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County and town nix Friedman development plan on LWA land

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A proposed three-story, 33-unit residential development for 1.33 acres of land on Lawrence Woodmere Academy’s south end along West Broadway and Westwood Road that the Hewlett-based Guy Friedman Realty Group submitted to the Nassau County Planning Commission was recommended for denial on Sept. 5 by the eight-member board.

The Town of Hempstead, which makes the ultimate decision, is in line with the planning commission’s recommendation. “The town board supports that position right now and as the planning commission said in their statement ‘it is better suited for single-family homes as it is zoned for single-family homes,’” said Susan Trenkle-Pokalsy, a town spokeswoman.

In November of 2018, the Friedman Group purchased the land for $2.5 million from the nonsectarian private school in Woodmere, and after the planning commission approved subdividing the land in September of last year — an LWA stipulation of the transaction — the acquisition was arranged by Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis, a Manhattan-based commercial real estate agency better known as CBRE. LWA’s entire campus is now 8.67 acres.

“The applicants requested subdivision of the property into two lots,” said Sean Sallie, deputy commissioner of the county’s Department of Public Works. “The larger lot would comprise the academy building, parking lots and fields; the smaller lot would be created from vacant land at the south end of the property.”

Lisette Friedman, a principal of realty group, said they were “just waiting for the town board” for the required permits to begin development of the site. More than likely that will have to wait as the application was kicked back to the Friedmans.

According to Friedman, the feedback on subdividing the land was mixed at two community meetings last year, and that was without residents knowing the exact plan. “We will subdivide for what is best for the community,” she said.

Open space is becoming more difficult to find, especially in the Five Towns. The 118-acre Woodmere Club is more than likely to become a residential development, with 285-single-family homes proposed for 114.25 acres of the 111-year-old club expected to close in the fall of 2021.

The 1.33 acres of LWA land translates into nearly 58,000-square-feet. The town’s residential zoning allows for a minimum lot size of 6,000-square-feet for a single-family home. At least nine houses could be built on the site.

Have an opinion about land development in the Five Towns? Send your letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.