The Oyster Bay Town Board held a hearing Tuesday evening to hear more about a proposed plan to construct and operate a five-story, 102,160-square foot, 150-unit assisted living facility with common areas and amenities at the corner of Broadway and East Carl Street in Hicksville.
United Vanguard Homes, Inc., a New York corporation that's been in operation for 35 years, according to Carl Paffendorf, company president, is asking for the special use permit to construct the facility.
"We develop, manage and own senior living facilities in various states throughout the country, including Michigan and Florida. Throughout the past 30 years, my colleagues and I have developed, owned and managed over 70 facilities."
Construction should begin within the next few months at the company's other development project on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington, according to Paffendorf. Furthermore, United Vanguard just opened a facility in Florida this past October.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said the board sees quite a number of applications for assisted living facilities. "We get so many conflicting statements from different applicants as to what really goes on at the facility in terms of level of care and condition of residents." Tara O'Sullivan, corporate vice-president of operations who works on site in Florida, was available Tuesday evening to answer these specific questions.
John Breslin, Jr., president, Breslin Appraisal Company, Inc. in Huntington and real estate expert who's gone before the board both for and against applications in the past, said, "From a real estate perspective, this is a very significant economic development benefit type of application. It does provide revitalization to the area; it does provide substantial tax revenue for the community as a whole, specifically the local school district.
"The use is complementary with the downtown business district and will be helpful, in my opinion, to the district. I do not believe it will have any adverse effects on real property values and it certainly will not alter the character of the community in any way."
Robert Eshbacher, traffic expert who's gone before the board for and against similar applications, noted, "The peak parking demands for assisted living facilities is .4 spaces per room. When multiplying .4 times 150 [units] you'll get 60. That's the busiest time out of the entire week, out of the number of months over the year and so on. We satisfy that with the parking that's provided here."
Although some civic associations and neighbors are concerned with the height of the building, Breslin said "the height will not be that out of character for the area since Goldman Bros. is 40 feet tall and the school property is 42 feet tall."
Dale Bennett, president of the NorthWest Civic Association in Hicksville, admitted he is not concretely against the proposal but he is not concretely for it either. "Hicksville is in desperate need for revitalization in the downtown area but I am still concerned about a five-story building on Broadway. I'm also concerned with the lack of parks and open space in the area. There is not much green space for these residents."
Len Ober, another civic member and Hicksville resident, agreed with Bennett regarding the lack of green space but said he is "for the most part, in favor of this application."
Janet Insardi from the firm of Forchelli, Curto, Schwartz, Mineo, Carlino & Cohn LLP said during a meeting earlier last month that the building would occupy only 30 percent of the site and the height is necessary to allow a sufficient number of units to make the facility economically feasible. Paffendorf added the facility would only appear to be four stories high when looking at it from Broadway.
Supervisor Venditto advised the applicant and their attorney to factor in the numerous comments made at the hearing and think about downsizing. "This does not indicate the board's decision on the proposal in any way. We just want to know if this is an all or nothing proposition."
The Hicksville Illustrated News will print the town board's decision on whether to accept or reject this proposal when it is made available.