Baldwin residents sue to stop two-home subdivision

Baldwin residents protest the Nassau Planning Commission's approval

Baldwin residents protest the Nassau Planning Commission's approval to subdivide a one home property into two small lots on Sept. 18, 2013. (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

A group of Baldwin residents and the Nassau County Planning Commission are awaiting the results of a lawsuit the residents filed opposing a subdivision being built by a member of the commission, which approved the project.

The lot, at Stanton Avenue and Oak Street, is owned by Bianco Homes, a Franklin Square company whose chief executive is planning commission member James Bianco, county officials have said. Bianco is in the process of building two homes on the roughly 16,000-square-foot lot, which was formerly the site of one house, officials have said.

The planning commission approved the subdivision, with Bianco recusing himself, in September. More than 200 residents have since complained to the county that they believed Bianco received unfair preferential treatment from the commission, said resident Philip Bashe, who filed the lawsuit last October against the commission in Nassau County Supreme Court attempting to halt construction.


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Judge Thomas Feinman is expected to make a ruling in the case next month.

Attempts to reach Bianco and his attorney, Lisa Cairo of Garden City, were not successful. Cairo has said the planning commission's ruling was not a conflict of interest because Bianco did not vote.

Philip Bashe, who lives next to the lot and filed the lawsuit, said the subdivision is too dense for the neighborhood, which is made up of single-family homes on single lots. He said he hopes the case will be decided "before he's hammering in the last nail" on the houses. Construction on the homes is underway.

"We're asking that the court set aside and annul the decision of the Nassau County planning commission," Bashe said.

Planning Commissioner chairman Jeffrey H. Greenfield said Bianco was right to recuse himself from the planning commission's ruling. He declined to comment beyond saying the case is "in the hands of the judge."

The 200 residents who signed the petition to the planning commission argued that the subdivision would bring two homes to the area and set a precedent for more.

"Because they were built so close together, they are changing the character of the neighborhood," said Jack McCloy, who signed the petition.

Hempstead Town's board of appeals approved the plan in June.

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