Jericho residents who live near a proposed three-story hotel across from the Milleridge Inn say it would clog their streets with parked cars and traffic and invade some homeowners' privacy.
The Oyster Bay Town Board is expected to postpone a hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday for the 93-room hotel in response to residents' complaints.
New Hyde Park-based Kimco Realty is seeking a special use permit to allow it to build a three-story Marriott Residence Inn while providing 552 fewer parking spaces than the 2,128 required under the town zoning code to serve the proposed hotel and existing restaurant, office and retail bank and catering hall.
Last year the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency approved tax exemptions of more than $1 million for construction materials, and equipment and mortgage recording taxes, as well as property tax breaks for 20 years for the hotel on behalf of Islandia-based Long Island Hotels LLC, which would lease the hotel from Kimco.
“That will definitely damage our lives,” said Chuyu Xiong, 66, a computer programmer who lives on Merry Lane, directly behind the proposed project. “We will have no privacy at all,” Xiong said.
The plan calls for “landbanking” 148 parking spots, which would mean undeveloped land on the site could be counted as parking spots, reducing the number needed for the variance to 404, according to town documents.
A hastily called meeting last week at the Jericho Public Library brought out 11 residents, mostly living along Merry Lane and Hazelwood Drive, who said they opposed the project, primarily because of the traffic and parking problems they fear it will bring to their streets. Residents said the traffic and parking situation is already bad whenever there’s an event at the library, the athletic field or nearby school.
“This is a danger to our neighborhood, to our kids,” said Alice Zhang, 50, an accountant who also lives on Merry Lane.
Kimco bought the Milleridge property, which abuts the Jericho Commons shopping center that it also owns, in 2015. Tenants include Whole Foods, Marshalls, a Bank of America branch and a Starbucks.
Kimco officials declined to be interviewed, but a company executive wrote last week in an email that it wishes to start construction on the $22 million project in the spring and open in the fall of 2020.
“The development of a hotel is critical in order to support the economic viability of the Milleridge and preserve its ability to serve the area well into the future,” said Nicholas Brown, vice president of development for Kimco’s northern region.
Brown said the company would have a valet plan to accommodate parking problems during events at the Milleridge Inn.
Zhang and others at the library meeting complained that residents were still just learning about the project and that many people couldn't come to the scheduled hearing because it was to be held during the day.
Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia asked Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino in a Dec. 6 memo to reschedule the hearing or allow it to continue to another date for additional public comment after receiving "approximately a dozen” requests from residents for an evening hearing.
On Dec. 7, Oyster Bay spokeswoman Marta Kane said in an email that the hearing "will be rescheduled."