The Mineola Board of Trustees will vote next week on a set of propositions establishing two new overlay districts in the village — an effort to attract a more diverse variety of developments, officials said.
At their board meeting on Wednesday, trustees will consider adopting six measures that would establish a new Jericho Turnpike Overlay District and a Historic Overlay District.
“The goal of these new overlay districts is to meet the new and ever-changing needs of the village and help foster our continued growth,” Mayor Paul A. Pereira said in a statement.
The Jericho Turnpike district would be located on the north and south sides of the roadway between Willis Avenue and Marcellus Road. It would allow for additional developments such as multifamily dwellings, assisted living residences, as well as hotel and event space. The current business zoning would remain intact, officials said, but the new law would provide opportunities for different types of development. Each project would need approval from the village board and regulations would cap the projects to three or four stories, or 40 feet.
“We have also identified Jericho Turnpike as having the potential to offer a vibrant, pedestrian oriented experience,” Pereira said.
The proposed Historic Overlay District would carve out a portion of the village's downtown bordered by First and Front streets and Mineola Boulevard and Willis Street. This new district would scale back some requirements for new developments, while also protecting the character of the current street scape, officials have said. The overlay district would cap development heights at 45 feet.
“Providing regulations to allow for building renovations and new construction consistent with the prevailing aesthetic and scale would further the [village’s] master plan’s objectives regarding preservation of community character,” Pereira said.
For Tony Lubrano, a former president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce, the new districts are a positive step to improve the look of downtown and Jericho Turnpike.
“Currently, there are a slew of empty storefronts. It’s nothing new. It’s an ongoing problem,” he said. “It’s about trying to think outside the box and to try think of something else we can do with these storefronts other than what’s currently there right now, which isn’t working.”
Lubrano owned and operated Piccola Bussola, an Italian restaurant on Jericho Turnpike, for about 18 years before a fire destroyed the building in 2020. Lubrano operates two restaurants in Glen Cove and Huntington. He said the new overlay district would give him the ability to explore possible development beyond another restaurant.
“Maybe it’s time to start thinking of other options and this overlay district will give me the ability to do that,” said Lubrano, 62, of Plainview.
Dennis Walsh, a North Hempstead Town councilman and a 40-year Mineola resident, said it’s difficult for small business owners to open a store and compete with large corporations like Amazon. He noted that an alternative option would be beneficial.
“I think without doing something on Jericho Turnpike, you’re going to have more empty storefronts for longer periods of time," the former village councilman said.
- Mineola Village trustees will consider creating a pair of overlay districts designed to encourage more diverse development.
- Six measures trustees will take up at their Dec. 7 meeting would establish a Jericho Turnpike Overlay District and a Historic Overlay District.
- As part of the proposals, property owners with insufficient parking in the areas of the new districts would have the choice of paying into a trust fund for use by the village for development of additional parking or the maintenance of current spaces. In turn, the village would waive rules requiring a certain number of residential parking spaces.