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Group Assembles to Oppose Proposed Medical Facility

Residents argue project will change the Five Towns forever.

About 150 people gathered in a Lawrence home on Wednesday to declare their opposition to a medical developer’s proposal to transform Number Six School into a “medical park,” which they believe threatens the landscape of the Five Towns.

“A terrible mistake has been made — it will take all of us to undo it,” Anessa Cohen, of Cedarhurst, told the crowd. “We have a responsibility to preserve our beautiful community in its entirety. You must bring everyone you can to vote no on this project.”

The residents are organizing a get out the vote campaign to shoot down the proposal of Simone Development Companies, whose bid of $12.5 million was accepted by the Lawrence Board of Education. A public referendum on the company’s effort to build a 60-doctor medical facility at the former school site will be held on March 20.

The group’s members are mostly concerned about the loss of the some five acres of green space at Peninsula Boulevard and Branch Boulevard to create a 450-car parking lot, as well as the potential traffic created by the project during its construction and after its opening.

“This community thankfully has a lot of kids. We don’t have enough space as it is,” said Uri Kaufman, one of three members of the school board to oppose Simone’s bid. “Public space once lost is never recovered.”

He claimed that the purported financial benefit of adding the facility back to the tax rolls would only result in $35 a year for School District 15 families.

“Do you want to see kids play ball or a big facility for $35 in your pocket?” he asked. “Future generations will thank us.”

Kaufman also said that the two lower bids received by the board, by Shulamith and the JCC of the Greater Five Towns, would have guaranteed the fields stay as is forever.

Ariel Lowe, of Woodmere, said he wasn’t opposed to Simone opening a medical facility in the area, just not at the former site of Number Six School. He suggested the developer instead look to build a facility either on the former site of a car lot on Rockaway Turnpike or the vacant Peninsula Hospital.

“This is totally a residential area. They’ll take it and destroy it,” he said. “I enjoy my neighborhood so much, and to see it spoiled for one group boggles my mind.”

The project is at odds with the things Long Islanders cherish the most, according to Neil Krakauer of Woodmere.

“If we wanted $35 a year, we’d combine school districts and sanitary districts. Money is not the issue here,” he said. “Long Islanders prize open spaces. We would sell out local space and local control.”

Dov Herman, who is helping organize the opposition to the project, had a simple message for Simone: “Leave our neighborhood alone.”

Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Yes sir/madam.....my vote is a definite yes......
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Well said
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Looking forward to the next meeting.....Thursday March 7th at 7 .....Five Towns Community Center...Lawrence Avenue
inwood queens Resident March 03, 2013 at 05:37 PM
First things first I'm no one puppet and If Oxford is a cheap insurance what do you call good insurance?
inwood queens Resident March 03, 2013 at 05:55 PM
It's obvious you don't live in the five towns. If you did you would know the police don't pull people over if they did we wouldn't have traffic. You do know it is a ticket able offense to enter a intersection without having an exit. Think it's 2 to 4 points and $150.00 fine. The people of inwood have been on our own for some time now. During sandy we defended our homes from looters with no police. Actually I was told when I called for a trespasser to lock my door that they have no police for Inwood. Next time I call the Undertaker to pick up the bodies. Inwood was lumped in with FarRockaways congressional district. Keep pushing we can take it but remember you don't want to poke that pitbull with the stick to many times you will get mauled. As for Mansdorf and Weinstock man it just goes to show you how quick you turn on your own. You don't agree with someone they are out. Not the kind of community I thought you wanted to build. The board really doesn't have long state control is just around the corner.
john March 03, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Dr. Murrary go drink a bottle of clorox and keep shut..Inwood , North lawrence, sections of cedarhurst, woodmere and Atlantic bbeach are a threat to this vot....maybe not the school votes...but this one..I think Greiner Maltz should be questioned on why they have such a VALUBALE piece of property with only 2 very small ' For Sale' signs facing side streets...Let me see..they are a HUGE, well known reputable company...with great advertising....YET, they FAILED to provide a large, katty-cornered "FOR SALE " sign facing to the traffic / corner of Penninsula blvd and Hungry Harbor roads for ALL people passing through the neighborhood..the 2 small signs are pathetic and only prove to show the board dosent want to market it outside...its a sham..you cant find the school on Greiners website ??????????????????????????????????????????????????
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 06:01 PM
day after Christmas my husband was sick.....had to go to Lynbrook walk in clinic...as his md was not in....looking forward to Urgent Care....a lot closer...and with parking....voting yes
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Well Inwood has been dumped on all the way around....we Inwood residents were never given the option of opposing the monstrosity of a Yeshiva on Doughty Blvd...I wonder why that was....property was sold...Yeshiva went up...we had no say....did I like it...not really...to quote others....it's a monstrosity....did I have a say...nope...did we accept the change on Doughty...had no choice...and I don't mean what ever that other Yeshiva is near the bridge...I mean the one smack in the middle of Doughty....you know the one...the one with an athletic field being built now....my gripe....why no meeting.......so as far as I am concerned....what ever goes up on the number 6 school lot as long as it's going back on the tax roll it's fine with me....so why not a medical facility....Inwood has had things dumped in their back yards long enough.....non tax paying things.....enough is enough
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 06:51 PM
About time Inwood takes a stand...I have lived here my entire life.....enough is enough....glad to hear you Inwood queens resident....maybe if we back each other we too will succeed....
john March 03, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Sussman loses by many votes....A reform Temple in hewlett is sold to a church... Public school #6 may be lost to outsiders...The school board is digging its own hole and may be replaced with State Officials....The schools are out of Money...??? Great Neck here we come...Kosher Lunches in Public Schools and not 1 board member is Orthodox...??? SHUL'S FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
john March 03, 2013 at 07:16 PM
The Ravs must stopping using inncoent children and the wallets of their parents to frum that out of public schools and into expensive private education...Why would we make a movement into a demographical area with thriving Public Schools if we cant use them?...Why are we here ?....Listen to your hearts...VOTE YES , bring tax dollars to the district and support SHUL'S FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS....
inwood queens Resident March 03, 2013 at 07:16 PM
The Town of Hemstead made those decisions just like the decision to allow the building of the Eruv. or was the Eruv build without town consent? I will like to know because if we are all Have the right to use public property and utility poles how is it a crime to put up a sign advertising a business? For those of you that don't know what a Eruv is its the little wire that is stung around the town to make it possible for people to carry items Fri evening til Sat evening. It's kind of like a fence making out an area that says this is my property. Look it up it a lot of places won't allow it why didn't we have a vote of the building of the Eruv?
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I was at that meeting...everyone had a chance to speak...myself included....they were GENTLEMEN....they were being called liars...people were shouting out...rude obnoxious behavior and they were still GENTLEMEN....the poor woman on the panel was near tears because of the behavior of some of the people...SHAMEFUL.... Anything to get their own way...
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 07:56 PM
What's wrong with Far Rockaway residents ? I thought this was for the good of ALL PEOPLE.....something wrong with people from the Rockaways ?
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Because we live in Inwood....I don't know why we aren't informed....is anyone in Inwood informed and it's not made public....hate to say it but are pockets being lined...what IS going on...inquiring minds want to know !
Public School parent March 03, 2013 at 10:55 PM
