County construction surprises Bethpage neighbors

Posted: Updated:
BETHPAGE -

Residents in Bethpage were caught off guard when a major construction project on a new community policing center popped up behind their homes.

Nassau County is building the center where the old 8th Precinct was. Nearby homeowners like Vincent Papandrea say the project did not involve community input. They say the building is just feet away from their properties, which is much closer and much higher than the building that's replacing it.

"I have a 7-year-old son and this is supposed to be a place where he can go in the back and play and not have to worry,” says Papandrea.

"I would love to just have been warned of what is going to be there,” adds Ashley Brugnoni.

Experts say the county is within its legal rights, since under a 1988 court decision government buildings are not subject to normal zoning rules. But that makes Papandrea even angrier.

"For the government to be able to come in and do whatever they want … I have to jump through hoops just to build an extension,” he says.

Papandrea says county officials called this afternoon.

"They say the reason they had to put it so close to my property is because they needed the building that size and there is a gas line that runs on the other side,” he says. 

In a statement to News 12, Nassau's Public Works Department said the community was notified and that it followed Hempstead building guidelines.
 

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