Subdivision could bring down one of Kensington’s original homes

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41 Beverly Rd., as it stands today, could be subdivided. The home on the property has stood since 1915. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
41 Beverly Rd., as it stands today, could be subdivided. The home on the property has stood since 1915. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

A large lot at 41 Beverly Road with a century-old house is likely to be split in half to make way for two new houses, according to developers and a subdivision application submitted to the Village of Kensington.

The buyer, 41 Beverly Road LLC, submitted a subdivision application to divide the 24,800-square-foot lot on the corner of Gilchrest Road and Beverly Road in order to build two new homes in place of the current one.

If split, the lot would become two lots of about 12,400 square feet. This is more than 50 percent larger than the minimum 8,000 square feet required to build a home in Kensington’s Residence A District under the village code.

Paul Bloom, an attorney for the applicant, said the lots were large, the floor area ratio of the two homes would be below what is allowed for the lot size and the architecture would be consistent with the character of the neighborhood.

“We meet all of the zoning requirements and the homes that intend to be built upon the property also meet all of the current code requirements,” Bloom said, “so no variances are going to be required with respect to this subdivision.”

The colonial-style home was built in 1915, according to Nassau County land records – six years before Kensington was incorporated as a village. This makes it one of the first homes erected in Kensington, the village’s website suggests, as 44 houses had been built on 155 acres of land by 1916.

Kensington Mayor Susan Lopatkin said that this is a “very difficult” process for the village to be going through, as it will involve tearing down one of its original homes located at a “very prominent place in the village.”

She said the village is determined to ensure that what is put in place is appropriate and that the Architectural Review Board is going to be “very rigorous.”

“We’re going to be extra careful on what we approve because the impact on the surrounding houses and on the community is very, very high,” Lopatkin said.

She said this will be a very long process, including fees, and securing demolition permits and the full approval of construction plans for both homes.

“I want to caution you there is a long road ahead of you before this really gets to the point where you’re getting to put a shovel in the ground,” Lopatkin said.

Deputy Mayor Darren Kaplan asked if there was a builder for the property and if the builder had any experience building residential homes, particularly in Great Neck, because there have been issues of lower quality homes being built.

Robert Arzanipour, a real estate developer who would build the two homes, said he has built high-end homes in places like Brookville, Old Westbury and Manhattan and stands behind the work.

“In any business, people are ahead of you and they make a bad name and unfortunately we’re held to that – but that’s not how I’m made, how he’s made,” Arzanipour said, referring to his business partner. “We really like to build stuff that stands the test of time: beautiful stuff, beautiful product, and something that we’re proud of.”

Jay Tartell, a former member of Kensington’s Architectural Review Board, said the idea of “beautiful” is subjective and called upon trustees to consider an ordinance to save homes in the area.

He decried the considerable loss of green space and an “anchor house” in the neighborhood as well as classical architecture if 41 Beverly Road is torn down.

“As far as I’m concerned this is a key house in the neighborhood,” Tartell said. “To me this is an abomination and almost a rape of the neighborhood that they’re taking down this beautiful house.”

The next session about the Beverly Road subdivision is scheduled for Wednesday at the Architectural Review Board meeting.

In unrelated village business, Kensington trustees approved a law banning smoking on village-owned properties like the parks, pool and gazebo.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is May 15.

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