The Glen Cove City Council has unanimously rejected an application from a California company to convert a three-story house into a residence for people with eating disorders.
The move sets up a potential battle between the city and the company, Malibu-based Monte Nido & Affiliates. Monte Nido asserts that the residence on St. Andrews Lane is covered under the state Padavan law that limits a municipality’s ability to prohibit some types of group homes.
Monte Nido’s chief development officer, Jennifer Gallagher, said “we are very committed to that site” but that company officials need to analyze the city’s Tuesday decision before deciding whether to appeal it to the state Office of Mental Health. The state can require Glen Cove to allow the residence, although the city could go to court to appeal.
Mayor Timothy Tenke said after the meeting Tuesday that “Glen Cove is a very, very accepting city” but that the group home “doesn’t seem like it would fit in with that neighborhood.”
The resolution the council approved says the residence “would result in such a concentration of similar community residential facilities that the nature and character of the area would be substantially altered.”
Monte Nido attorney Kathleen Deegan Dickson said there are no licensed group homes within a half mile of the property.
The resolution also proposes two alternate locations in the city. The Padavan law allows municipalities to reject a location if there is an alternative the applicant accepts.
Monte Nido had looked into one of the homes but it is not available, Deegan Dickson said. A Zillow listing says it is “off market.” The other home, which county records list as 2,336 square feet, is far too small for the 14-bed facility Monte Nido is planning, Deegan Dickson said.
A third home that many community residents have proposed as an alternate site is not for sale, said Kevin Beiner, senior vice president and regional executive director for Northwell Health, which owns the house. It is across the street from Northwell’s Glen Cove Hospital.
Gigi Ferrante, who lives near the St. Andrews Lane location and said it is inappropriate for a residential neighborhood, said she is “very happy the council reflected the sentiments of the citizens of the city of Glen Cove. It’s not about the mission of the residence, which we support. It’s about the location.”
Gallagher said a residence for people with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa is desperately needed on the Island. The only adult residential facility in the state is in Westchester County, so Long Islanders with eating disorders often must leave the area for residential treatment, she said.
“We’re not giving up,” Gallagher said.