More than 50 residents spoke out against a proposed taxi dispatch center on Clearmeadow Drive and Hempstead Turnpike during a community meeting at Nassau University Medical Center on Monday night.
Joseph Piscitello, the potential buyer of the property at 2279 Clearmeadow Drive, and his developmental consultant, Richard Bivone, were planning to go before the Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday to request a variance for off-street parking and a special exception to have taxi use at the property with no vehicles.
Bivone said that customers would have the option to walk into the proposed dispatch center and wait for taxis, which would come from All Seasons Taxi in Westbury. He also said that the taxis would not be parked around the property or the neighborhood.
"The property has been vacant for a while," he said. "The only people that will need parking on the property will be one dispatcher and the manager."
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
Residents said that they believe taxis will be housed at the property due to the potential buyer's request for a variance of 10 parking spaces. Many said that the taxis will cut through residential streets, rather than drive down Hempstead Turnpike to beat traffic, and that the safety of their children will be threatened with taxis speeding through their neighborhoods.
After hearing many residents express their anger and outrage about the matter, Bivone said that he would adjourn the case at Wednesday's hearing.
"After hearing the community's concerns, we feel it would be best to adjourn the matter," Bivone said, "We are going to speak about how we are going to proceed further with the application."
Joseph Coscone lives nearby on Carol Road and said that the dispatch center does not belong in his community.
"We don't want you here," Coscone said during the meeting to thunderous applause. "There are 27 children on my block and you have no right to put a taxi stand there. I will fight you tooth and nail."
"Obviously the community does not want it here," Yvonne Amato said. "It would make East Meadow look like a commuter parking lot and not a residential community."
Sybil Cherisme, who lives on Ronni Drive, said that the dispatch center would bring down the property value of the area.
"It will no longer look like suburbia," she said. "People who will be using the cabs will not be constituents of this community. It will be people who are visiting the jail or the medical center. It would not serve us or benefit us."
Linda Green, who lives on Nancy Drive, said even though the case will be adjourned, the matter will continue to resurface.
"They are going to come back with another plan and try to sugarcoat it," she said. "We don't want a taxi stand here."
How do you feel about the proposed taxi dispatch center possibly coming to Clearmeadow Drive? Tell us in the comments below.