The Village of Flower Hill Board of Trustees Monday approved the site plans for a Pearle Vision eyewear retailer and a pilates studio to occupy the vacant building at 1085 Northern Blvd, pending further review by Building Inspector James Gilhooly.
Gilhooly said he wanted to make sure the proposed parking availability within the shopping center met village code after concerns were raised over congestion in its parking lot, which also serves a Capital One Bank and the Wild Fig restaurant.
“[It gets busy] mostly around lunch hour, it’s peak banking hours, and the restaurant fills up” said Gilhooly.
But Village of Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips said the board should only be concerned with what is in the village code and not overstep its authority on parking.
“As long as it meets village requirements it’s more of a business decision than a municipal decision,” Phillips said.
Deputy Mayor Tab Hauser agreed with Phillips, saying “government should stand out of the way. Somebody will sit there and want to go to Wild Fig for lunch and they’ll see this, circle around and say ‘I’m going to Joanne’s Pizza.”
Wayne Kelly, the owner of the proposed Pearle Vision, and Amanda Freeman, the CEO of SLT Pilates, said their peak hours were complimentary of each other as well as other businesses in the shopping center, and would not clash.
Kelly, who decided to move the store into Flower Hill from its current location just further up the road on Northern Boulevard, said that over the summer his peak hours are 1 to 4 p.m. and during the school year they are 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Freeman said that her peak hours were from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Phil Sutter, the architect for the proposed tenants, said that the space was approved for subdivision and that Pearle Vision proposed to take 2,100 square feet while SLT Pilates would take 1,757 square feet, making Pearle Vision responsible for six parking spots while SLT Pilates would need five.
During public comment, Flower Hill resident Holly English-Payne spoke about the transformation of the Glen Cove Hospital, which plans to eliminate inpatient beds next year in favor of an ambulatory care facility.
“What they’re talking about is basically destroying it as a community hospital,” English-Payne said.
English-Payne added that many people in the Flower Hill community use the facility and that it is a beneficial resource for people with little to no health insurance.
“They saved my husband’s life twice in the last five years,” English-Payne said.
English-Payne asked Phillips to join Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi in his petition against the changes to the hospital and Phillips said, “I’d be glad to do some work on this.”
The board also passed a local law pertaining to wireless communication which states the village board would regulate the installation of wireless communication towers and facilities within the village to protect public safety and welfare.