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Letter: Lift ban on New Cassel apartments

An abandoned school classified as a brownfield site

An abandoned school classified as a brownfield site will be demolished and cleaned up with a $200,000 federal grant to North Hempstead Town, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced. (May 11, 2012) Credit: Newsday / Judy Cartwright

The story "Proposal on illegal housing tabled" [News, April 24] should have been titled "New Cassel is the only community where North Hempstead denies homeowners exterior basement entrances, full basement bathrooms and closet space."

The residential overlay district that applies only to New Cassel was imposed in 2006 without residents' response. That year, during election time, we received postcards, fliers and phone calls to elect or re-elect government officials. Why didn't the clarion call go out to get our attention when our community would be so traumatically affected?

I encourage the town board to vote to eliminate this overlay district and disentangle this issue from the concern about overcrowding.

We, too, are concerned, and have been for more than four decades. However, school district overcrowding is not only the result of homes with too many people living in them, but also the urban development project and its new housing complexes. The complexes are not affordable for those who were already living here.

We may need to consider turning Grand Street School or the vacant mixed-use construction into temporary housing for people, until they can get on their feet and get their own places to live.

Janice Miles, New Cassel