Open house on Orchard revitalization in Glen Cove soon

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After City Council members urged developers to solicit public input on a revitalization plan for the city’s Orchard neighborhood, project managers announced Tuesday that an open house will be held on Dec. 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the main chambers of City Hall.

Ann Fangmann, executive director of the Glen Cove Community Development Agency, said residents would be able to view Phase 3 of the draft implementation plan, which was presented to the City Council during pre-council on Aug. 21, on the main page of the city’s website “shortly.” Additionally, residents are welcome to submit written comments about the plan via email to the agency at BOAFeedback@glencovecda.org.

To advertise the open house, the CDA plans to disseminate flyers — printed in both English and Spanish — directly to residents in the Orchard neighborhood and in public facilities throughout the community.

Councilwoman Marsha Silverman called the public input process imperative. “It’s so important to get the public participation for all of the kinds of things that people think about,” she said. “Traffic — will it increase housing? Is there going to be more affordable housing? And what is it really going to provide to the public?”

The area in question, designated a Brownfield Opportunity Area, encompasses the Orchard neighborhood of Glen Cove and surrounding areas, including Cedar Swamp Road, the Sea Cliff Avenue industrial corridor and the Glen Street Long Island Rail Road Station. The project seeks to create a vision for these areas with the potential for revitalization, present recommendations needed to make that vision a reality and provide developers with a viable vision that is supported by the community.

Kathy Eiseman, a partner at the planning firm Nelson, Pope and Voorhis, presented the draft implementation plan at Tuesday’s meeting. She identified six “focus areas” for redevelopment and the developers’ hope for each.

One element of the plan, as Eiseman described it, would be to modify building codes in the Orchard neighborhood, allowing for greater lot assemblage and redevelopment. The firm plans to analyze traffic circulation and parking issues at the site, and identify improvements for pedestrian usage and recreational space.

Another element looks to implement transit-oriented development at the Glen Street Railroad Station, with redevelopment options for both residential and commercial use. And the plan recommends a “retail regional commercial center and possibly light industrial space,” at the three superfund sites in the Sea Cliff Ave. corridor, pending their remediation.

The project also encompasses Coles School, which was included as an addendum to the plan in 2013, and seeks to identify and pursue “re-use options” for the building and the property. For environmental friendliness, the plan incorporates the use of green infrastructure, such as rain gardens, to remove pollutants from storm water runoff.

Achieving the proposed revitalization plan would require multiple amendments to the city’s zoning map, Eiseman said, but assured council members that the recommendations “fit the neighborhood.” “Right now there are some business and industrial districts in the Orchard neighborhood and that’s not appropriate,” she explained.

Mayor Tim Tenke called the revitalization of the Orchard overlay “an incentive for property owners to redevelop the area that is in need of a facelift. We’re not there to kick anybody out or clear out an area where people live, and we need to make sure that the public understands that.”

The council is slated to vote to approve a final draft of the implementation plan by late December.

Zach Gottehrer-Cohen contributed to this story.