The Garden City village Board of Trustees finally approved plans for construction of a 54-unit condo complex at Thursday's meeting in Village Hall.
Read on to learn more about this and get a recap of some of the other issues they discussed.
Final Site Plan Approved for 301 Franklin Ave. Condominiums
When the site plans for 301 Franklin Ave. were first submitted to the village board at its April 19 meeting, they were voted down because officials did not like the proposed facade for the 54-unit condominium building.
The new plans, presented Thursday evening, showed many changes implemented to fit the board's requests. Kevin Walsh, representing the site's developer, asked the board “ to consider the new elevations” that the architectural firm has implemented into the plans.
The new site plans presented brightening and changes in the elevations of the building. These changes included lightening the color of the building and its window framing (The previously black framing has now been turned to white, for instance.), smoothing the base of the building from a rough stone to a more smooth limestone and a more defined roofline.
According to the new plans, the central portion was also altered. The new plan includes bringing the scale down, enlarging windows, adding peds and sills to stretch window length, embellishing the top of the entry and adding some stonework to the front entryway. Designers from the firm also used a blended brick to make the look of the building come together.
In response to the new plans, Trustee Dennis Donnelly requested to see the previous plans and the new plans side-by-side.
“We haven’t changed the height, we haven’t changed the setback from Franklin Ave. and we haven’t changed the measurements?” Trustee Brian Daughney inquired.
The answer from the firm was that nothing had changed regarding these matters.
“ [At] the April 19 meeting, the motion was made to approve the site, and that motion failed to carry the majority. I had abstained from that vote,” said Mayor Donald Brudie. “What we are going to do tonight is open that motion to reconsider.”
After the motion to reconsider (which was unanimous), Brudie posed a motion to approve the site plan. Apart from Trustee Andrew Cavanaugh, who stated “I am going to vote against the project. I think the rectangular shape is difficult on the site,” and Trustee DeMaro, who recused himself, the board approved the site plan in a 6-2 vote.
Daughney later explained his decision to vote in favor of approving the plans to Patch, saying that three commissions and board had had already approved this project.
"The members of these three boards include residents of every [Property Owners Association] section in the Village ... [and] are comprised of approximately 20 residents with architectural and engineering and zoning expertise," he said. "I place a lot of trust in their judgment in approving this project."
Daughney also commended the site owners for changing the project "numerous times and in numerous ways over the last year to address the concerns raised by the three boards during the review and approval process."
"Finally," he said, "this property is actually zoned to allow a larger commercial building," and said the village needs "upscale apartment buildings ... not another commerical office building."
He added, "This will provide those residents with houses who want to downsize with an opportunity to stay in the village, and also attract single folks and couples who want to live in the village. Parents might be willing or able to buy a place for their kids who are working out here or in the city. And the location close to 7th street will be great for our commercial district."
Village Online Tax Payments
Village Auditor James Olivo announced that while tax bills “will be rendered on June 1,” there is now a new way to submit payments. The village will now accept two forms of online payments. Residents can now pay their taxes via “credit card or ACH transfer,” Olivo stated.
According to Olivo, this is the first year that the village has had this system. Olivo strongly suggests that residents use ACH transfer verses their credit cards. Currently, there is no fee for ACH transfers, but a percentage fee (calculated by site) to pay using a credit card. All village taxes are payable by July 1.
“If residents run into any problems, please call us during office hours and we can help you through it,” Olivo stated.
Emergency Management Plan
Village Clerk Brian Ridgway briefly introduced revisiting the village’s emergency management plan in a relatively quick time because “hurricane season is just a few months away.”
Ridgway explained that having a written disaster plan will allow for all departments in the village to work together efficiently if any type of disaster should occur within the village.
“The other important reason for getting the plan in place is because it does have to be approved by a department in the state, and this could reward us in getting reimbursement for some of our expenses,” he added.
Ridgway hopes that there will be a full report available by the beginning of the summer.
Parks and Recreation
Kevin E. Ocker, chairman for the Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs announced that opening day for the pool will be June 9.
“Tomorrow morning we will be filling the new pool for a test run and to run the filtration system for a few days,” said Ocker.
According to Ocker, all of the construction is currently on schedule for opening.
The next board of trustees meeting will be June 7 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall.