Hempstead Town board OKs Levittown rezoning plan

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The Hempstead Town Board of Appeals has unanimously approved a controversial proposal to build single-family homes on the site of the former Vanderbilt Motor Parkway in Levittown, despite arguments from opponents that approval could set a precedent for "spot" zoning.

The appeals board granted the request with conditions after holding a public hearing last month. Josato Inc. of North Bellmore had asked for variances to build four homes on separate parcels that are 5 feet short of the 60-foot width required under special zoning meant to preserve the area's history of detached single-family homes.

The board's April 10 decision allows Josato to subdivide the 2.5-acre property on Crocus Lane into two 42,380-square-foot plots and two 13,200-square-foot plots. It also allows a private road leading to the four homes to be constructed on the site.

The conditions set by the board require that only single-family homes be built, with one kitchen and a half-bathroom on the first floor of each house; there may be no exterior entrance to the basements, and owners may not subdivide the parcels any further or make any alterations to the approved site.

The decision also makes clear that the private driveway, including the cul-de-sac, from Crocus Lane to the rearmost house is a private road that will not be maintained by the town and is not considered a town, county or state highway. A concrete pad also has to be installed for the placement of garbage cans for collection at the street by the town.

Josato had 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.

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