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Renovation Proposal Moves Forward

Parking, residential project for Lumber Road

The proposed renovation of property on Lumber Road, this one for residential purposes, continues to move forward as the Village of Roslyn board of trustees heard the latest presentation on the residential and parking plan for 17 Lumber Rd. at the May 21 meeting. 


The Oyster Bay-based firm of Bladykas & Panetta proposes to renovate the building for the same commercial uses as a hardware store on the first floor, while having the second and third floor for residential apartments. At recent meetings, Mike Rant, a project engineer with the firm, said that up to 63 parking spaces could be constructed, which could be used for retail purposes during the day and for residential parking at night. In all, Bladykas & Panetta proposes 10 apartment units for the Lumber Road site. That is a modest amount, and has gotten a positive reception from board members.


At the May 21 meeting, Roslyn resident John Santos, an engineer for the project, said that the Historic District Board has twice approved an overall design. He added that the firm still needs approval for brick colors, awnings, whether windows have shutters or not, plus the manufacturer and overall style of the renovated building. Such concerns, he said, would be taken up at the HDB’s June meeting. Santos also said that the firm has received a $150,000 grant for the installation of a vortex system to connect a village parking lot to an expanded one at the site. The village owns the vortex system, but it has not been determined who will maintain if it is indeed installed.


As he has been in the past, Trustee Craig Westergard was supportive of the renovation, but he also had concerns over the design of the project. At past meetings, both Westergard and Mayor John Durkin have approved the idea that residential units are being proposed for the Lumber Road renovation, with both also noting that there can never be enough affordable housing, not just for Roslyn, but anywhere in Nassau County. Westergard added that the renovation would “generate a nice parking lot for downtown Roslyn,” while Durkin noted the waterfront view that would come with third floor units. Shade trees, evergreen trees and a promenade are among other ideas being floated. 


The issue of development in the downtown area has been with the village for decades. It has now been 20 years since the bid by Stop & Shop to construct a commercial site was debated and then, with great controversy, rejected by a new slate of board members. Following that, the board drafted and adopted a Master Plan for downtown construction, one that focused on residential development. That plan resulted in the Sterling Glen senior citizen development, one known today as Atria on Roslyn Harbor. Other residential bids have been sounded out, but Atria remains the showcase of the new zoning requirements for the downtown area.

Trees For Davis Lane

In other news, the board approved a special use permit to Kevin Dursun who seeks to convert property on Skillman Street from a two-family residence to office space. The plan still needs building department approval.


The board also approved a local law, one that would provide for proper placement of such equipment as generators, air conditioning units, pool pumps and other “noise or vibration producing equipment in any residential district.”


Finally, the village is still addressing the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. Trees on Davis Lane, as Deputy Mayor Marshall Bernstein noted, were destroyed during last year’s storm. To replace them, the board approved, for the cost of $32,000, the purchase of 25 Princeton Elm trees from George Woodard Garden Design. Village officials said that the village is not being reimbursed by FEMA grant money for this project, even though it has made grant applications to that agency. Bernstein said that the village, so far, has received $132,000 in FEMA grants. Bernstein joked that while the federal government has become “too powerful” for little villages like Roslyn. However, it certain cases such villages are glad to receive Uncle Sam’s largess.