Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 18 April 2013 00:00
Residents of Roslyn Heights have banded together to block the destruction of a 112-year old house on 73 Warner Ave., one that they claim is on property that is only zoned for residential purposes.
Dolores Augustine, a resident of Roslyn Heights for the past 17 years, said that the property, if it allowed to be demolished, would be used by a local Porsche dealership for a parking lot.
Augustine has gathered community support for her preservation effort. Two petitions have resulted vin 170 signatures opposing the development. In addition, she has received a letter of support from Village of Roslyn Mayor John Durkin. Roslyn Heights is under the jurisdiction of the Town of North Hempstead and that body’s Board of Zoning Appeals will make the next decision on the fate of the property. However, Augustine said that part of Hillside Avenue is located in Roslyn.
“The Porsche dealership variance application will result in the encroachment of commercial uses into a residential area,” stated Mayor Durkin’s letter to John Fielding. “This area is already over-burdened with commercial uses and any further expansion of those commercial uses will be detrimental to the residents living in Roslyn Heights, as well as those parts of Warner Avenue and Hillside Avenue lying in the Village of Roslyn. [There] are two schools near the dealership and its expansion and subsequent use intensification would…pose a safety threat to children going to and coming from school.”
Augustine listed concerns familiar to any homeowner, namely bright lights coming from the nearby Porsche lot, plus pollution and noise from the lot drive testing automobiles.
Michael Sahn, an attorney for the developer, JDN Properties of Mineola said a portion of the property where the house sits is zoned for commercial uses. “It [the property] is split-zoned,” Sahn said. “We propose to have the parking lot that would be fully-buffered with a minimum 15-ft. buffer with dense, large planting. No one could see into it.”
In addition, Sahn said there would be no curb cuts onto Warner Avenue and no access for vehicles except through the Porsche building on Northern Boulevard.
“The Nassau County Planning Commission said it [the planned development] would benefit the community,” Sahn said.
Augustine told The Roslyn News that she doesn’t need such a fence on her property.
“We love historic homes,” she said. “We moved here 17 years ago and we want to see beautiful historic homes. We don’t want to look at a high fence.”