Homeowners who live near the Glen Cove Mansion hotel are fighting the owner’s plan to build 40 luxury homes on nearly 23 acres behind the lodging and conference center.
Dozens turned out to protest the proposal at a Feb. 6 Glen Cove planning board public hearing. The hearing will continue at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. Board chairman Thomas Scott said a vote may be taken afterward.
Wei Wang of Great Neck, who bought the 54.5-acre mansion property in 2014, wants to build the 40 semidetached homes, each 2,700 to 3,000 square feet, in an area off Lattingtown Road now covered mostly by trees and grass.
“It’s our expectation that this community, this new community, is going to be a real credit to the area,” Wang attorney Kathleen Deegan Dickson said, provoking a wave of “no’s” from many of the roughly 75 people in the audience. “They are luxury homes with elevators, two-car garages and price points of a million dollars plus.”
Deegan said the brick homes with tall columns framing the entranceways were designed to evoke the Georgian-style, 108-year-old Glen Cove Mansion. Setbacks and extensive landscaping buffer the development — including the 2,600-square-foot clubhouse and pool — from existing homes, she said.
Deegan Dickson recalled how the City Council in 2013 approved a zoning change to allow the development of 40 homes to save Glen Cove Mansion, which was at risk of being demolished.
Wang said after the meeting that profits from the development would be “put into the mansion, to try to preserve it, to upgrade it” and add to renovations he’s already undertaken.
“We spent a lot of money on the mansion,” he said. “We should have some kind of return.”
Paula Scappatura, who lives near the site, bemoaned how “we’re destroying what’s left of the Gold Coast, the last green areas.”
She pointed to how a truck parked next to the Long Meadow pump station near her home pumps out sewage and said, “If the system can’t handle what is already in place, I have to question how the system’s going to handle another 40 homes plus their guests, plus a clubhouse.”
The Nassau County Department of Public Works released a statement that “the County sanitary sewer collection system has sufficient capacity for the anticipated discharge” from the new homes and that the truck pumps out storm water and diluted sewage only when there’s heavy rain or other unusual water flows.
“The issue is not with the sewer system in that part of Glen Cove, the issue is with the pump station,” the statement says.
Tom Dixon, an engineer with Melville-based Nelson & Pope who was hired by Wang, said the development would not use the Long Meadow pump station.