The Town of Hempstead, Long Island, has rejected the application to rezone property previously owned by the Oceanside Jewish Center to build a senior assisted living facility. In September 2019, the center announced their plan to sell more than half their land to developer Mandalay Holdings; construction was expected to begin this year. Real estate investor Charles Weinraub, the CEO of Mandalay Holdings, is fairly well-known in Nassau County. Still, when residents began to voice their concerns with the redevelopment, the project stalled.
Details of the Original Proposal
The Jewish center sold 24,000 feet of their 40,000-square foot property after a decline in membership, with a plan to renovate the building with funds from the sale. In October 2019, Weinraub proposed five ideas to residents and the town Zoning Board. His proposals included:
- a storage unit facility
- a 120-unit apartment building
- an assisted-living facility
- a medical office
- a 120-unit senior housing complex
Residents strongly opposed these ideas, citing concerns about overdevelopment, traffic and parking. Weinraub argued that, of the projects he proposed, the senior complex and assisted living facility were the least likely to create more traffic. Nevertheless, after the meeting concluded, the Oceanside Civic Center met and organized a petition against the project, gaining over 1,400 signatures.
The Need for Rezoning
The land is zoned for single-family homes only. There is currently one, single-family home on the property. The town was asked in February 2021 to rezone to allow for a 119-bed assisted living facility.
The Town Vote
On March 9, 2021, the Town of Hempstead unanimously voted to deny the rezoning of the property. Representative Anthony D’Esposito of the Fourth District, who initially moved to deny the application, said “… communication must continue, as it is clear that there are traffic and parking concerns raised that have not been adequately addressed.”
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