New Cassel addresses strict housing restrictions during town meeting

Carol Gardiner says she wants the legal right to have a fully finished basement but laws unique to New Cassel restrict her from moving forward with plans. (4/22/14)

NEW CASSEL - Residents in New Cassel renewed their fight over some housing regulations at a North Hempstead town meeting Tuesday night.

Carol Gardiner says she wants the legal right to have a fully finished basement but laws unique to New Cassel restrict her from moving forward with plans.

Currently, there are several restrictions that apply to New Cassel's 14,000 residents. One restriction is in place to curb illegal basement apartments. Officials say the basement restriction was put in place eight years ago to thwart slumlords. Some residents say illegal housing in New Cassel has led to overcrowding in the Westbury school district.

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Councilwoman Vivianna Russell says the housing restrictions are too strict and may not even help with the issues.

"It's hard to judge as to whether this has been a deterrent to illegal housing or not, so to penalize a homeowner who is doing the right thing, I don't think is fair,” said Russell.

The board tabled the vote on the basement issue, saying it will consider all public comments first.

Councilwoman Russell says she is planning to form an Illegal Housing Committee to address the problem.

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