Roslyn trustees approve Lumber Road plan

Rose Weldon
A proposed rendering of a building for 45 Lumber Road. (Image by DH Murrary Architecture, via the Village of Roslyn)

A four-story, 33-unit apartment building at 45 Lumber Road has been approved by the Village of Roslyn’s Board of Trustees.

In a decision issued outside of the board’s regular meetings and dated Oct. 21, the board said it would approve special permits and plans for the applicant 45 Lumber Road LLC to construct the building, which the plans said would measure a maximum of 58.7 feet tall.

Originally, the building had been said to be 12 stories and drew ire from residents and the Roslyn school district at a public hearing in September 2019. The school district continued to oppose the plans at subsequent public hearings on June 16, July 21 and Sept. 15.

The decision states that the applicants will reserve 20 percent of the apartments for affordable workforce housing; will contribute $10,000 per unit for each of the 33 apartments to the village; will construct 250 feet of waterfront walkway for public use; and will make numerous improvements, including building and insuring an easement to the intersection of Lumber Road and Old Northern Boulevard, among other things.

Citing the “successful” construction of townhouses in Roslyn Landing and a residential apartment building at 17 Lumber Road, board members said they “believe that the project that has now been proposed for 45 Lumber Road will continue the positive trend that was started by these two developments.”

Additionally, the board said it would be “remiss if [it] did not emphasize in this Decision that the provision of 20 percent of the units for affordable workforce housing was a substantial factor in our consideration of this application.”

The Roslyn school district’s opposition is also mentioned, specifically its arguments that the project would increase the number of school-age children attending the district, and that the project would negatively impact traffic in the area, with Roslyn High School a little over a mile away from the proposed site.

“Noticeably absent from the school district’s presentation was any empirical data from experts supporting any of their claims,” the decision reads. “In contrast, the applicant demonstrated through experts’ reports that the traffic impacts of this relatively small 33 unit apartment complex would be negligible, and that the perceived avalanche of school-aged children was completely without merit. Mulryan Engineering, P.C. concluded in its extensive traffic report that the ‘granting of this application will not have an adverse impact on the surrounding roadway network.'”

Figures from the applicant cited in the decision claimed that only three school-age children would be expected to reside in the complex.

“This board would be acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner were it to blindly accept the arguments of the school district which are categorically refuted by expert testimony,” the decision reads. “The school district had ample opportunity to submit expert reports to substantiate their claims, but chose not to do so. Instead, when queried about the expert reports that did not support their position, the school district fell back on the curious argument, ‘But what if those studies are wrong?'”

The decision goes on to say that the board accepted the findings of experts, “which are consistent with [the board’s] experiences in the Village of Roslyn.”

“Moreover, we do not think the goal of our school district should be to exclude children from our educational system,” the decision reads.

The board then said the project’s special permits, final site plan and architecture plans would be approved.

“[The project] will contribute to the vibrancy and the economic stability of the village’s downtown,” the decision reads. “The proposed project will not create a material conflict with the community’s current plans or goals. The location of the project provides convenient pedestrian access to downtown Roslyn. Importantly, the project will provide affordable workforce housing to the village of Roslyn.”

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Rose Weldon

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