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Sunday, May 29, 2016
Harbor Isle development a toss-up
(Page 3 of 4)
Howard Schwach/Herald
Harbor Isle consists exclusively of one-family homes, most of which have been in the same families for generations, residents say.

Nicholas Mela, a retired New York City police officer who lives on Island Parkway, adjacent to the development site, was even more forthright. “What do I care what the unions want, what Island Park wants?” he told the board. “They have no say in whether or not the yuppies come to our small community. They have nothing to do with us and should not have a say. Only Harbor Isle should have a say. They don’t care about my grandson riding his bike or playing basketball in the street. The developers just want the yuppie money.

“This is not Rockville Centre or Garden City,” Mela continued, referring to two other Avalon Bay communities. “This is Harbor Isle, with two small bridges in and out and nothing but one-family homes.”

Mela later met a Herald reporter at the site, pointing out the problems that he believes would come from building the development — the two bridges, the long walk to the train station from the site, the limited number of streets and the predominance of single-family homes.

Others complained about overtaxing the schools in Island Park, which students from Harbor Isle attend, overcrowded roads and the potential overcrowding of the parking lot at the Island Park Long Island Rail Road station.

The project would increase Harbor Isle’s population by 35 percent,” said Mark Tannenbaum, a resident who is also the vice president of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. “We don’t want transients. Nobody knows we’re here, and nobody comes here unless they have business here. The project would open us up to those who don’t know Harbor Isle and who don’t care about our quality of life. They have no family roots here, and no reason to respect the community as our homeowners do.”

Several union officials spoke against the plan, describing Avalon Bay as bad for local workers in both the construction and maintenance of its projects.


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