Mineola trustees to hear proposal on adding overlay districts to commercial areas

Mineola trustees to hear proposal on adding overlay districts to commercial areas
Mineola Mayor Paul Pereira speaks to members of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night at the Morgan Parc complex. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

Mineola Mayor Paul Pereira said in a state of the village speech Tuesday night that the board of trustees will be hearing a presentation Wednesday night to consider reimagining different parts of the village. 

“We are just gathering information and the genesis of this is to consider reimagining our commercial areas since retail has changed significantly in recent years,” Pereira said during the Mineola Chamber of Commerce’s September at the Morgan Parc complex. “We have to reimagine what the future of retail is like on Jericho Turnpike and downtown.

Specifically, the board will hear a presentation 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

Overlay zones create special zoning districts on previously established districts that can allow for additional criteria. 

An overlay zone, as presented, would allow future development to be residential-only and exceed the maximum height of 25 feet but not go above 40 feet. 

Pereira said there is no vote taking place. The board of trustees, he said, is just gathering information. 

“If businesses don’t survive down here in the traditional sense, what are we going to do,” Pereira said. “What I think we can’t do is nothing.”

Tuesday was the first state of the village speech given by Pereira, who was elected in March following former Mayor Scott Strauss’s decision not to run for re-election.

Pereira was first elected to the board in 2008 and also served as deputy mayor under Strauss. Upon his election, Pereira said there has been a learning curve with the added responsibility but could not be happier being mayor of the village he calls “a slice of heaven.”

“I knew before my election the commitment would be a big one but I don’t regret it one bit,” Pereira said. “It has been great.” 

He provided attendees updates on the village in regards to its improving infrastructure and facilities. 

Pereira said the village hopes the new fire department headquarters will be finished by the end of the year after two years of construction.

On Westbury Avenue, the village’s new water administration building opened in May and Pereira said the state-of-the-art building was constructed following the demolition of the previous headquarters on Elm Place, which was over a century old, in order to conduct work on well No. 1.

Pereira said the building was built to resemble a residential home to blend in with the surrounding area and that the village can reach up to five million gallons of water used a day in the summer. 

Renovations at Wilson Park were also completed in August and feature new pickleball, basketball, gaga ball and tennis courts.

“Two years ago I didn’t know what pickleball was, now I think it’s all I hear about,” Pereira joked. “The park looks great, residents love it and that’s what I love to see because that’s what they pay for and it should be used as often as it can be.”

Pereira finished by saying if any residents need any questions answered to please come directly to village hall for the best possible information and if the village doesn’t have an answer right away he will make sure they will get back on all inquiries. 

“Anyone that calls me at village hall I call them back. If you have an issue, please bring it to my attention,” Pereira said. “Problems are solved when we have conversations and we have dialogue.”

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