Floral Park OKs subdivision despite neighbors’ worries

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Paul Pinto speaks against plans to subdivide a lot across the street from his home on Cypress Street at Tuesday's Floral Park Board of Trustees meeting. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

Floral Park trustees on Tuesday allowed a resident to subdivide a lot he owns, despite adamant objections from neighbors.

The Board of Trustees approved Michael Hatzidakis’ plan to halve his property at 138 Cypress St. into two 40-foot-by-100-foot lots, the smallest size the village code allows.

Hatzidakis, who lives on Spruce Street, plans to demolish the existing house there and build two new homes, his attorney, Peter Trentacoste, said.

But “virtually every neighbor in the area” opposes the plan because it would create lots smaller than nearly three-quarters of the properties on Cypress Street, said Paul Pinto, a lifelong village resident who lives across the street from Hatzidakis’ land.

“If we start to approve the subdivisions in Floral Park of lots that are able to be subdivided, what are we going to look like, and do we really want to look like that?” Rosa Grimmins, another Cypress Street resident, said at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The village Architectural Review Board recommended that the Board of Trustees approve Hatzidakis’ subdivision, but has not yet approved the building plans for the two new homes, Trentacoste said.

Residents, though, said the smaller lots would change the character of a unique street where properties are two to three times the village’s allowable minimum. The proposed homes would also be larger than most others on the street, Pinto said.

Some said the plan would make the area more similar to Brooklyn and Queens, where buildings are packed much closer to each other than in suburban Floral Park. Plans for a subdivision on Larch Avenue faced similar concerns last year.

“I don’t really want to live in Queens again,” Laura DiMaria, also of Cypress Street, told trustees Tuesday.

But John Ryan, the village attorney, said trustees could not weigh such factors in their vote on Hatzidakis’ subdivision application.

“You are purely involved in a ministerial act at this point,” Ryan said. “You no longer have discretion.”

The board had heard and considered the Architectural Review Board’s recommendations, as well as feedback from residents and others, before unanimously approving Hatzidakis’ subdivision, Mayor Dominick Longobardi said.

Hatzidakis declined to comment after the meeting.

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