The Roslyn Board of Trustees held a virtual board meeting on July 21 to hear the revised site plans for the proposed apartment buildings located at 45 Lumber Rd. The applicant is seeking to construct a 89,714 square foot, 58.7 foot high, four-story apartment building consisting of 33 two-bedroom apartments. The current village code only allows for 27 apartments for this type of building structure.
The applicant appeared before the board in September 2019 with an initial application, which consisted of a 12-story, 150-foot high building consisting of 27 two-bedroom condominiums. After the public hearing was held, many residents as well as the board had concerns regarding the project, including the height of the building. Since that meeting, the applicant has made a number of revisions, which were reflected in the revised plans during the July meeting.
Mayor John Durkin stated that while he was “overall in favor of the application,” he did have some concerns and suggestions for how the project could be improved.
“The amenities proposed by the applicant are welcome,” Durkin said. “I think that overall it’s a good project. The building is very attractive and is in keeping with the post-industrial look that is on 17 Lumber. I think that this is going to be a very nice addition to the neighborhood.”
Durkin stated that he would like to see a mix of one and two bedroom apartments included in the unit. He also touched upon the possibility this project would cause an increase in traffic, which was a topic largely discussed during the meeting last September.
Deputy Mayor Marshall Bernstein brought up concerns regarding how the village would handle the additional effluent that would be added and whether or not there would be sufficient capacity at the Roslyn Water District’s pumping station to handle this project.
“This is of vital importance because some of you may remember all of the issues the village had a couple of decades ago with providing sufficient capacity in that pumping station and issues that arose from that,” Bernstein said. “It’s very important that we know that there is sufficient capacity in the pumping station to deal with that effluent.”
“We’ve submitted a request to the Roslyn Water District for a letter stating that there is adequate capacity to accept the new proposal for this project,” the applicant stated. When that information becomes available, the applicant stated that they will make the documentation available to the board.
Trustee Marta Genovese brought up some of the same concerns she had during the last public hearing, which was how cars would safely turn off of Lumber Road onto Northern Blvd, given that it’s an already difficult intersection.
Sarah Oral, a traffic engineer, reiterated Genovese’s concerns and suggested that the applicant conduct an auto turn analysis so they can properly understand how trucks maneuver in and out of Lumber Road. Oral also suggested implementing a “no left turn” sign during certain hours to prevent drivers from making a left turn during AM and PM peak hours. She also reiterated Mayor Durkin’s comment about allowing for the building to include one and two-bedroom apartments.
“If think if they are all two-bedroom units, I am not really comfortable with that, Oral said. “I really think it should be a mix of ones and twos. When you want a vibrant downtown, you want a mix of different residences.”
Trustee Craig Westergard, an architect, stated that he was in support of the project but brought up some concerns regarding the overall aesthetics of the building.
“I was looking at the current design and the original design that was submitted sometime ago,” Westergard said. It’s ironic to me that the current design of the building is similar to the original design that we looked at.”
Westergard stated that he thought that the aesthetics of the proposed site looked too similar to an office building.
“I think there would be an improvement in the aesthetics if as in some of the former designs the building could step from one story to the next,” Westergard said. “My feeling always was that 17 Lumber Rd. that we talked about tonight, it’s really about the tallest it should be on that road. I will be hopeful that the applicant could modify the design. Overall, I’m in favor of the concept, it’s certainly going to be an improvement over what was there and what’s there now.”
The board was then opened up to public comment. Attorney Carrie Anne Tondo from the Hauppauge-based Ingerman Smith LLP spoke on behalf of the Roslyn School District.
“I would like to remind the members of the board that the district does support the notion of responsibility when planning for the future of the community,” Tondo said. “And while it’s not generally opposed to redevelopment and renovations that serve to benefit the collective constituencies of the village and the districts, multiple developments in a short period of time do have the potential to place strain on infrastructure.”
Tondo urged the board to take into consideration the ways in which this project could potentially affect the village, especially given the current COVID-19 pandemic and its difficulties that school districts face at the present time.
“This proposed project does potentially, individually and collectively with other projects have the potential to impact the school system, roads, water supply and emergency services. We ask that these impacts be taken into consideration. The [school] district is in the midst of undertaking a study to determine the impact of the development on the school system. According to the district’s consultant, the preliminary analysis that is undertaken relative to this project will yield 16 school aged students and that’s based upon factors of analysis in the context as it applies to the school district.”
The board voted to review and study “in fine detail” the application and moved to discuss it at their next meeting. The Village of Roslyn will hold their next Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. via Zoom.