with the Greenvale Civic Association. He said that the expansion’s design is smaller than the original plan. The total size of the proposed store, Migatz said, would be 31,898 sq. ft., down from the original size of 37,212 sq. ft. In addition, there would be buffer zones to screen local homes from the proposed parking lot. Migatz said there would be 104 parking spaces on the lot, plus land-banked parking that would also include a buffer zone. The parking lot, Migatz added, would be complimented by a green space on the lot.
Still, the Greenvale Civic Association, plus officials from the Village of East Hills have maintained their opposition to the current expansion plans.
John Fabio, president of the civic association, said that his organization had no problem with the current makeup of the P.C. Richard store. But he has claimed that the new traffic patterns from the proposed expansion would put pedestrians, including children, in danger. He also cited potential problems with congestion, noise, and “light pollution” from lighting fixtures on the proposed lot. Similar concerns were expressed by State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D.-Glen Cove), and East Hills Deputy Mayor Linda Nathanson.
Fabio also said that if the new facility failed, then the village would be stuck with a “white elephant” on its property.
The July 14 meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Town of North Hempstead town hall located at 220 Plandome Rd., Manhasset.
Meanwhile, the Village of East Hills BZA continues to debate the proposed cell antenna construction.
At its most recent meeting, the BZA heard a proposal by Metro PCS, but not one by Omnipoint. Both of those hearings and one on the Active Kidz application will be heard at the Tuesday, May 19 BZA meeting.
At recent meetings of the cell antenna construction, the main concerns have been safety issues, including those pertaining to radiation warnings, and evacuations in case of a fire.
Active Kidz, for its part, hopes to expand from its current site from 8,400 sq. ft. to 20,000 sq. ft.
According to Andy Oelbaum, the proposed expansion will include a new interactive Toddler room for inflatables and a themed state-of-the-art laser tag arena.
There is currently 67,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space next door to Active Kidz that will be vacant soon. Active Kidz hopes to take advantage of the empty space to expand and improve its own facility.
The proprietors of Active Kidz have said that the expansion would help to create jobs in the area, both for the birthday and sports facility and for surrounding business, including local food vendors.
The May 19 meeting will begin at 8 p.m. and will take place at the East Hills Village Hall, 209 Harbor Hill Rd.