The East Rockaway village board voted unanimously on Monday night to approve a new plan to rezone a portion of the industrial district into a commercial-recreation zone.
The new plan focuses on the northern portion of the existing industrial zone, which includes the Berg properties, a CVS drug store and other buildings. The southern portion, which includes a Pathmark supermarket, will remain an industrial zone, awaiting potential further review after the March 2011 village election. The Commuter’s Club property, on the northeast side of the railroad tracks, will remain in the industrial zone.
The final approval of the rezoning, by the Nasssau County Planning Commission, will end a yearlong moratorium on building, alteration or construction in that district.
“We four worked together to resolve this issue,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Meagher. “We may not agree on all issues, but we worked very hard to resolve this one…”
Meagher said that the board, after conducting a comprehensive review of the area, determined that the portion of the industrial district north of the railroad tracks is largely underutilized and obsolete, due in part to its limited accessibility to major roadways, which impacts the ability of industrial ventures to acquire raw materials and other supplies and to distribute their products.
Meagher stressed that an earlier, controversial proposal for a Transit Oriented District — which included the possibilty of building four-story apartment buildings — has been off the table for months. “We have moved on,” he said, “ ...and you see the results tonight.”
A commercial-recreational zone can include such things as a community theater, a fitness center, an indoor amusement center, an indoor sports facility or a learning center. It can house offices, facilities for personal-care services (barber shops, shoe repair, beauty salons, tailors, dry-cleaners), restaurants or banks.
The variances and restrictions are the same as they are for industrial zoning — for example, no principal building can be taller than 35 feet, and all parcels must have minimum front-yard setbacks of 10 feet, maintained as landscaped or natural areas.