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Village of Rockville Centre tables vote to re-zone land parcel on Long Beach Road

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The Rockville Centre Village Board of Trustees has tabled a vote to re-zone a parcel of land on the corner of Long Beach Road and Kennedy Avenue after community opposition at the board’s Oct. 7 meeting.

The village had proposed to re-zone the land vacated by Schenone Nursery and Florist from Residential A to Business A-1 district. The florist operates on the land under “legal non-conforming use,” according to Village Attorney A. Thomas Levin.

The Schenone’s have signed a contract to sell the land to a new owner who will run a plumbing business out of the property if the land is re-zoned.

Local law 1804B, which is the third version to propose the re-zoning, states that the board had a study done by its planning consultant, who “has recommended that this property be re-zoned as provided herein.” In addition, the Nassau County Planning Commission approved the re-zoning and permitted the board to act as they see fit.

However, several residents who live nearby opposed the re-zoning at the past two village board meetings, as well as in the past two years when major re-zonings of the area took place. They shared their concerns, including possible future uses of the property if the land would be considered Business A-1 indefinitely, as well as traffic and character of the neighborhood.

“What we’d like to do to keep it uniform and have more control over the process,” Trustee Emilio Grillo responded to one resident, “is to have the uniformity in our zoning and compel the possessor of that property to basically conform to the mandate of our law.”

Trustee Mike Sepe also noted that the board “doesn’t legislate around one owner or project.”

Then, the Board of Trustees closed the public hearing.

However, Grillo suggested that the board vote at a later date once they had time to consider the breadth of residents’ concerns.

“We’ve heard some good commentary and suggestions from residents in immediate the area,” Grillo said. “I think it’s in the community’s best interest that we consult with one another and choose to vote on this at another meeting down the road.”

The motion to postpone the vote carried. The vote was tabled to “a date upon proper notice to all the residents.”

“It was my understanding of talking to some neighbors, not all of you, that this possibly was the best solution for the area,” Mayor Francis Murray said. “We’ll talk more about it, talk to the neighbors some more and to the owner, as well.”

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Schenone Nursery and Florist was no longer on Long Beach Road. The nursery is still in business, and if the land is sold, will still operate out of that property.

In addition, the property has not yet been sold. The Schenone’s have signed a contract to sell the land to a new owner who will run a plumbing business out of the property if the land is re-zoned.