Mineola board set to vote on business districts Wednesday

Mineola board set to vote on business districts Wednesday
Paul Grygiel speaks to the Mineola Board of Trustees in September on potential business overlay districts. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

The Mineola Board of Trustees will consider Wednesday six local laws that add an overlay district on part of Jericho Turnpike and downtown intended to give greater flexibility for development. 

As presented, the overlay district would allow future development to combine residential units above retail stores and exceed the maximum height of 25 feet but not go above 40 feet. 

Mayor Paul Pereira, who was elected earlier this year, said one of his main goals was to revisit Mineola’s master plan during a public hearing in November. 

“The current master plan was completed in 2005 and has served our village well and provided a crucial guide to the revitalization of our village, and in particular our downtown. That said, a lot has changed over the last 17 years,” Pereira previously said. “When I took office this past April, one of my first objectives was to revisit our village’s master plan to determine whether it was still serving the needs of the village and was consistent with trends in our economy.”

On Sept. 21, Mineola’s Board of Trustees listened to a presentation by Paul Grygiel, a city planning and development consultant with experience in the village, on creating an overlay district on the strip of Jericho between Willis Avenue and Marcellus Road and on Main Street, First Street and Second Street between Mineola Boulevard and Willis.

Grygiel said the master plan labeled the Jericho Turnpike area as an appropriate place for pedestrian-oriented development. Those, he said, included mixed-used buildings, a conference space, hotel or movie theater, among other possibilities. 

Grygiel said the focus for the Main Street area was to preserve and enhance a traditional downtown area. He said current zoning only permits two-story buildings and allowing for a third could promote development.

The first law being considered amends the current zoning districts to include two new ones, the Jericho Turnpike Overlay District and the Historic Overlay District. 

The second law amends the village’s definitions section of its zoning code to define “assisted living residence,” “event/conference space” and “hotel.” Each of those three developments was listed by Grygiel in September as possible additions to the Jericho district. 

The third local law being considered creates a parking trust fund for the two new districts. 

For additional residential units to be developed, current regulations would require parking spaces to be put in place, but a potential remedy would be a payment in lieu of parking that would set funds aside for specific parking developments in the village. 

The fourth law is renumbering the existing Downtown Overlay District and moving it to its own dedicated section in the village code. 

The fifth and sixth local laws would create the Jericho Turnpike Overlay District and Historic Overlay District. 

If the overlay districts are created, all potential redevelopments would have to be brought to the board for a public hearing.

Pereira said at previous board meetings the districts would allow the village to consider more options that exist outside of the current parameters in the code.

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