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Variances Granted for Larkfield Restaurant Plan

The application, which was facing the board for a second time after requests for alterations were made, dominated the most recent Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

Number 353 Larkfield Road used to be home to the East Northport post office. When that moved to a new building down the road at 279 Larkfield, a bar called The Mail Room opened.

After that came the software company Sybari, which moved in and stayed until the company was purchased by Microsoft in June 2005.

e may have been located here for a while, as well,  before opening in its current location further south on Larkfield. 

Now new property owners, Larkfield East Northport, LLC, are hoping to develop a 2,150-square-foot restaurant. They got one step closer at the meeting March 10.

The board granted two variances necessary for approval of the company's proposed plans at the property, located at the northeast corner of Larkfield at Allerton Avenue. is on the southeast corner of the intersection.

Several conditions to the application were attached following the concern of multiple residents who spoke following the presentation of the application.

The main point of contention was over a fence separating the property from the Mincieli residence on the corner of Allerton Avenue.

The Mincielis, who spoke on their own behalf at the meeting, were worried that the fence would be too close to their property line and that it would be too flimsy to provide adequate privacy.

The Mincielis also noted that the fence was 40 feet from their line when they first moved in. A special condition, similar to one granted regarding a development at the corner of Commack and Wicks roads at , was instituted requiring the property owners to install a black, six-foot, chain-link fence along the curb line of the building, 25 feet from the Mincielis' property line. The area between the curb and property line will be filled in by landscape; what that landscape will entail will be determined at a future meeting of the town Planning Board when it approves the site plan.

One of the other conditions involved moving a proposed transformer and refuse container further west on the property, as its current northeastern location was located too close to residential areas. That request was instituted by the Andersons, residents of Chester Street. They noted that the developers were told to move the equipment further away from their residence, something they had not shown on the new site plan. A condition was drafted to assure they would.

Many of the residents present expressed disdain with the developer's decision to create a dual entrance and exit to the lot along Allerton Avenue instead of an exit only, as discussed at the last hearing. The zoning board let this condition remain after Tom Abbate, the counsel speaking on behalf of the Larkfield East Northport LLC, explained that the entrance would only be accessible to passenger cars and would not be accessible for cars making left turns onto Allerton from Larkfield. Meaning, there would be no ingress or egress to the site via the grass median that separates Allerton Road. Rather, it would only be accessible for cars approaching Larkfield. Most of the traffic would use the main Larkfield entrance.

Restaurant use was permitted on the lot, but a condition was attached prohibiting the restaurant from selling alcoholic beverages.

This was not the first time that the application was heard by the zoning board. This application came attached with a new site plan based on recommendations made by the zoning board. The size of the building was scaled down by 48 percent from the first proposal. Several buffers were extended as well, with one along Allerton Avenue extended by five feet and another along the south to 25 feet.

The approval gets the long-abandoned lot one step closer to much-needed revitalization. For years, one of the buildings on the lot was empty. A former owner of the property kept the building in decrepit shape, causing the lot to fall into shambles and breaking down trust between the property owners and the members of the community. The zoning board acknowledged this, but they also noted at several points during the discussion that the new plans, while not necessarily perfect for the residents, are a marked improvement over the current site conditions. Many of the residents were concerned that the new ownership would be as delinquent with requests as the old ownership, but ZBA Chair Christopher Modelewski noted to a resident who expressed concerns that a failure to comply with their conditions would prevent him from getting a Certificate of Occupancy, which will, in turn, prevent him from having tenants.

The next step for the application is a trip back to the planning board, where more specific details of the site plan will be investigated and more specific decisions on what will be built will be made. 

Other Applications
Application #20194: This application was filed by Tedmar, Inc. on behalf of Tedmar LLC, located at 802 Fort Salonga Road in Northport. They were seeking area and parking variances to legalize existing retail use of the lower level of a three-story building as well as to legalize the second and third floors for office use. The company was represented by attorney Roger Ramme.

The board noted that the existing conditions of the building which force consumers desiring to go to Area 51 Skate Shop, also located on the property, to walk across the drive aisle, while not ideal, are better than doing a lot of construction to fix a small issue. The property also houses ArtisansGallery Art & Mirror Custom Framing.

John Breslin spoke on behalf of the application and noted that the building recently had its zoning changed to the newly-created C7 zoning district. He said that the newly-proposed use would be consistent with other uses in the area. He noted that there was limited parking both on the site and nearby the site due to a lack of residential streets nearby, but also noted that the building had operated in a similar manner for decades.

The zoning board called the application a "common sense" request and wondered aloud why they got fewer of them than they used to. They granted the application under the condition that there would be no "wet" uses at the building site (no food shops, delicatessens, restuarants, or medical offices).

Application #20120: This application was filed by Richard and Caterina Baranello of Stamford, Connecticut in reference to 2A Makamah Road. The applicants were originally requesting side and rear yard variances to build a second story addition to a single-family home, with a two-story front and a side addition with an open front porch.

Douglas Hynes of Design Development Group, who was speaking on behalf of the Baranellos, quickly eliminated three of the four requests at the beginning of his presentation, saying they were no longer needed after a recent survey was drafted.
The side variance application was withdrawn as it was determined that they had more than enough room left over after construction. They were amending the request for the rear yard variance, requesting 4.3 feet in the variance instead of 3.6 feet. The other two requests were withdrawn due to the removal of a shed in the front yard.

Nicholas Liolis, a resident of neighboring 4 Makamah Beach Road, spoke at the hearing, but did not object to the project upon hearing that the side variance was being eliminated.

The application was granted as amended.

Application #20195: This application was filed by Morano Expediting on behalf of Jay and Barabara Davis, the owners of 54 Clarke Drive in East Northport. They were requesting a variance for a lot width and pool deck too close to a property line in order to build a rear enclosed sun room attached to the rear of their property. They were seeking to legalize a shed and an above-ground pool with the attached deck. The shed they were trying to legalize was an 8- x 11-footshed; they were planning to move a smaller 8 x 8 shed to a different location.

The board asked the representative from Morano Expediting whether or not the deck could be unscrewed and moved to the other side of the pool. The representative responded that it could, but they were requesting the variance out of convenience. The application was granted, but with the condition that the deck would need to be in a new location when it was due to be replaced.

Application #20185: This application was filed by Harjit Singh of 64 East 2nd Street in Huntington Station. He was requesting side and rear yard variance to legalize a front and rear addition to a single family dwelling as well as for a detached shed in the front yard. Representing the applicant was attorney Ron Goldstein.

Goldstein said that the variances were being sought because there were a variety of structures that were too close to the property line on the north side of the property that could not be moved. The zoning board agreed with his assessment, saying that it would be ridiculous to request the applicant to move the structures, especially considering that the lot was an oddly-shaped split-zone parcel.

The application was granted as presented.

Application #20188: This application was filed by American Tower Services, located in Beaufort, South Carolina, on behalf of American Towers Inc., located in Atlanta, Georgia. They were seeking a special use permit in order to collocate six antennas and coaxial lines on an existing tower, located in Melville, with small ground equipment and a small generator at the base of the tower. Speaking on behalf of the application was Bonnie Belair, representing the ITT corporation. 

The antennas were being constructed to utilize a new technology called Automatic Dependent Survellience Broadcast (ADSB). The technology, which Belair called "a critical component of the next generation's air transportation safety", will allow pilots to see things beyond the limits of radar. It would be exclusively for use by the FAA.

The board was pleased that the company chose to file the proper applications for the permit, as they likely could have been exempted from doing so under numerous federal statutes. The application was granted as presented.

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