Residents, school district denounce Lumber Road condo proposal

Rose Weldon
Architect John Winberry with a rendering of the condominiums proposed for 45 Lumber Road at a meeting in September. (Photo by Rose Weldon)

Village residents and the Roslyn school district spoke out against a proposed Lumber Road condo complex Tuesday at a meeting of Roslyn’s Board of Trustees.

A preliminary site plan review for a 72,876-square-foot, 12-story, 150-foot-high building consisting of 27 two-bedroom apartments at 45 Lumber Road, currently vacant, was presented at the meeting.

Architect John Winberry of the Long Island City-based firm DH Murray Architecture presented the initial plans, which would include vegetative “green” roofs to reduce energy costs and 60 parking spaces in an underground lot.

Members of the board took issue with the proposed structure exceeding the village code’s permitted height. While the permitted height under the code is 35 feet, the proposed structure would extend that number three to four times. Deputy Mayor Marshall Bernstein asked for the height range of the proposed structure in comparison with the permitted 35 feet.

“We are proposing, I’ll start from the lowest height, 96 feet to 150 feet at the top of the bulkhead,” Winberry said.

“Those are drastic differences, are they not?” Bernstein asked.

“Those are significant differences, yes,” Winberry said in response.

Trustee Craig Westergard called the proposal a “more modern type building,” and discussed the artist’s rendering presented at the meeting, which included the hillsides that bookend Roslyn.

“This rendition clearly reinforces that this building, I don’t know how else I can say it, looks out of place,” Westergard said. “This is a building you’d expect to see in Long Island City, or Brooklyn, or downtown. It’s not a building you’d expect to see in the suburbs.”

Trustee Marta Genovese voiced agreement with Westergard, but said she thought the building itself was “great-looking.”

The public comment segment of the hearing later resulted in denunciations from the 30-person audience.

Frances Radman, speaking on behalf of the Roslyn school district, said that the Board of Education had “significant concerns” about the project’s deviations from zoning regulations and possible exacerbation of traffic around Lumber Road.

“We respectfully submit that we would like to continue this public hearing to have the opportunity to hear from the public and members of the school community to discuss questions that the school district has,” Radman said.

East Hills resident Michael Kosinsky called the proposal “totally insensitive to the community at large.”

“You might as well have your icon of the clock tower changed to this thing,” Kosinsky said, gesturing to the artist’s rendering of the proposed condos. “It doesn’t belong here at all. I would respectfully request that this board, upon whatever decision it makes, ultimately craft that denial in a fashion that prevents anybody from attempting to come back with a building like this.”

The board agreed to continue hearings on the proposal and will next meet on Oct. 15.

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