Readers Write: Approve the Linden Place apartments

Readers Write: Approve the Linden Place apartments

It was something of a welcome surprise when I saw a 69-unit apartment complex being considered for Great Neck Plaza nearby the railroad station. It’s a big win for everybody.

One, since it’s composed of studios, plus one- and two-bedroom units, it facilitates the needs of young single professionals who might work for Northwell or make their living in Manhattan. I’ve lived in two apartments in Great Neck within walking distance to the station and I can tell you it is a fantastic convenience. The one- and two-bedroom units will not only facilitate new residents, but provide a pathway to downsizing for existing residents who have no options to choose from. They get to stay in the community they’ve known for decades and free up some single-family inventory from a bricked-up housing market.

The location is also well-suited to give the merchants on Middle Neck Road, who have been through hell over the past few years, a needed shot in the arm. Those 69 units will drive foot traffic without the need to drive.

Sounds great, right? So what do we get?

One person, apparently a professional NIMBYist, said: “To be honest, I don’t really see a single benefit to these new developments.”

Well, I’m glad you’re “honest,” and I just gave you about five benefits, but here are the objections you presented: “Ranging from traffic impact to the school impact to emergency response times…”

Polly want a cracker?

The make-up of the units doesn’t make for much impact on school population, and forgetting that these are small numbers, imagine working yourself into a lather over a fever dream of “emergency response times.” Who even thinks this way?

Moreover, the building is located in the village’s back pocket. It’s on Linden Place, tucked away in a corner.

Another one complained that she “retired to Great Neck after living in Queens. She loves the village for how quaint and charming it is. She fears traffic problems from the proposed complex could change the village and push her out.

“Once that building goes, then it’s not going to be good,” she said. “I’ll probably have to move somewhere else.”

Well, then you do just that. Aside from the usual tripe about “Duh Nuys and Duh Twaffic” where do people get the idea that their privilege extends to freezing the housing stock of an area the minute they move into it?

There was another such person written about in this paper a couple of years ago. Upset at the renovation of some storefronts and apartments in the Old Village, she was vocal about the “character” of the neighborhood and objected to everything being proposed. A Google search revealed she had lived here all of 18 months. In a co-op.

In the meantime, for all the talk about “character,” I’ve lived in the Town of North Hempstead since 1962, and I have to tell you, the downtowns look rundown and dog- eared and the Old Village especially looks like a slum.

These newcomers have no idea how elegant this town once was. And it no longer is, because these “guardians” bricked the local economy.

Not only that, they play a role in the national fetish of NIMBYism that has had devastating effects on our society: Soaring home prices, working adults living with their parents into their late 20s, delayed family formation, and last but not least homelessness.

And let’s not forget how they’ve tortured Great Neck’s local merchants and made their lives more miserable. Who do these people think they are?

Imagine the sense of entitlement one must have to act like this. This is why local control must be obliterated. It’s not that this one building solves all of the problems. It’s that there are thousands of villages in this state alone blocking the expansion of the nation’s housing needs in precisely this same way.

The results have been nothing short of horrific.

This is a carbon copy of the Ford dealership fiasco. That should have been a lay-up to approve.

So how do you cure it? One step at a time. I can’t imagine a more fitting project for the area that will address its biggest shortfall.

Here’s a tip for the mayor: Ignore the naysayers and don’t put housing policy in the hands of these bored busybodies. They’re reflexively hostile to any proposal, and nothing will ever satisfy them. Do the right thing for your community. And your Island.

Donald Davret


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