About a half-dozen residents expressed objections to a number of illegal structures built on the Atlantic Beach Club property over several decades, during the second phase of a public hearing.

Representatives of the Atlantic Beach Land Co., which operates the private-membership club, are seeking to retroactively legalize additions made on the 14-acre beachfront property and obtain building permits for structures. Neighbors at the hearing last week said they worried that approval of the requests by the Hempstead Town Board of Appeals would encourage similar cases of ignoring zoning ordinances in the future.

Atlantic Beach Club representatives have petitioned the Board of Appeals to approve special exceptions to use the existing clubhouse as a place of public assembly and amusement, and to continue to use two trailers as offices and two storage containers. They are also seeking variances for off-street parking and approval to keep several of the 189 cabanas that have additions higher and larger than permitted.

"This application does not seek to build housing," said Christian Browne, the Garden City attorney representing the beach club and an appeals board member until he resigned in November. In response to neighbor worries that the cabanas would become places to live, he said they do not have kitchens and are not allowed to serve as permanent living spaces. "It's seeking to maintain structures that have existed for many years."

Representatives said at the meeting that they withdrew a petition to build an addition to an existing cabana that would have made it bigger than permitted in a flood zone. A revised plan was submitted that would no longer place the addition in the flood zone area and would not require a FEMA variance from the board, Browne said. No town variance is needed.

Attorney Albert D'Agostino, representing the Water Club Homeowners Association -- whose members initially opposed the cabana expansion saying it would block the view of the ocean -- withdrew the objection against the beach club acknowledging a private agreement had been made, but gave no details.

Other Atlantic Beach residents including Allan Kaye, president of the Atlantic Beach Civic Association, spoke against the beach club, saying approving petitions for work done in the past could set a risky precedent.

"If we open the door to this, then what comes next?" Atlantic Beach Estates resident Alan Rosenbloom, 62, said following the hearing.

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