Town to hear Barnes & Noble demolition plan

Adedamola Agboola

The Town of North Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeal will consider a proposal to demolish the Barnes & Noble on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset and replace it with a multi-tenant office building on June 29.

The owner of the building, C & B Realty, was scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board on April 6, but the hearing was postponed at the owner’s request, according to town spokesperson Carole Trottere.

“The meeting was postponed to next month,” a C & B Realty representative said. “We don’t have any more comments besides that the meeting was postponed.”

The town and the Nassau County Planning Commission recently rejected the owner’s plan for a multi-tenant building with retail on the first floor and medical offices on the second floor.

The town cited violations of three zoning requirements related to parking. C & B Realty proposed 89 parking spaces, but town code calls for 165. The town code also requires parking spaces to be 10 feet by 20 feet based on the proposed uses but the company proposed spaces that would be 9 feet by 18 feet.

The Nassau County Planning Commission also denied the company a request for permits, pending information on how the building alterations and parking variances were going to affect traffic on Northern Boulevard, which is a county road.

Barnes & Noble officials declined to comment about the possibility of leaving Manhasset, but Barnes and Noble CEO Ron Boire said on Twitter that the book seller had no immediate plans to leave.

“Barnes and Noble is not leaving town. We are here through 2017 and working to stay longer. We can’t predict the future, but we want to stay in your community,” Boire said in an April 14 tweet.

The Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations has been a vocal opposition against C & B Realty’s plans.

Susan Auriemma, secretary of the civic association, recently sent an email to Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello to express the organizations concerns.

“With valet parking, I believe that this use will far exceed the site’s capacity,”  Auriemma wrote of the building owner’s plans. “Furthermore, it is difficult at this point to make a left from the exit of that building,” .

She said with increased traffic, exiting the parking lot will become increasingly difficult.

If the town’s board of zoning appeals grants variances for the project, the developers must seek approval from the county before proceeding with a request to the town board for site plan review.

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