The Mineola Village Board will hold a third public hearing to address the proposed 296-unit Village Green apartment complex by New Hyde Park-based Lalezarian Developers next Wednesday, Feb. 11. Whether more hearings are planned is unknown at this time.
“It’s good to see the residents come out,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “We live here. We know what goes on and have an idea of the sentiment of the village. I think it’s important to have as many residents come out to these meetings so developers and applicants hear what the residents want.”
More than 120 concerned residents and officials attended the last hearing on Jan. 14. The cavalcade of attendees filled the seven-row Village Hall and lined the walls leading out into the hallway.
The project has sparked staunch opposition from residents and school officials, arguing schools would be overburdened and roads would become congested.
“We haven’t gotten reports back from the consultant that we hired,” Strauss said. “We’re not making a decision unless we have all the information that we need.”
A study done by Hauppauge-based VHB Engineers recently suggested nine school-aged children would be added to the Mineola School District should the project go forward. A previous study revealed that 37 students would have surfaced if it were built.
Residents at the previous meeting called for an independent traffic study to contrast VHB’s. The Suffolk County firm was hired by Lalezarian to handle the study.
“By letting the two new apartment buildings on Old Country Road be built, we’ve opened the floodgates to urban blight,” Kathie Novak of Garfield Avenue said at the last hearing. “Mineola is quickly becoming a city. The Village Green would create a negative impact on our quality of life in the form of traffic, less commuter spots, increased school taxes as well as overburdening the library, fire services and pool.”
Supporters of the project pointed to the influx of shopping and nighttime life the complex would bring to Mineola’s downtown.
“So far, of our residents [at Birchwood Court], nobody has called to my attention any objection to this building,” said resident Russel Sutherland, president of the Birchwood Court Homeowners Association.
Village Green Developer Kevin Lalezarian did not speak at the last hearing. Kevin Walsh, Lalezarian’s legal counsel, feels the rising 275-unit Mineola Modera and 36-unit senior development Hudson House near the Nassau County Courthouse, along with Lalezarian’s rising 315-unit apartment building south of the Mineola Long Island Rail Road Station would serve the Village Green’s vision once complete.
“I would ask you to note that the three new buildings, they jump out a little bit at you because they’re not complete yet,” he said. “I think once they’re done, it’ll support the concept.”
The $80-$100 million proposed building would consist of 132 one-bedroom and 164 two-bedroom units as well as restaurant and retail space. The dwelling is in line to replace the Citibank at the site, which would move to Third Avenue. The planned horseshoe-shaped building would also house a village courtyard.