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Letter: Do NOT Save The Villa - The Villa is Wrong for Glen Cove

The Villa is an unprecedented super high density, huge mega-monstrosity project comprised of six buildings which tower over the vicinity. The developer has sought to violate the current zoning law by seeking “bonus densities” which almost quadruples the size of the complex. Livingston is seeking to build five-, six-, and seven-story structures to contain 196 units in six buildings on a site whose topography prevents any such building to be even considered since it is on a 70-foot gradient (a very steep hill) which will have disastrous erosion problems, flood neighboring properties and impact Glen Cove Avenue itself. There is no amount of drainage which can stop the volume of the flow of water down this cliff. Since the top of this steep hill is the fundamental supporting framework for a neighborhood of houses, if erosion occurs and the hill collapses, it could destroy the entire existing neighborhood.

 

The statement that underground parking, an indoor pool, a fitness center, landscaping, etc. are being included are actually being done for the developer’s benefit in order to seek “bonus densities.” The structures are so overwhelming in size and out of proportion to the surroundings, so as to totally change the character of our Gold Coast village atmosphere to one that is more appropriate to be located in Queens. The proposed Villa is NOT visually appealing at all. It increases strains on our over congested, fragile infra-structure, over burdened utilities and municipal services, strains our school district, police and fire departments and further reduces home values in our community.  The Villa should NEVER be approved as proposed.

 

Livingston threatened to sell the property to a low income housing developer; however, any new developer would have to seek approval which only the city and the appropriate boards can make that determination, NOT Mr. Livingston. Since we already have over five times the amount of low-income housing as is required, there is certainly no reason to increase that sector of housing. We have already been identified by numerous news media as having the most poverty of any town in Nassau County. We certainly need to enhance Glen Cove’s reputation, not further diminish it.

 

It was stated that Livingston worked closely with the community; however, that is far from the truth. Only after a group of residents reached out to him was there ever any contact or discussion on the project and Livingston was not accurate or truthful. Even then, approximately a year ago, Livingston threatened those homeowners by saying, “If you don’t let me build what I want, then I’ll build low income and section 8 housing.”

 

The site could better provide lovely two-story townhouses for adults 55 and over. Senior citizens don’t have children going to our schools and, therefore, they don’t increase our school taxes. Seniors are more likely to have disposable income which would help the businesses and restaurants in our city flourish. Another possibility for that site would be a lovely shopping area of fine, boutique shops, businesses, stores, retail, clothing, gourmet shop, etc.

 

In conclusion, the Villa should NOT be approved as proposed. If the developer would reduce the project to a smaller size totaling not more than 50 units on its narrow almost 4-acre site, construct not more than two-story structures, provide iron-clad protection to prevent erosion, flooding and a mud-slide avalanche, and he must NOT compromise the integrity of the existing steep hill, then the numerous, intense and continuous objections to the project may possibly be mitigated. Refer to the Temple Tifereth, “The Mews” (at

Landing Rd. and Hill St,) which has 5.5 acres and is proposing 72 units in two-story townhouses for residents 55 and over. That is the model which could be a feasible possibility for the Villa.

 

G. Valente