By Ann Marie Fruhauf
Mayor Elaine Phillips informally presented the 2016-17 tentative Flower Hill Budget at the March 7 Village Board meeting, announcing that the village tax rate is anticipated to decrease by 1.05 percent. Revenues for the current year increased 2.43% and are expected to remain strong in the upcoming year allowing for the reduction in the taxable rate. The revenue increase is driven primarily by permit fees as new construction and renovations in the village have spiked over the past few years. Other budget highlights include a transfer of approximately $139,000 into capital reserve due to delayed road projects and an additional $100,000 slated for improvements at Flower Hill Park. A special meeting formally presenting the proposed budget will be held later this month.
Two public hearings were also held concerning 1023 and 1045 Northern Blvd. 1023 Northern Blvd. is the site of the old Landmark Diner and the trustees heard further testimony from Charles Panetta, an engineer with the firm Bladykas and Panetta of Oyster Bay. The hearing was a continuation of the Feb. 18 hearing to consider a proposed two-story retail location which will house the furniture store Roche Bobois. The applicant appeared before the Village Zoning Board mid-February, where final approval of the plans was withheld pending approval from the Nassau County Planning Commission. Panetta stated that the approval letter was issued Feb. 29 after the BZA meeting. “The Zoning Board could not take action until they heard from Nassau County,” said Panetta, requesting that the board consider approving the application subject to Zoning Board final approval. After a lengthy discussion about traffic, landscaping, setbacks and sidewalks, the board agreed and unanimously approved with the condition of Zoning Board approval.
After closing the public hearing on 1023 Northern Blvd., a second public hearing commenced to consider a site plan for 1045 Northern Blvd. Formerly a car rental facility next to Limani Restaurant, the proposed development would be for a two-story 11,691-square foot building to house Yoga Works, a yoga studio and spa on the second floor with retail space at street level, including parking for 51 vehicles, which exceeds the required 38 spaces. Anthony Guardino, Esq., a land use and zoning attorney with Farrell Fritz P.C. made the initial presentation, followed by architect Larry Rosenbloom. The board voted to continue the hearing at a later date pending the applicant’s appearance before the Zoning Board on March 16.