Residents came out in droves to oppose the plan for numerous reasons, mainly because of its proximity to Davison Avenue Intermediate School, which borders Grace Avenue, its perceived negative effect on other local businesses in the community and negative implications for traffic in the area. More than 30 people addressed the board to ask questions of the developer’s team and make comments about the project.
RESIDENTS CHIME IN
Lynbrook resident Joe Palmeri, who owns the meat department at Cross Island Fruits on Hempstead Avenue, said a Walgreens in the area would put a lot of people out of work. “You’re really putting a lot of local businesses at risk,” he said to the development team. “You’re putting a lot of jobs at risk. You’re ruining the landscape.”
Malverne Mayor Patricia McDonald shared her positive experiences at Nordon Drugs on Hempstead Avenue and said the staff there has been good to her family over the years. “My concern is for the small businesses,” she said. “We all live here because we like the community. We like the small-town feel.”
Several residents voiced concerns over student safety and said a Walgreens in the area would increase the current high levels of traffic. The Davison Avenue school houses students in grades three through five and Laura Avvinti, president of the school’s PTA, said the area is already dangerous for children crossing the street. “They’re walking home,” she said, “sometimes by themselves, is this going to be safe for them?”
Residents were also concerned about the possibility of drug users coming into the area. A state law permits people 18 years and older to purchase syringes without a prescription with a valid I.D. Walgreens, like 3,300 other pharmacies in the state according to Guardino, has this policy.
A formal traffic study was not completed prior to the meeting and Harry Baker, a traffic engineer who accompanied Guardino during the presentation, said he was waiting on data from Nassau County to complete it. Baker said traffic would not be negatively impacted with the addition of a Walgreens and added that he did traffic counts on a weekday in the morning and afternoon and on a Saturday afternoon.