Construction on Harbor Hill Road Blocked
By Carla Santella
At a brief, albeit productive, meeting of the Glen Cove City Council on Tuesday, March 22, a public hearing was held to discuss funding for the 2005-2006 Community Development Block Grant Program. Representing the Community Development Agency, Executive Director Cara Longworth announced that the organization was requesting funds of $620,000 from the grant this year, up from $600,000 last year, the extra $20,000 being earmarked as a donation to the North Shore Historical Museum to build handicapped ramps.
Also receiving funds this year through the CDA are the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club, SAFE, Glen Cove Day Care, Girl Scouts, the Glen Cove Youth Bureau, La Fuerza Unida and the Glen Cove Senior Center.
The council voted unanimously to approve the request, with Mayor Mary Ann Holzkamp adding a thank you to City Controller Joe Gill, Ms. Longworth and staff and the CDA Board, which, she said, "I thank for volunteering their time in overseeing all these applications."
In the public comments section of the meeting, Mr. Silas, representing a group of residents from Harbor Hill Road and environs stood to thank Mayor Holzkamp, Nick DeSantis, director of Public Works, and Anthony Maurino, consultant for the Building Department, for personally visiting the site of a proposed construction of two two-family homes on Harbor Hill Road. He then requested that the building permit recently issued to the developer be rescinded. The mayor was well aware of the situation and offered a little history to the audience, which was further explained to this reporter by Mr. Maurino. The land in question has been before the planning board, under ownership of different people, a number of times over the past two decades. In 1985, the planning board turned down the original request for a permit to build two two-family homes. The landowner took the case to Nassau County Supreme Court, which overturned the decision.
Subsequently the land changed hands, but the court order stood. The present owners applied to the planning board for a permit in 2004. The application was approved. However, stronger laws involving retaining walls on the steep, woody, narrow slope where the land sits, as well as the Hillside Protection Ordinance, have evolved during the ensuing years. A study of these restrictions, along with numerous calls from neighbors expressing concerns about mudslides, drainage, parking and emergency vehicle access on the narrow roads, caused the mayor to request the building department to suspend the building permit. It was also noted that the permit was issued in error due to the expiration of the original site plan. Mr. Maurino expects the landowner to go back to the planning board with an amended site plan, at which time it will be reviewed with the above mentioned issues in mind. Mr. Maurino added that the city will call upon its consulting engineers for guidance at that time.
The mayor's announcement that the build would be notified that he will not at this time be able to build was met with a round of applause, and the meeting was adjourned.
By midday Wednesday, March 23, the cease and desist order and suspension of the building permit was issued.
The next meeting of the Glen Cove City Council will be held Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in city hall main chambers.