Self-Storage Building Proposed

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The vacant building on 71 Jane Street in Roslyn Heights. (Photo by Caroline Ryan)

A new self-storage facility in Roslyn Heights was proposed at the Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting on June 19.

The building located at 71 Jane St., formerly Tiffen Manufacturing, has been vacant for many years. Before any improvements to the site can be made, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will need to perform a Brownfield Cleanup, since the inside and surrounding area of the building is contaminated with soil vapor.

According to the DEC website, “Brownfield sites are any real property where a contaminant is present at levels exceeding the soil cleanup objectives.” According to the New York State Department of Health, “Soil vapor intrusion refers to the process by which volatile chemicals move from a subsurface source into the indoor air of overlying buildings.” The cost of cleanup is said to range from 1 to 1.5 million dollars.

Pending approval, the existing building will be knocked down and replaced with a smaller four-story, 47-foot building, which would house the self-storage facility. According to the developers, the storage facility will have minimal traffic and low intensity use, making it the ideal business in a mixed-use residential and industrial area. Improvements to the lot would include a landscape buffer along the residential area, increasing landscaping on the property by 400 percent. Of the 31 available parking spaces for the storage facility, a maximum average of 17 cars could be in the lot at a single time. The building will have approximately 690 storage units. The outside of the property will have one exit on Donald Street and one entrance on Jane Street, with the proposed hours of operation from Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and office hours from Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A rendering of what the proposed storage facility will look like upon completion. (Photo courtesy of Blumenfeld Development Group)

During the meeting, residents were given a booklet with information about the storage facility, also included were two letters in support of the facility. “We recognize that the redevelopment will bring various benefits to the residents of the community by cleaning up a blighted and vacant site, adding additional green landscaping and securing the property,” wrote executive director of the North Hempstead Housing Authority, Sean Rainey.

“Blumenfeld Development Group and Hampshire Companies have demonstrated that they intend and are willing to work with the surrounding community by meeting with me and the residents of Laurel Homes to explain the new project and answer questions.”

The Roslyn Plaza Housing Associates L.P. owns the Roslyn Plaza Gardens community located near 71 Jane St. Managing member, Robert Pascucci stated that they were made aware of the redevelopment and had no objections to the granting of variances requested in the application. “We support the proposal for the redevelopment of the property,” the letter stated.

A letter from Breslin Appraisal Company was also passed around for residents to view during the meeting. “It is my opinion that the approval for the zoning relief sought for this redevelopment project will not have any adverse impacts on the surrounding real property values, not alter the pattern of development, will provide a use that is necessary for the residents of the town and will not affect the uses of the surrounding properties,” John Breslin Jr. stated in the letter.

Residents however, were in opposition to the proposed facility, stating they were concerned about the increased traffic on Jane and Donald Streets. One Roslyn Heights resident, who lives a block from the proposed facility is against granting the variances to Roslyn self-storage based on the “safety [of the] families and children in the neighborhood.”

The park on Donald Street is located right next to the proposed facility. Residents worry increased traffic pulling out of the parking lot could be dangerous for children who may be playing at the park or walking around the area.

Members of the BZA attentively listened to each resident’s concern. A decision has not yet been made regarding variances for the proposed facility.

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