After more than a year of meetings between Valley Stream officials, the village board adopted a series of zoning code changes on Jan. 14 that now have residents and business owners talking redevelopment.
The new code changes were discussed in length at last week’s Envision Valley Stream meeting where David Sabatino, president of Envision and co-owner of the Sip This coffee shop, outlined what the changes will mean to the people who live and do business in the village.
The main topic of discussion was the new section of the code that allows hotels to be developed in certain areas that border busy roadways and rail lines. “This is very much a huge first step for the Village of Valley Stream and Board of Trustees that have adopted this update,” Sabatino said. “I feel like they’re very eager to expand and improve and add to the changes that they’ve made. This really allows a possibility for development that was never there before.”
Village Trustee Vincent Grasso said the village is looking to bring in a “brand name” hotel to Valley Stream, but the board will consider all options. “Doing the code, we’re faced with a balance that we try to meet,” he said. “We want to get what we want, but at the same time we want to offer businesses a lot of flexibility. We don’t want to pigeonhole someone down so much that we blow all our options.”
Grasso added that people who fly in and out of John F. Kennedy International Airport or are doing business in New York City are staying in hotels further east than Valley Stream, which would make the village a major attraction if a hotel was built, especially near one of the Long Island Rail Road stations. Realistically, he said, a person could take the Airtrain from the airport, to the Jamaica LIRR Station, and then take the LIRR to Valley Stream without ever getting in a car.
“If hotels and mixed-use buildings are being built in the village, even if you don’t live in the village, that will affect your taxes, your schools, your services,” Sabatino said.
Grasso also pointed out that the village does not have a banquet hall for people and companies to use, which a hotel would address.