Written by Rich Forestano: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 27 April 2012 00:00
The last time before Mineola approved a residential complex development realignment, a battle between Mineola, Garden City and developers of the Winston Manor project dominated the collective consciousness of both villages. Concerning the former Keyspan building on Old Country Road, it may finally get its ball rolling.
The Mineola Village Board will hold a public hearing concerning the former Keyspan Building at 250 Old Country Road on a proposed change from a condominium complex configuration to rentals on May 23. This project has been ongoing in the village, but a decision was never rendered, according to village attorney John Spellman.
Spellman cited an issue with a state mandate to set aside at least 10 percent of the units for affordable housing. According to village officials, the issue was whether to incorporate a state requirement for affordable housing set aside either on-site or off-site.
“In the interim, as everyone’s aware, certain things have changed,” Spellman said, continuing, “with respect to the market for obtaining financing for condominiums and the necessity of having Garden City’s consent to subdivision in the form of condominiums.”
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said there would most likely be two hearings because certain board members could not commit to the May hearing date.
“We’ve had a couple of scheduling issues, myself personally and I think it’s important that we all be here for this hearing,” Strauss stated.
The Winston Manor project, which made for feverish banter and legal brouhaha for over two years, shifted from condos to rentals before the mandate was certified by the state. Polimeni International LLC changed the configuration to rentals, citing market values showcased a better revenue source than condos.
“This is a fairly important project and it has been years since this applicant has been before this board,” trustee Larry Werther said. “I think it’s important to have a full board here. They’ve taken years for them to come back to us and I don’t understand why this has to be done in a month.”
Any village must obtain subdivision approval for a condo complex if the sits within 300 feet of a neighboring municipality. Much like Winston Manor, the former Keyspan building sits a stones throw from Garden City. If the configuration is changed from condos to rentals, subdivision approval is not needed.
“The applicant delayed their application for years,” Werther said. “Not days, weeks or months, but years. So why not push it off to the next hearing date so that we will all be here? As long as there’s a second public hearing then that’s fine.”
The village has defined affordable housing as 80 percent of mean area income. There is also discussion about next generation and preferential choice for first responders in the project.
The building is located on the north side of Old Country Road, directly across from the Nassau Legislature and Executive Building on West Street.