The Town of Hempstead announced Wednesday that the board has denied a developer's request
to re-zone a property at Crocus Lane in Levittown in order to build condominiums.
The zoning that was sought by the developer would have changed the current single-family zoning (LRPD) to condominium/multi-family zoning (CA) for the Crocus Lane site, to construct a two-story 46-unit condominium
development for residents aged 55
and over. But after listening to concerns from residents and hearing their testimony Wednesday, the board decided to shut down their plans.
Among the concerns brought up by residents was the potential increase in traffic and noise, the project not fitting in with the character of the neighborhood, and the desire to preserve the land, which is located on the former site of the Long Island Motor Parkway.
“As America’s first suburb and a bedroom community to the largest city
in the world, Levittown maintains a special character that its residents love
and cherish,” said
Town Supervisor Kate Murray.
“It was determined, after thoughtful analysis and
consideration, that development within the requested zone parameters would not
fit the suburban character of the neighborhood surrounding the property," Murray said.
One of the biggest issues raised with the project at the meeting Wednesday was the fact that the complex would have been located in the middle of residential, single-family homes.
Attorney William Cohn and other representatives compared the Crocus Lane project to four current 62-and-over housing developments in the area. However, those developments differ as they are "each located on major roads," while the Crocus Lane site is not within walking distance to commercial and transit, said
Councilman Gary Hudes.
“It literally does not fit – the proposed project is too dense for the
area,” Hudes said in a statement.
The Nassau County Planning Commission, which submitted a resolution to
the town board in regard to the developer’s re-zoning request, also recommended the
denial of the application.
In its resolution, the Planning
Commission noted that the plan did not fit in with the single-family character
of the neighborhood, nor did it meet the commonly accepted criteria for
A number of residents did voice their support for the project at the hearing, citing the the need for senior housing. Also mentioned was the desire to keep trespassers off the site. While there was recently a fence put up to prevent trespassing, one resident on the block said the situation has only gotten worse over the years, with teens drinking and causing trouble at the site.
The development also could have brought in money from taxes, potentially saving the school district $284,000, according to Cohn. He added that property would have not cost the town anything in maintenance, as the roads and landscaping would have been maintained by the owners, and said that the county doesn't have the money to build a park at the site.
After hearing both sides, the board ultimately decided against it.
“As Levittowners who seek to protect the beloved
character of America’s first suburb, and as representatives in local
government, we are standing up and saying “NO” to this ill-conceived and poorly
thought-out proposal,” Murray said.
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