On a quiet street of residential houses at Wallace Court and Payan Avenue, there once stood a neglected house at Wallace Court 1—a sad sight for residents and neighbors alike. Windows were smashed, plywood was torn off and leaned against the house, fallen tree branches strewn across the lawn. But the dilapidated property has since been razed to make room for construction of an altogether different neighborhood outlier: two twin apartment complexes with 12 townhouses, developed by the Cedarhurst-based Paramount Construction.
With framing construction now under way, the skeleton of the building, known as Parkside, casts a towery presence on the house next door. Tammy Taylor, the next-door neighbor to the property, does not “anticipate any issues” or problems short of coping with the inconvenience of the loud construction noises. But nearby residents have voiced their concerns against the alteration of their neighborhood.
“I think they’ve known all along what they’ve wanted to do there,” Wallace Court resident Michael Fucello told the Herald in a phone interview. “I don’t mind apartment buildings here and there, but it’s the wrong block for it. Not just because it’s my block.”
The village board of trustees first voted to change the lot’s zoning in April 2017 to allow for a commercial parking expansion — a change from RA to CX zoning. A public hearing was subsequently scheduled in November that year to review the proposal for the construction of what was initially planned to be a 28-unit apartment complex on the property and a possible zoning change from a CX to a CA zone, or parcels with multiple-family townhouses, condominiums, cooperatives and apartments.
After public outcry at a public hearing in January 2018, the developers agreed to downsize the project from 28 to its current 12 units and change them from apartments to townhouses. In May 2018, after village officials listened to more than two hours of residents’ concerns about the project, the board unanimously approved a zoning variance from CX to CA.