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Glen Cove developer agrees to reduce height of one condo building

A rendering of the proposed Glen Cove project,

A rendering of the proposed Glen Cove project, titled The Villa, is seen here.

The developer who wants to build a 176-unit condo complex just outside downtown Glen Cove has agreed to drop the number of floors in the largest building from four to three.

Developer Dan Livingston said he is doing so to address the concerns of people who live on the hilltop above the site, but some residents remain adamantly opposed to the project.

The city planning commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. March 1. A vote may follow.

The project would displace 48 people — many of them low-income — who currently live in apartments on the 3.96-acre site. Several residents of the hilltop above say the project, called The Villa, would mar their views.

The project would include 160 market-rate units, along with 16 “affordable” condos for families with annual incomes up to $87,200, for a total of 176 units. The number of units would remain the same even with the reduction of the one floor.

Livingston, owner and president of Queens-based Livingston Development Corp., said the complex would not have blocked views, “but we did what we did to make it more palatable for people.”

The building closest to the hillside will now be three stories, and the other five will remain between two and four, Livingston said.

Mayor Reginald Spinello lauded Livingston’s move. He said he asked Livingston to consider residents’ concerns but said “it was really his initiative to do this.”

Livingston said he would bring a 3-D simulation of the project to the public hearing, to illustrate the sight lines if the project is built. Opponents of The Villa had previously decried the lack of a simulation, saying it was required under a 2009 city law.

Roni Epstein, who lives above the project site, said that even with one less floor in one building, “it’s still going to tower. It’s still going to be very high. It’s still going to block out the horizon.” She said it will transform her quiet neighborhood, bringing big-city-type noise, first from construction and later from condo residents.

Grace Slezak, who lives down the street from Epstein, said the complex would lower her property values, increase traffic, endanger children crossing streets near the condos and “change the character of the entire vicinity.”

Planning commission member John DiMascio, who is undecided on how to vote on the matter, said he and some other commission members want to hear Livingston respond to concerns about building height, traffic, noise and safety.

DiMascio said he wasn’t sure whether the planning commission’s approval would be the final approval needed for The Villa, referring the question to commission chairman Tom Scott and attorney John Chase, who did not return phone calls.

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