Community Downzoning In Clarkstown

Town board's accessory housing proposal will diminish property rights and values.


Dear Editor:

Clarkstown residents are about to face a new deception by our elected and appointed officials, by way of their new master plan to change the character of our town, at the next town board meeting on Oct. 2nd. Most everyone who lives here, moved or remains in this community because this area was built on the concept of predominantly single family homes.

The insidious pronouncement by elected representatives to change most of the zoning in our town, to have us comply with a new mandate on accessory housing will only diminish our property rights and values. Their marketing plan was first touted as a means to provide affordable housing for volunteer emergency first responders, claiming the demand and need was so great, they took title to a condo in Nanuet and put taxpayers on the hook for  $650.00 a month Yet it took them a year, paying for an empty apt. to place a tenant.

They have now shifted their deception on the backs of our senior citizens, enticing them to become landlords to raise additional income to pay for the ever increasing taxes levied by them. Naturally, none of them want to explain to these seniors all the negative aspects of this endeavor.

Making seniors spend tens of thousands of dollars to convert their homes with possibly complying with HUD inspections and all their requirements. Begs the question Why?

Putting seniors in a dilemma of being at the mercy of living with tenants who could be sex or drug offenders, illegal immigrants or simply tenants who won’t pay their rent, is appalling.  Leaving these seniors at peril to spend additional money to evict the individuals and costing them even more in lost rent and or property damage. Wow even if they do increase their income ,it could put them in jeopardy of losing their enhanced Star Rebate because they breached the income threshold limit 

All of this is of no concern to the town, after all this will give them only more tax revenue when anyone improves their property  To add additional insult to our residents, part of implementing this new master plan of zoning changes is to create Neighborhood Shopping Zones, to provide developers additional revenue to create more accessory housing above commercial buildings up to three floors.

This will only create a flood of HUD housing to permeate our community, thereby mimicking what our neighbors look like as in Spring Valley, Haverstraw or what the landscape of the town of Ramapo is becoming. I guess our town leaders, who on more than one occasion have said, well you elected me so I believe “I know what’s best for you “and you’re going to like it no matter what.

So this town will justify the spending tens of millions of dollars, to make us a walkable community, but needs bodies to sit in the dozens of $1,000 purchased park benches, spreading thru-out the town. Limited accessory housing already exists in town. We don’t need any blanket downzoning to change the face of Clarkstown forever.

Now is your only last chance to stand up and defeat this treacherous behavior at town hall on October 2nd.  Their shrewd attempt at a third public hearing is disguised as a feeble attempt to address your concerns, while they will have already in hand, this repulsive law which they intend to pass.

Only all of you can prevent this forest fire from spreading. Don’t let them politically spin this ,so you swallow this spoon fed derelict agenda, you’ll only regret the upset stomach later. Tell them “YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID “or maybe you should just sit home and watch the coming reality of your inaction and whine later.

Frank Grandel
New City

Very well said!!!Frank the clowns in the town think park benchs make a better townI wrote the following as to what to do with the pfizer property. a wonderful vision for the pfizer property would be a college campus consisting of different colleges..sort of a downstate campus for as many colleges that we could attract..it could be specialized for some of the colleges..it could include dorms..the many buildings of pfizer have been outfitted for the sciences so why not use that base or retrofit some..a KEY ASPECT IS THAT THERE IS A RAILWAY BEHIND THE PROPERTY THAT IS CONNECTED TO NYC ,NEW JERSEY..just add another small station and bingo!! you are now connected to millions of possible students without needing cars!!!a downstate multi college could be a SOLUTION for many students who CANNOT afford to go away to a 4 year college for the whole time..so say 2 years on this campus then 2 away. perhaps a medical college funded by various countrys for their students..with the stipulation that students have to do residency for 4 years upon graduation.many aspects...and wheni contacted REDC the answer i was given was" We cant afford to lose our tax base"!wow amzing answer .what better to leave it empty in this new economic era??Rockland isnt on the we have to be there list for many companies.alot of vacancys in NJ closer to major commercial highways and ports..rockland is rockland..but a campus consisting of many different colleges with MASS TRANSIT could be a Cornerstone .
Lynn Teger September 26, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Mary September 26, 2012 at 09:56 AM
The proposed local law can be found at... http://www.town.clarkstown.ny.us/PDF/Local_Laws/ACCES%20HOUSING%20LAW.pdf As Frank stated, the public hearing that is going to be held on October 2nd is the board's third attempt at approving a zoning change to permit accessory housing (which is another term for low-income housing). Everyone that stood up and spoke at the last two public hearings expressed their disapproval of this zoning change. Yet, instead of acknowledging that the taxpayers do not want to have accessory housing in their neighborhoods, the board continues to "tweek" the law thinking that it will make any difference. As the law stands, the homeowner must be 60 years of age and be in the county for 20 years. Once this law is on the books, what would stop the board from revisiting the law and removing those requirements and permitting anyone to have an accessory apartment? While the law states that the property must be owner-occupied, how is that going to be enforced? 26 years ago my husband and I were told we wouldn't be able to afford New City...but, we sacrificed and did whatever we could because we wanted to live in a neighborhood with single family homes. I don't want to see our neighborhoods turned into affordable housing communities. Our home values have fallen as it is, allowing the zoning change to permit accessory housing (a/k/a accessory dwelling unit) will reduce them even further.
Richard September 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Wow. The Pfizer property as a college or vocational institute with an integrated commuter rail system. Now that's an idea worth looking into.


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