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Hempstead town code limits parking, height at malls

Green Acres Mall is located at 2034 Sunrise

Green Acres Mall is located at 2034 Sunrise Hwy. in Valley Stream. (April 9, 2012) Credit: Nicole Bartoline

The Hempstead Town Board Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that sets limits on parking and floor space, and height for two megamalls in the town: Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City and Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream.

The law changes town code to reflect a floor-area ratio -- the ratio of floor space to the size of the land on which a building sits -- for Roosevelt Field to 70 percent and Green Acres to 75 percent. The law also sets maximum building height at 75 feet and up to four stories, and requires 4 1/2 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of gross leasable area.

"The regional shopping mall legislation passed by the Hempstead Town Board today marks an important step in controlling the size and growth of major shopping malls in our area," Supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement.

After requests from Garden City officials and residents last month, the town board voted unanimously to amend the law to not allow malls to exceed 3.55 million square feet of floor area, instead of the original proposed cutoff of 3.6 million. The reduction still allows Simon Property Group Inc. to add a proposed two-story, 100,000-square-foot building for Neiman Marcus.

Land use and zoning attorney Tamir Young, who represents two law firms adjacent to the mall that oppose the expansion, said he's not surprised the board approved legislation town officials crafted.

"If this Town voted unanimously to reject any further expansion at Roosevelt Field fifteen years ago based upon its negative impacts on traffic, air quality and general community safety, then why is the same Town creating a new law specifically aimed at allowing expansion at Roosevelt Field?" he said in a statement.

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