Weekly Feature

2015-12-09 / Front Page

Town decides multiple rezoning requests

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

The Town Board on Monday voted on multiple rezoning requests from several developers, including the denial of an application to rezone four Sheridan Drive properties.

The property owner was previously seeking to rezone the lots — 4176, 4180, 4184 and 4188 Sheridan — from Residential District 3, or R-3, to Traditional Single Family Residential District, or TR-3. The lots are near Sheridan Drive’s intersection with Sunrise Boulevard.

The rezoning would have allowed for the building of 18 one-story, single-family residences on the properties.

Sean Hopkins, attorney for the developer, said that with the denial of the rezoning request, the owner still plans to develop the properties. He said the plans are to construct 11 two-story, single family residences on the lots.

The board unanimously denied the rezoning request.

In another matter, the board approved, by a 3-2 vote, a rezoning that will allow a planned six-story, 126-room hotel to be built at 400 Corporate Parkway, near University Corporate Centre off Maple Road.

Uniland Development is seeking to build the hotel on a 1.414-acre parcel. Uniland is requesting a rezoning of Office Business to be changed to General Business to allow for the hotel.

In addition to the rezoning, Uniland was also requesting relief of a height restriction that was set at 35 feet for the property in 1987. The development company is proposing the six-story hotel to be 65 feet.

The height restriction was also relieved by the board in a 3-2 vote. Supervisor Barry Weinstein and Council Member Ramona Popowich were the two members in opposition to the rezoning and height restriction relief.

In another matter, the board agreed to hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, for the purposes of discussing two matters, one of which will be to determine the completeness of an environmental statement submitted by Mensch Capital Partners, owners of the former Westwood Country Club property.

In late October, the firm submitted a second revised version of a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement regarding its planned redevelopment of the site.

The Town Board previously determined that the first two drafts were incomplete. The most recent declaration was issued in May.

The Town Board had planned to discuss and vote on the statement’s completeness during Monday’s meeting; however, Weinstein said the resolution was mistakenly left off the board’s agenda when it was made public on Dec. 3.

Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette made a motion to make the DGEIS resolution a suspension item of the agenda, but the motion failed because the board was not unanimous in the vote. Weinstein said resolutions that are suspended into the agenda must have unanimous board consent.

Sean Hopkins, who is also the attorney for Mensch Capital Partners, said he and his client were disappointed that the DGEIS determination was left off the agenda and requested that the board make a ruling on the matter prior to the end of the year.

“We should not be penalized,” he said. “It is clearly not fair. I request to the board they rectify the mistake that was made. I ask that you take action by the end of the year in compliance with the [State Environmental Quality Review] laws.”

According to Weinstein, when the DGEIS is determined adequate, the several-hundred-page document will be posted on the town’s website.

In July 2014, Mensch Capital Partners submitted plans to the town for a $238 million redevelopment of the property, which is located at 772 N. Forest Road near Sheridan Drive. Mensch is seeking to construct a mixed-use neighborhood that would include residential, retail, senior living and green-space areas.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board unanimously approved a measure to end lifetime health care for the positions of highway superintendent, town clerk and town supervisor. The resolution was initiated by Council Member Mark Manna.

The approved resolution will be in effect for anyone in the positions whose term of office begins on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

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