Community in Glen Cove worries zoning changes may force out Latino residents

GLEN COVE — Proposed zoning changes in the city are causing concerns within the community and Latino residents say it may force them to move.

“Are they going to maintain housing that is going to be affordable for these individuals?” asks Tricia Lall of New York, echoing the question that most residents have when asked about the new proposed zoning changes for the predominately Latino neighborhood.

Officials say the plan is to reduce the amount of the land required for a new home. This in turn would increase the number of homes in the area. Residents worry they may be forced out because most rent and have no say on the zoning rules.

But the director of the Glen Cove Community Development agency says there is no need for the city to buy or take over current properties in Orchard to build new homes. The director adds that the city isn’t looking to displace its current residents.

“I think it would be a concern for them if they’ve been there a long time. I’m not exactly sure what these re-zoning laws are, so, I would feel bad for them if they have to get displaced,” says local resident Joseph Borgese.

President of the Civic Association Nelson Melgar says the residents are ready for a fight. He says:

“This community is being targeted because they think people who live here are not going to put up a fight. Most Orchard residents rent, so development decisions are out of their control.”

A public open house on the zoning proposal is scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Glen Cove City Hall.