The Village of Mineola Board of Trustees held a public hearing last week on an application by Kingdom Family Holdings LLC for a special use permit to erect a 22-unit residential condominium complex on an empty lot on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Main Street.
The proposed condo complex would be built in this empty lot on Harrison Avenue and Main Street.
The plan calls for the 30,000 square foot building to be built on the 12,500 square foot lot. The building would be a four-story building with the first story for parking and the top three stories for the 22 units, 17 of which are one bedroom and five of which are two bedrooms.
Since the lot is located in a B-2 zoning district, there are many uses for the lot permitted under the village's code. Some of the permitted uses include retail stores, office buildings, restaurants and taverns. However, the applicant is proposing only building a residential complex that fits in with the character of the neighborhood, which includes the nearby Harrison House, which is 48 feet high, and the Boulevard Towers, which are 50 feet high. The proposed condo complex would be 42 feet high.
Some of the potential problems caused by the proposed condominium complex include whether the proposed parking lot accounts for enough parking spaces. The proposed parking lot to be located on the first floor of the complex provides for 33 parking spaces. With 22 units, if each of the residents owns one car, there would be plenty of parking. However, if there are two cars per unit, the provided parking would fall short.
Some residents do object to the proposed condominium complex even though it is a residential complex in a zoning district where commercial establishments are permitted.
John Cunha, who grew up in his parents' house on Harrison Avenue, across the street from the proposed complex, expressed concern about the shadow a 42-foot building would cast on the surrounding houses. He also expressed concern about the glow from the lighting in the first floor garage under the units and the headlights from the cars that will be exiting and entering the complex from Harrison Avenue.
Pastor Chet Easton from the First Presbyterian Church, which the building will be facing, expressed concern over creating more traffic at the intersection of Main Street and Harrison Avenue, which, he said, is an already crowded intersection. Cars from the condo complex may often be heading east on Harrison Avenue to get to Willis Avenue.
Despite residential and commercial use being permitted in a B-2 district, the proposed condominium complex still does not fit with the village's zoning code. The code allows for three stories with a maximum height of 35 feet. The proposed building is four stories with a maximum height of 42 feet. The code requires a front yard setback of 15 feet. The front yard setback for the proposed building is five feet and the parking would come up to the property line. The rear yard setback required is 25 feet. The proposed building would be 25 feet but the parking would again go up to the property line. The side yard setback requires eight feet. The south side setback of the proposed building would be two and a half feet and the north side setback would be six feet to the building but the parking and secondary entrance way would come out to the property line on Harrison Avenue. Also, the village code requires two parking spaces per unit whereas the applicant is providing one and a half parking spaces per unit.
However, a law passed not long ago by the village board allows the board to consider exceptions in the zoning code in return for the applicant providing amenities to the village. In this case, the applicant is providing red brick pavers along Main Street and Harrison Avenue with street lighting as well as garbage receptacles and benches along Main Street. In addition, the applicant will give the village $150,000 to be put in a trust fund to be spent on improvements in Mineola.