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Fewer rental units planned for Villa project

Planning Board to consider Villa project

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Livingston Development Corp.’s proposed Villa project, practically at the entrance to the City of Glen Cove at Glen Cove Avenue, remains in flux. In March, the developer sought approval by the Glen Cove Planning Board to change the project from 176 condominiums to 216 rental units. Then, in June, the developer again sought a change, reducing the size of the project to 176 rentals.

 At a July 7 meeting, the Planning Board’s consultant, Max Stach, gave Daniel Livingston, president of Livingston Development Corp., and his attorney, Kathleen Deegan Dickson, his points of concern, such as a need for an updated traffic study, so the company can prepare for its next Planning Board presentation on July 21. Livingston said he believed the board would be pleased with the adjustments the company is making to the project.

Planning Board Chairman John DiMascio said members must review Livingston Development’s traffic and environmental studies. “Then, after everything is done in the best way we can,” he said, “we’ll send it out for public hearing.” Only then, DiMascio added, would the board vote on the project.

Plans for the Villa call for three- to four-story rental complexes, with an indoor pool, yoga and massage rooms, a shuttle service, community center, business center, golf simulator, housekeeping and pet care service.

An additional .58 acres of land was also recently purchased to provide additional amenities. Livingston said there would be no major building there. Instead, the land would be designated for a picnic area and bocce ball court.

He added that the Villa would have underground parking and two decorative fountains, and would be landscaped. “My project is in the gateway of the Glen Cove Avenue entrance,” Livingston said. “This development is going to be a whole new vista into Glen Cove.”

“I’m absolutely convinced that people will be so happy and pleased once this project is completed. But unfortunately, there are some people who have been perpetuating misinformation,” Livingston said. “I just hope people will hear the truths and the facts and not get swayed by a few people that have their own agenda.”

Glen Cove City Council members have mixed feelings about the new proposal.

Councilman Rocco Totino, a former Zoning Board member, said he does have his reservations about the project. “That area of Glen Cove has been an eyesore,” Totino said. “It’s one of the entrances into Glen Cove, and to have that there for such a significant period of time, it hurts us as a city in many ways. I would like something to go there. I think it needs to be something that’s reasonable, as well as thought out.”

Totino said he believes in smart growth throughout the city, adding that while the growth is needed, the city should make sure that new projects in Glen Cove will benefit the public.

Councilwoman Marsha Silverman recently abstained from voting on the project. Livingston representatives had accused her of being biased toward it because she lives on Rooney Court, adjacent to the proposed Villa project property. An $11.3 million defamation lawsuit filed by Livingston in November 2017 against Silverman and her wife, Roni Epstein, was dismissed in January 2019.

Silverman agues that building part of the development on a land parcel acquired from the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club in 2007 would violate City Code Section 245-4(A)(2), which prohibits building on the property.

Livingston said that what has been approved is in accordance with the law and his attorneys argued that that the 2007 transfer does not prohibit development of said lot. However, the issue was raised during the Planning Board meeting and it is under consideration by the board.

Silverman added that Glen Cove residents have told her they are concerned with an increase in traffic, use of the city water supply and police and fire department and school resources.

The Planning Board would determine the merit of the issues raised.