March 20, 2013 | 305 views
High-density housing draws concerns in Valley Stream
Concerns about two housing developments in Valley Stream sparked a discussion on the future of the community at the village board meeting on March 18.
Discussion was centered around a rumor that Hawthorne Court, a stalled multi-family dwelling on Cottage Street near Holy Name of Mary, could become Section 8 housing and add a surge of children to local schools. There was also concern about the impact that Sun Valley, at the corner of Rockaway Avenue and Sunrise Highway, would have on the schools. Both projects are located in District 24.
Ian Wraith, a former District 24 school board member, and Marijo Sensale, a district resident and president of the Special Education Parent Teacher Association, both noted that the three elementary schools are nearing capacity. Wraith said he brought up the issue about the Hawthorne Court’s impact on the schools several years ago when the project was first being proposed, and remains skeptical.
Construction on Hawthorne Court began more than five years ago. The project was not fully completed by the initial developer, and it was later sold to another builder, which plans to finish it and rent the units as apartments instead of selling them as condominiums as initially expected.
Wraith said he fears the project becoming a Section 8 housing development. He said he doesn’t have an issue with Section 8 except when it is concentrated in one building. That, Wraith noted, is when a potentially nice complex turns into a housing project.
Village officials pointed out the Monica Village senior complex on Hicks Street is Section 8, and that building and its residents are an asset to Valley Stream. Mayor Ed Fare explained that the Section 8 rumor about Hawthorne Court is merely that, and he is unaware of any plans by the builder to seek that designation. To his knowledge, he said, the new developer still intends on marketing the units as high-end apartments.