Nesconset residents are rallying on the Internet in hopes of prevent a proposal to build 66 garden apartments off Lake Avenue.
Nearly 600 signatures have been gathered via a Change.org petition asking Town of Smithtown officials to deny a change of zoning request by developers Story Book Homes Inc. in Nesconset. The proposed plans call for 66 garden apartments between Pierson Street and Heritage Place South off Lake Avenue.
The online petition reads:
We the residents of Nesconset, NY and the surrounding area vehemently oppose the zone change petition by Story Book homes (#2012-04) to construct 66 garden apartments in the area between Pierson St. and Heritage Place South off of Lake Avenue. This is CLEARLY not in keeping with the character and integrity of the distinctly single family home neighborhood. In addition to the detrimental impact that such density will have on this extremely congested corridor (Lake Avenue) this will create: instability within the Tackan Elementary school given a highly transient population that flexes either up or down without warning every school year (constraining resources), add highly intrusive ambient lighting from parking areas needed to accommodate up to 99 cars, significantly increase the noise levels for all adjacent single family homes, and require septic and waste water management facilities that are not in keeping with the infrastructure and aesthetic of the residential area.
Most importantly - A HIGH DENSITY RENTAL COMPLEX WILL HAVE SEVERE IMPACT ON ALREADY DAMAGED PROPERTY VALUES. Any purported tax benefit will be tremendously offset by the lowering of all surrounding home values. Support the currently in place and correct zoning. Represent your constituents, not the greed of one developer.
The petition was created by Nesconset resident John Rorick, who set the goal of reaching 700 signatures before the letter is presented to Smithtown's elected officials.
One of the most widely expressed concerns about the projects has been the traffic.
"Traffic would be a nightmare, our schools even more crowded, and the community would greatly suffer due to this environmental nightmare," Nesconset resident Kevin Strebel wrote to Patch.
Newsday reports roughly 200 Nesconset residents attending the Smithtown Planning Board's public hearing on the requested change of zoning. The majority of those who attended were against proposed one-bedroom apartments, which would be marketed to single people and young couples.
Ronkonkoma attorney Fred Tantone, representing Story Book Homes, said monthly rent 775-square-feet apartments would rent for approximately $1,200 a month, according to Newsday.
Newsday also reported Smithtown's Planning Board chairman John Gee told Nesconset residents planning members would inspect the future 5.34-acre site before making a decision about the zoning change on June 21.