The Mineola village board voted to expand its overlay district Wednesday night, including a wide north-south swath along Willis Avenue to the one that already exists along Old Country Road.
The adopted extension would run from Second Street all the way up to the Willis Avenue school on the Northern end and from the LIRR tracks West to the Willis Avenue school.
Recent developments with regard to the closing of the Corpus Christi parochial school by the Diocese of Rockville Centre and the planned reconfiguration of the Mineola school district led to the decision to expand the overlay district.
Several years ago the village adopted a "development incentive bonus law" which allowed the board to vary provisions of the village zoning code to expedite development, on the condition that the applicant provided public amenities to the village. Amenities may include parks, infrastructure, or monetary funds in lieu of so that the board can provide such amenities.
The underlying zoning in each of the districts remains the same. "It's just that properties within this overlay district are available for application to the board of trustees for relief," village attorney John Spellman said. Typically a property owner or developer would first have to go to the zoning board and may come before the village board as well.
Spellman pointed to the added capacity for the Winthrop parking lot on Old Country Road and Fourth Avenue, a house on Harrison Avenue and Third Avenue converted to office space, and the former Rains building on the Northwest corner of Old Country Road and Mineola Boulevard undergoing reconstruction as a mixed use building and the Winston, a condominium complex on Old Country Road and Willis Avenue which is in the planning stages as projects approved under the new overlay code.
"The idea to be able to include residential development in our downtown is complimentary and that is why this overlay district allows us the flexibility to do stuff like that," Mayor Jack Martins said.
Each application is set on a case-by-case basis that the board approves.
The expanded area originally included a section East of the Oyster Bay Line, which the board eventually excluded from the final configuration.
"There are single and two-family homes in that area that only access out from that area would be out to Roslyn Road, which in turn would have significant residential communities to the East of Roslyn Road," the Mayor said, stressing that he felt the area North of the current overlay district "was of importance to the village."
"We certainly don't want to handcuff any future boards from the opportunity to avail themselves - avail us, the community - of potential smart growth that will make sense in that part of the community," trustee Paul Pereira said.