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Glen Cove mayor delays vote on apartment units

Mayor Reginald Spinello has postponed a vote and continued a hearing on a proposed 196-unit apartment complex, citing the great community interest demonstrated when about 200 people packed a joint Glen Cove City Council and Planning Board meeting.

The planning board sought City Council input Tuesday night before voting on whether to allow the developer -- Queens-based Livingston Development Corp. -- to build at a greater density than the 80 units that would normally be allowed.

"This is a significant project with lots to be digested," Spinello said, adding that the hearing would continue later this month or in early November. "Some Council members are not familiar with this project and will need more time."

The planning board recommended the developer be granted density bonuses for underground parking and recreational amenities but not for streetscape improvements at the 3.96 acre site on Glen Cove and Craft avenues.

Most of the roughly two dozen people who spoke at the three-hour hearing opposed the project, Villa at Glen Cove, saying it would be too dense, out of neighborhood character and could impact traffic, schools and views.

"This project will destroy the quality of my life and decimate the value of my home," said Marsha Silverman, 43, a data analyst who lives on a hill directly behind the property. "The risk of ... foundation damage, soil runoff and destabilization of the hill are not risks that the native homeowners should have to bear."

Developer Dan Livingston said opponents did not understand what he hopes to build. "It's a beautiful project that will provide a strong economic basis for Glen Cove," he said. "If you continue to hold onto the past without making changes to accommodate the modern era, you're going to lose something here, the young people are going to leave."

Paul Sweeney, a 48-year-old lawyer, said the project should be rejected if it does not include affordable units. Livingston wants a waiver so his project can be built without affordable units. Maxine Mayreis, 57, a chiropractor, said the project would help local businesses. "We want people to feel that this is a respectable community and a place where people will want to spend money," Mayreis said.

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