LYNBROOK, Long Island (WABC) -- Outraged residents gathered at Lynbrook Village Hall Monday to rally against a major $75 million 200-unit apartment complex and four-story parking garage.
It would be the largest building project in the town in decades, one that critics say is completely out of scale, and they believe it belongs somewhere other than the heart of Lynbrook.
"Keep Lynbrook Lynbrook," they chanted,
Lynbrook is home to nearly 20,000 residents on just two square miles, and the complex would be the largest structure in the village.
"It's going to increase congestion, traffic," resident Anteniella Tavella said. "It's going to impact our school system. It's going to raise our taxes, and we're extremely upset."
The building would be built on a 2-acre municipal parking lot alongside the Long Island Rail Road. It would offer both a short walk to the Lynbrook train station as well as a being just steps from the downtown business district.
"To build a four-tier parking garage, an eyesore?" resident Alan Pawelsky said. "That's done in Queens and Brooklyn, around malls. There's no parking garages around here like that."
The local Chamber of Commerce supports the plan, but Mayor Alan Beach abruptly canceled a public hearing scheduled for Monday night.
"The application, as currently proposed, is not in keeping with the character of downtown Lynbrook," he said. "Rest assured, I, along with the rest of this board, will put the interest of this village and its residents first."
The developer claims the project will boost the village economy, where there are several vacant storefronts, and has offered to pay the cost of the parking garage.
"We are eager to listen to feedback from all sides to craft a proposal that the village can embrace," the developer said in a statement. "As our intention is, and has always been, to partner with the community."
Some residents were fine with the idea of the structure, but not the scale.
"The community needs help," resident Adrienne Neufeld said. "We have vacant storefronts like every other community. We need to fill those with businesses. But do we need something this huge?"
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Lynbrook residents rally against $75 million, 200-unit apartment complex