North Valley Stream and Elmont residents who live in close proximity to the Dutchgate Homes are concerned that the Town of Hempstead (TOH) is poised to grant more variances to the owner of the property.
A meeting of the Town Board scheduled for December 11, 2012 indicates that a public hearing is scheduled for a “Petition for a Modification of the amended Declaration of Restrictive Covenants dated December 27, 2011 – NORTH VALLEY STREAM – s/si Dutch Broadway, w/of West Gate (BROADVAL, LLC)”.
Residents received notice during the first week of December. Many residents were unaware of the hearing and still more are not even sure what the petition requests are. Elmont Online learned that the variance request include:
- Reducing the minimum age to 55 for all units. (It is presently 50% of units);
- Permit units to be rented and/or owner-occupied.
The Dutchgage project is fraught with controversy dating back to 2004-05 when, according to many residents, zoning promises made by the TOH and agreed to by the community and the developer were broken. One such resident, Everett Gamory informed Elmont Online that “The property, Dutchgate condominiums were to be built with regard and respect for the existing properties that border the site. [Actions by both the Town and Developer] … have resulted in the bordering properties losing the privacy and quality of life that neighboring residents are accustomed to.” Gamory continued, “[TOH decisions] are also the direct result of the property values decreasing and it will be very difficult for the home owners to sell their homes without settling for substantial less than they would want to.”
The newly formed North Valley Stream Neighborhood Association point to one specific issue that is emblematic of how the TOH continue to engage in a bait and switch operation against the NVS residents. The Community was shown plans during the pre-development phase that included a substantial buffer zone between the existing homes and the development. The TOH and the developer presented a layout that all residents were happy with,…a road inside the complex between the existing neighboring properties and the Dutchgate two story buildings, said residents
Gamory, one of the residents collecting signatures, said “Sometime later the plan was changed. Dutchgate presented an ordinance to TOH to move the building closer to the property lines of the existing home in some cases 10-15 feet. This went against the 25 foot clearance from property line to newly built structures. NVS residences were notified by mail after the hearing to decide on the variance. TOH passed it. The road no longer bordered the property. This …removed the buffer and spacing that would have existed between Dutchgate and the neighboring properties. There will now be a two story building with patios a few feet from the existing properties backyards. This was done to allow Dutchgate to erect the structure to accommodate 388 units obviously to maximize the dollar value.”
Both Councilman Darcy and Town Supervisor Murray are well aware of the issues as they were presented with dozens of letters and hundreds of signatures objecting to the design changes before the board voted to approve the plans and they ignored the community’s concerns.
The community has collected signatures and hopes to present them at the public hearing on Tuesday.
North Valley Stream resident Milagros Vicente is encouraging residents to appear at the hearing and voice their concerns.