Roslyn trustees OK rezoning for Warner Avenue

Rose Weldon
The Roslyn Board of Trustees has approved a law to create a mixed-use transit oriented development district on Warner Avenue. (Photo by Rose Weldon)

The Village of Roslyn’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the rezoning of Warner Avenue to a transit-oriented mixed-use district in a Zoom meeting on Tuesday.

J.K. Equities, headed by Roslyn resident Jerry Karlik, had asked for a zoning change for 281-301 Warner Ave., which currently houses a strip mall of empty storefronts and was zoned for commercial use only.  The company plans to submit an application for a transit-oriented mixed-use development on the space, comprising one floor of retail and three floors of 60 residential apartments.

Just before the board voted to pass the rezoning in a law, Mayor John Durkin reminded the 52 guests gathered that the issue at stake was not an application to build, but a law meant to rezone.

“This is not an application for any particular project whatsoever, but it is application for changing the code of the village,” Durkin said.  “So, we don’t really know what the building will look like. Given the new parameters we’ve established we think it will be a better looking building more compatible with the neighborhood and safer for anyone.”

Trustee Sarah Oral, a resident of the Roslyn Gardens building near the zone, said in her comments that no developments were going to “happen overnight.”

“As a traffic engineer and an urban planner, a transit-oriented development, in my opinion, is the appropriate use for the property there,” Oral said. “The reason we were even considering doing a rezoning here is because the two properties within the zone are currently zoned for downtown commercial, and it’s not located within our downtown. So the current zoning was not consistent even with the uses on site. The reason we wanted to direct this change of zone to those two properties is because those are the two that are zoned inconsistently with the actual uses on site and what would be best in the site.”

Trustee Craig Westergard said that he supported the not-yet-formally-proposed project.

“I’ve seen many applications for this area come before several boards,” Westergard said. “And they’ve all failed. I’ve always been hopeful that someone would come in and try to restore the building. It has some historic significance as that kind of a center but it’s just, it’s not going to work. We’re not going to get anybody that’s interested in this old wood frame and masonry building.

“The board has spent many months reviewing this application, and we feel that the direction that the applicant is going in is a very good direction. We feel that we’re going to get a good end result of the project here. So I feel that this is the appropriate action for the board to be taken. I think we’re going to get a very, very handsome building out of this developer. I’m for the project.”

The law’s text states that the purpose of the new zoning would be “to encourage development that takes advantage of its proximity to the Long Island Railroad’s Roslyn station and provides for a mix of uses appropriate for its unique location.”

Permitted principal uses listed in the proposed law include residential apartments; convenience and “specialty retail” establishments; service retail establishments like barbershops, beauty parlors, nail salons, dry cleaning pickup establishments, laundries, copy establishments, tailors, household and electronic repair establishments, health clubs, gyms, and travel agencies; food establishments excluding drive-in or drive-thru; banks, financial institutions, insurance agencies and real estate offices; and professional and medical offices.

Any bonuses for any applications to build in the area will be determined by the board  during later public meetings.

The Village of Roslyn’s Board of Trustees is next scheduled to meet on Tuesday, Dec. 15. No Zoom information has yet been announced.

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