Floral Park reserves decisions on public hearing for new Covert Avenue restaurant, Jericho Turnpike pharmacy renovation

Floral Park reserves decisions on public hearing for new Covert Avenue restaurant, Jericho Turnpike pharmacy renovation

The Floral Park Board of Trustees Tuesday night reserved decisions during two public hearings on a new restaurant applying for a special permit and a new pharmacy looking to add a cleanroom.

The board also held a moment of silence for former village employee Nancy McLoughlin, who died on Jan. 13 at 87 years old. 

The first hearing of the night was for a special use permit for American Bistro on 99 Covert Ave., the previous location of Sterling National Bank. 

This was the third meeting regarding a special permit at the location with the most recent being held in July last year. 

Applicant Michael McGuire, the previous owner of Trinity Restaurant in the village for 27 years, said the new changes between the last hearing and Tuesday night were primarily adding a pickup window on the side of the property, rearranging the floor plan and removing the bar as part of the site plan. 

Residents from Clayton Avenue, one of the two dead-end streets off Covert next to the property alongside Cunningham Avenue, raised concerns with the board about the potential influx of traffic and cars a new restaurant would bring. 

Concerns with the application also centered around the village’s enforcement to prevent patrons or delivery drivers from parking on the residential streets.

“We still have our concerns and we still feel that this is not a place for a restaurant,” said resident Helen Gateson. 

Gateson was one of six people who spoke to the board during the hour-long hearing, citing issues with safety and future congestion in the area.

Residents George Dertinger and Brad Thomas both expressed support for the proposal, saying McGuire will continue to be a great neighbor in the village and 

“McGuire and his team are upstanding citizens to Floral Park and have been so for 40 years,” Dertinger said. Thomas echoed Dertinger’s sentiments while adding the increase in tax revenue would be a benefit to the village. 

The second hearing of the night was for Experia Pharmacy at 100 Jericho Turnpike, which was looking to add a cleanroom to the building.

Owner Boris Natenzo, of Staten Island, said recent regulations have required the handling of medicinal products and other items to be conducted in a cleanroom, which will be built in the northwest corner of the property. 

Natenza said the room will be glass and aluminum, sterile and be equipped with high-efficiency particulate air filters, otherwise known as HEPA filters. 

The board reserved their decisions on both hearings to a later date and can vote on a decision at a future meeting.

McLoughlin and her husband, Tom, moved to Floral Park in 1971 and she began working for the village in 1976. She moved up to deputy village clerk in 1981 and served as village administrator for 10 years from 1989 to 1999.

Fitzgerald said he did not personally know or meet McLoughlin since he did not move to the village until after she retired but said by hearing from some of her former colleagues how much of an impact she had on the village. 

“She was very effective as the village administrator in all aspects and Floral Park is in a better place because of her,” Fitzgerald said at the top of the meeting. 

The next Floral Park Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 6. 

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