The developer whose plan to build nine single-bedroom apartments on Hoffman Avenue was rejected by the Valley Stream Board of Zoning and Appeals in May instead plans to construct a building with six two-bedroom apartments, which complies with village code.
The property, which touches Benedict Avenue and North Central Avenue, would be divided into three parcels: one for the apartments and two more that would each contain a 2 ½-story home with a two-car driveway. A variance is still being sought for the two colonial homes, which would be built on two 40-by-100-feet lots. No further action is required for the developer to move ahead with the apartment plans.
“After we get a decision on the two houses, we’re thinking of building what’s permitted there, which would be six two-bedroom units,” said Dominick Minerva, the developer’s attorney, who added that a few minor setback variances might be needed for the new plans, but no parking exceptions were needed.
The board debated the impact of nine bedrooms as opposed to 12 bedrooms for several sessions after the developer’s first presentation on May 3.
“Based on what we heard from the neighbors, and I know we give that a certain amount of weight, they thought nine one-bedroom [apartments] was the end of the world … As of right now they can do six two-bedrooms,” said board member Ed DeLucie. “So how many more people are going to come in with six two-bedrooms? The nightmare scenario seems to be worse to me with six two’s rather than nine one’s.”
Feedback from The Nassau County Planning Commission suggested that the nine single-bedroom proposal represented an “over-intensification of development” in the area and, if approved, could “establish a precedent for approving other non-compliant multi-family project[s] along this stretch of North Central Avenue.” The commission did not mention the two colonial homes in its feedback.
To persuade the board that the 40-by-100-feet lots were in line with the character of the neighborhood (the village code requires at least 50-by-100-feet lots), Minerva compiled a list of several other properties in the area that have been granted the exception. Board member Salvatore Pizzolo said that he didn’t recall such variances being granted.
“I haven’t seen any come before this board, at least while I’ve been here,” he said.
The board agreed to adjourn their decision about the two colonial homes until July 19, allowing Minerva more time to submit evidence of similar cases.
“The board has historically granted those variances,” Minerva said. “Even if it’s not the current board, I’m saying there is a precedent over the years — and I have decisions going all the way back to the ‘80s — the board has granted these variances.”