Seven months after the Lynbrook Village Board of Trustees unanimously denied a hotel owner’s request to rezone three properties in order to demolish the homes on them and build a parking lot, the homes are still standing — but neither residents who live nearby nor the hotel ownership are happy with the situation.
The properties, at 417 Ocean Ave., 3 Merton Ave. and 9 Merton Ave., are on the border of Lynbrook and Rockville Centre. The proposed lot would have provided additional parking for the Holiday Inn Express on the west side of Ocean Avenue. Thomas Morash owns not only the hotel, but the three parcels, the homes on them, which are unoccupied, and the Rockville Centre Inn, which is behind the homes. The homes are in a residential zone, which is why Morash and the developer, Sunrise One LLC, requested a change to commercial zoning from the village board.
There are no current plans for the properties, but on April 11, Morash’s attorney, Albert D’Agostino, hosted a meeting at the Holiday Inn Express for residents. “The purpose of the meeting was to introduce myself to the neighbors,” D’Agostino said, “and to try to elicit their concerns and to see if there was some way of addressing the entire situation that might work for everybody.”
Residents of Merton Avenue and nearby blocks have vehemently opposed the parking lot plan since it was unveiled last year. Several public hearings at Village Hall were postponed or tabled so the two sides could attempt to reach a compromise. At one point, residents were willing to allow the house at 417 Ocean Ave. to be demolished, but Morash’s former attorney, Alan Stein, said the lot was too small on its own for a parking lot.
Following this month’s meeting, D’Agostino said that some residents did not oppose a demolition at 417 Ocean Ave., but others want all three houses to remain. “At this time we no longer would agree to have any of the properties utilized for parking,” said resident Paul Tubin.