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Glen Cove ends fight against eating disorders residence

A residence on St. Andrews Lane in Glen

A residence on St. Andrews Lane in Glen Cove could start taking clients with eating disorders by the spring. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Glen Cove will not appeal a state judge’s ruling barring the city’s attempt to stop a residence for people with eating disorders from opening across from the Nassau Country Club, City Attorney Charles McQuair said.

“In my opinion, the chances of success on appeal are probably less than one percent,” McQuair said at a Tuesday night city council meeting.

Miami-based Monte Nido & Affiliates plans to convert a three-story private home on St. Andrews Lane into a 14-bed residence for people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia and other disorders.

Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Anthony L. Parga last month upheld a May decision by state Office of Mental Health Commissioner Ann Marie T. Sullivan allowing the residence.

Sullivan's ruling cited the state Padavan law, which limits a municipality's power to prohibit some types of group homes.

McQuair said he researched court decisions and “I cannot find one case where a municipality prevailed in a Padavan proceeding.”

The council, which in May unanimously voted to challenge Sullivan’s decision in court, discussed the case last week in executive session and “we were all aboard” with not appealing because of the minuscule chance of winning, said Councilman Joseph Capobianco.

The residence will be the state’s second, after a Monte Nido facility in Irvington, Westchester County, that opened in 2014.

Samantha Farber, 24, originally from Woodmere and now living in Manhattan, said her treatment there in 2017 for anorexia and orthorexia nervosa “helped me save my own life.” “Long Island absolutely needs this,” she said.

Monte Nido will renovate the home over the next several months and hopes to begin accepting clients in the spring, said Jennifer Gallagher, chief development officer for Monte Nido.

The state mental health office will inspect the residence after renovations before deciding whether to grant a license, spokesman James Plastiras said.

Nancy Toher Hawkins, whose in-laws live next to the home, said she was “very disappointed” the city wouldn’t appeal. Even if no municipality has yet prevailed in a Padavan case “maybe we’ll be the first,” she said.

Hawkins and others say the residence — and the 10 to 12 additional parking spaces planned for the 1.26-acre property — would be out of character in a mostly residential neighborhood. She said Sullivan’s description of the area as a “commercial corridor” showed the decision was flawed.

Gallagher said the house will blend in with the neighborhood. The parking spaces will be “heavily screened,” and no exterior changes to the house will be made, she said.

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