If you want to talk about appearance of impropriety: what about the fact that the campaign for Simone's purchase of the property is being spearheaded by Mansdorf, a board member. Mansdorf is a close personal friend of Benny Weinstock; he served as an usher at his wedding. Weinstock is the attorney for Simone and Deputy Mayor of Cedarhurst. (Quite incestuous if you ask me.) Giselle, why is it alright for a board member to be pushing the plan but not for a board member to oppose it. Is it because they are not joining you to bite off our neighborhood's nose to spite its face? You will condemn this area to thousands, daily, of extra cars, deliveries, transients and people walking in and out from public transportation. All of this just so that you can feel big about yourself that somehow you got over on the Orthodox members of the community. I am not a member of that section of the community, but your hatred and shortsightedness scares the heck out of me. You and your husband may be attorneys who can afford to move from this community when this medical monstrosity ruins it, but not all of us are so lucky and we will be stuck with your mess!
Public School parent March 03, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Sam, you really need to understand the facts. Simone will not pay the assessed taxes for five years after they file for a 485B. Then they will sell the finished property to Mount Sinai so that it can be considered a not-for-profit and be removed from the tax rolls permanently. They may be able to fool you but they can not fool me.
Kathryn Mennella March 03, 2013 at 11:58 PM
.......bigots and racists....on which end
Kathryn Mennella March 04, 2013 at 12:00 AM
A lot of people have been STUCK with a lot of messes....why should this be different...or right...YOU don't want it
inwood queens Resident March 04, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Carmela Soprano very interesting read thank you for the link. I really want to know if this statement is true? (But for haredim, most of whom never took a civics class, this is all foreign. And that, too, will not change unless New York State forces haredi schools to teach basic secular courses like civics, math, science and American history. As it now stands, many haredi boys leave high school with the equivalent of a third grade secular education. And perhaps that, more than anything else, explains the behavior of East Ramapo haredim toward the district's public schools.) If this is true what gives any validity to their education? So Basically student from these private school move on to private colleges and are given degrees that should have no validity? No standards for education? Basically it's the same as buying a degree online.
john March 04, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Mr. Kaufman from our school board can be facing removal of the board by the state ??? Why would a board member hold a meeting of 150 people at a LAWRENCE home when the sale of the proposed real estate is not even close to walking distance to lawrence homweowners ???? Thank g-d state officals are capable to view this blog...SHULS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS...fiscal responsibility is in the hands of the tax paying citizen, NOT a rav....!!!!kosher lunches for our children...
Local Resident March 05, 2013 at 02:58 AM
I have a question that needs to be answered - The proponents of the Simone project proclaim that school district homeowners will enjoy anywhere between a $30 and $100 annual real estate tax savings after the facility is constructed. Is this accurate? Notwithstanding the addition of this property to the commercial assessment roll, isn't there a New York State law that restricts the amount of annual growth in the tax levies for each of the four classes of property that comprise the Nassau County assessment roll. Therefore, won't the primary beneficiaries of real estate tax relief be each of the existing commercial property owners in the school district rather than homeowners. Does anyone with knowledge of "class shares" know whether this is correct?
inwood queens Resident March 05, 2013 at 10:16 PM
The Community Coaliion of the Five Towns is having a Meeting Tonight Just in case you didn't Know.. 5 March 2013 Save the date and tell friends to join our next information session at the Goldstein Residence, 6 Keewaydin Road in Lawrence, Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 p.m.
Thomas Cassone March 06, 2013 at 03:06 AM
hey inwood queens resident, I know you dont like this coalition. just remember this is a private home, and if you misbehave, I'm sure you will be removed.
Chana Goldsmith March 08, 2013 at 04:35 PM
You are exactly right. Most people in the 5 towns run to Manhattan doctors and hospitals when they are ill. It is time that we have a facility which is connected to a New York HOSPITAL which has doctors for all people 7 days a week. We have to get the yes community together just as the no community has.
Chana Goldsmith March 08, 2013 at 04:49 PM
I agree totally with your comment. I am living in the 5Towns for 45 yrs. I am a senior citizen with no where to go for socialization. I can walk to the #6 property. I am in this community way before most of the people who are fighting against the JCC. This would be a wonderful place for all people to gather and learn and enjoy.
Chana Goldsmith March 08, 2013 at 04:53 PM
shame on you. you are only interested in your bigoted agendas and good bye.
Chana Goldsmith March 08, 2013 at 04:56 PM
If what you say is true then it is unfair. You should be allowed to use the middle school for meetings which would educate the whole community as to your opinions.
Chana Goldsmith March 08, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Wow!
Kathryn Mennella March 08, 2013 at 05:08 PM
It was true Chana...I was embarrassed by the behavior of some people....I understand where they are coming from but to be so rude .....I learned to respect the opinions of others even if I didn't agree...I was actually asked what I was doing there....I am a tax payer in the five towns....lived here my entire 62 years......and never heard or saw the problems we are having now.....what happened to sharing the community....we used to...why not now....I am willing but not everyone is.....I just think something that will put the building back on the tax roll is the way to go.....I would like to be able to afford to stay in my home of 62 years and every little bit helps.....for me...it's all about the taxes and not proving a point.....just that.....we...the entire county can use the help

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