Harbor Isle development a toss-up
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Roger Klaman, a business manager for the Long Island Federation of Labor, said that residents of a community are impacted by development decisions, and that this plan should be defeated. “Policy decisions should keep local workers working,” he said. “We have grave concerns about Avalon Bay. The company has been cited numerous times for pay infractions, and often brings in out-of-state workers, taking the money out of the community rather than maintaining good jobs for local workers.”
While board members did not offer their opinions, Councilman Anthony Santino, who represents portions of Oceanside and Island Park, questioned the developers closely, telling them that the price point for the rental apartments seemed high. “You’re asking empty-nesters to pay more than $40,000 a year in rent, and that seems high for somebody who probably sold their house for $300,000 or $400,000,” Santino said. “That seems high, and I’d say the same for the young professionals you spoke about. I’m trying to figure out who could afford those kind of rents and would want to live in Harbor Isle. It tends to suggest that you aren’t looking to attract locals, those who grew up in local communities, but outsiders.”
After the meeting, Santino said that he is in favor of rental units because there are “limited housing opportunities for kids coming back to their communities after college, some who are now living in illegal basement apartments or their old bedrooms.
“There has to be housing for them,” he said, “but it has to be affordable. Very few young professionals would be able to pay the price point asked by Avalon Bay.”
Council officials declined to comment on when a decision might be made.