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Developer might tweak Levittown proposal

After a plan to build a three-story assisted living facility in Levittown was criticized by community members, the property owner will consider tweaking the proposal, his lawyer said.

The majority of 150 residents at a forum Wednesday opposed the proposal, citing concerns about its possible impact on property values, traffic and parking.

"It was very surprising to hear what we heard the other night," said Oyster Bay attorney William A. DiConza, the son-in-law of property owner Nicholas F. Mormando. "We wouldn't have went forward with the plan if it wasn't supported by the community."

Mormando plans to build on the North Village Green area site of the North Levittown Lanes bowling alley, which closed in June 2011.

A public hearing on the project before the Hempstead Town Board of Appeals in February was adjourned and a new hearing date has not been set.

Mormando could have requested to build up to four stories based on the plot's size, but is only seeking permission for three stories. He needs a parking variance because the 92,000-square-foot facility would require 99 parking spaces. He is proposing 60 spots, but only 57 could be built under his proposal, appeals board secretary Richard Regina has said.

Most residents at the meeting said they would prefer a two-story structure, pointing out that single-family homes surround the 2-acre property.

"We thought a little bit taller would be better than a little bit wider," said DiConza, adding that a taller building allows for more open space. "We are still very open and flexible to that regard. We don't want to build something that the community doesn't want."

DiConza said a consultant found there are more than 14,000 people over the age of 80 within five miles of the site. "The market is there and the community definitely needs it," he said, adding the average facility resident would pay $4,000 a month.

Some residents suggested building single-family homes, senior housing or town homes.

DiConza said Mormando had considered building 14 single-family homes on the site to sell for $300,000 each, but the plan made no economic sense.

Mormando also owns 25 percent of Oyster Bay Manor Assisted Living in Oyster Bay. Rachel Dombrowsky, the facility's main owner, said it provides long-term care for seniors who require assistance with everyday activities such as meals, medication management and bathing. The facility, she said, isn't involved in the Levittown proposal.

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