Zoning Changes Make Way For Apartments

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The Village of Westbury made zoning changes last week that will allow the potential for more apartments near Post Avenue.

At the Sept. 6 meeting of the village’s board of trustees the board approved an application to change the zoning of 213, 219 and 227 Butler St. from Residence C to Apartment A and 220 Maple Ave. from Business B-2 to Apartment A.

Frank Suppa brought the application to change the zoning of two properties he owned at 213 and 219 Butler St. from multi-family dwellings to apartments in June of last year. Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro said the board then added two other properties, at 227 Butler St. and 220 Maple Ave., the latter of which is currently a Verizon building, to the application. That would avoid 227 Butler St. from being landlocked between a current condominium and Suppa’s redeveloped piece of property, noted Cavallaro.

“Typically when a rezoning occurs it’s at the board’s initiative, not the request of the property owner,” said Cavallaro, adding that because the Verizon property was contiguous, the board decided to add it. “It’s a large commercial piece of property that could be redeveloped someday so we decided we should make a determination as to what the proper zoning should be given the uses around it and where it’s situated.”

However, during the public hearing, several area residents and businesses expressed concern over the lack of parking in the area.

Ellen Hurwitch, who lives on the corner of Butler and Tremont, said nearby apartments have caused severe parking issues.

“Cars are lined up on the street. There’s no place to park,” she said. “You’re going to change the variance and right now you have an issue of [people] not being able to park, so what happens then?”

“There’s been no change in the width of Butler Street, no change in the one-way portion of Butler Street, no change in the amount of cars there is room for on Butler Street. Why would the board even consider rezoning the property to allow more residences and individuals to live there?” asked resident Denise Parillo.

“Because the board may decide it’s consistent with the redevelopment efforts taking place in the village and particularly the area near Post Avenue,” answered Cavallaro. “And the board may be cognizant of the fact that property owners have rights and are entitled to develop their property in a way not inconsistent with the redevelopment and not inconsistent with the master plan the village put in place.”

Cavallaro noted that while the board would be accepting the zoning change, Suppa would still have to go before the zoning and planning board with his design. While the village board did see renderings and conceptual designs, with Suppa proposing 12 one-bedroom units with 15 parking spaces, the zoning and planning board would be tasked with approving details such as number of parking spots required, lighting, etc.

Marjay LLC and Custom Cable Corp. owner Jay Michelman said crowded parking had caused problems for trucks delivering to his Butler Street shop.

“My concern is whatever parking you folks allow on Suppa’s property, there is going to be guests of these people that live there and they’ll have a problem parking, so they’ll find parking on the street. If a truck comes and they can’t back up, they’re not going to wait,” Michelman said. “They’ll wait a few moments and then go. And when they go, they charge a redelivery charge and it delays the delivery. It’s going to seriously impact my business and the traffic flow on Butler Street.”

The board voted to approve the zoning changes. Suppa will now bring his application before the zoning and planning boards.

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Betsy Abraham is the former senior managing editor at Anton Media Group and editor of The Westbury Times and Massapequa Observer. She also wrote for Long Island Weekly.

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