Mar 12 2013

Josato Inc proposing to build 4 single family homes on former Levittown site of the Motor Parkway

A developer is once again requesting zoning variances to build homes on the site of the grandstand and press box on the Long Island Motor Parkway in Levittown. The request will be heard at the Hempstead Town BZA hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm. at the Nathan Bennett Pavilion adjacent to the Hempstead Town Hall.

Reports from and Newsday are posted below.


 Howard New Crocus Lane Plan Calls for Four Single Family Homes

Josato Inc. proposal was discussed at LPOA meeting Tuesday; Hempstead Town BZA hearing slated for March 13.

By Steven Nicastro (Editor) 

After getting defeated on two-story, 46-unit condo complex project on the Crocus Lane site, the company Josato Inc. has now proposed to build four single family homes on the former site of the Motor Parkway in Levittown.

It's been 33 years of fighting with Josato Inc. (formerly Terra Homes, Inc.) and lawyer William Cohn, but LPOA President Jim Morrow said some progress has finally been made after the two sides recently met to discuss the new plans.

“I put it before you, as a member, because nothing is ever final until the people vote on it,” Morrow said at Tuesday night’s meeting.

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The homes would be located on the historic Long Island Motor Parkway property, which hosted the Vanderbilt Cup races from 1908 to 1910, and closed in 1938.   

The LPOA would also have to be willing to accept one variance. The proposal calls for a common driveway for two of the houses in the back, which are five feet short of the necessary space allowed by the Levittown Planned Residence District (LPRD) zoning ordinance (Article XV).

The ordinance was created in 1975 and put in place to “preserve the integrity of the plan of the original Levittown.” The ordinance can be viewed online here.

Some residents took issue with allowing the variance, because they said it could be setting a precedent for further changes. 

“I thought that we as an organization are against variances of any sort. So there’s no question here,” one resident said.

There would be a ton of land to build on if someone purchased one of the four homes at the site, but Morrow insisted that no further building would be allowed at the site.

“When they go for the variance and we go to the town board, we will note that there will be specifically no further subdivisions, and no residential buildings on any of the properties,” Morrow said. Something will be in there saying, 'this shall not set a precedent.'“

Morrow said some positive aspects of the new plan is that at least 1,400 sq. ft. will not be built on and traffic might not be a concern. He said there also would be no strain on the aquifer and water supply for the area, which was a concern with the last plan.

“We would be preserving most of that land for the suction of water in our area,” Morrow said.  

“For the first time in 33 years, we are in the driver's seat,” he said.  

 March 14, 2013 Update: Newsday: Hearings on new homes, supermarket draw opponents

Originally published: March 14, 2013 8:20 PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 9:10 PM

Strong opposition resonated at hearings in Hempstead on separate proposals to build single-family homes in Levittown and a supermarket in North Bellmore.

The 2.5-acre property, on Crocus Lane, on the site of the former Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, would be subdivided into two 42,380-square-foot plots and two 13,200-square-foot plots, said Josato's attorney William S. Cohn of Uniondale. The proposal also includes a private road leading to four homes to be constructed on the site, Cohn said.

Ilene Lubin, who has lived in Levittown since 1978, said she would prefer two homes. "I am opposed to the four houses because of the substandard road," she said.

Other opponents, including members of the Levittown Property Owners Association, argued that approval could set a precedent for "spot" zoning.

But Joseph Berman, who has lived in Levittown since 1950, said that while he prefers two homes, he thinks "this proposal is the best proposal ever made . . . My opinion is they oppose it because there hasn't been anything behind their homes for more than 60 years."

Josato has been battling since 1984 to change the town's zoning laws so it could develop the site. The town board rejected a plan to build a 46-unit condominium complex last year.

The appeals board reserved decision on both petitions.

Report From a Levittown Property Owners Association Member in Attendance

Cohn had a packet of letters of correspondence between him and the fire department, which requested that the turnabout between the back two houses be increased to a 70 (75?) foot diameter so the fire engines can turn around.  Cohn said the developer was willing to do that. 

Basically the same arguments but the woman who lives at 2 Crocus-- across from the lot, begged the board to allow the houses to be built because she said she had so much vandalism.  One older man, who moved here in l950, also argued for the houses.

The rest of us presented the case for only the two legal houses.  I argued that if for any reason the common driveway is blocked by snow or cars or fallen trees or piled up branches, or not maintained the fire engines will not be able to get to it and the other Levitt houses could easily catch on fire, too. 

The houses are expected to sell for $619,000 with estimated taxes of $16-22K. So with those high monthly carrying charges, they could all fall into foreclosure.

Cohn said the taxes on the undeveloped land are $33,000/year now.  I don't know if he meant just Crocus Lane or both tracts of land. Another thought- the back two houses would make a perfect location for illegal business as the police cannot patrol the area. 

 Mrs. D'Amato did most of the questioning on all cases.  Several of the board members sat there and did absolutely nothing. 

In both cases the LPOA will get a decision by mail.  The chairman of the board claims that they go out and visit the sites and that he has been to Crocus Lane several times. 




Apr 06 2013 Michael D 1:49 PM

This site should be saved!

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