55 Waldron Avenue, Central Nyack

Town of Clarkstown Voting To Spend $365,000 To Purchase Tiny Bungalow In Central Nyack For “Municipal” Use

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Clarkstown Voting To Acquire Tiny 100 Year-Old Bungalow At 55 Waldron Avenue In Central Nyack

By Tina Traster

The Town of Clarkstown is preparing to purchase a tiny bungalow on Waldron Avenue for $365,000 for “municipal use” at a time when the town, county and state is suffering from a severe housing crisis. Town officials on Tuesday plan to vote on a resolution to bond for the purchase, which includes $349,000 for the asking price, plus closing costs.

When asked, Town Councilman Mike Graziano said, “I have no comment.”

What’s not listed in the resolution are the costs to eventually demolish the house because the town is presumably seeking to buy the house to create a pocket park on less than one-eleventh of an acre on the site, which is situated across the street from the Central Nyack Community Center.

Neighbors who have been lobbying the town for a green space for Central Nyack are confounded by this choice – and were unaware of the intended purpose — given the fact that the little yellow house sits tightly between two other houses and is hardly ideal for a park.

“This is absurd,” said Robert Simmons, who lives next door at 49 Waldron Avenue, and who put in a bid at full asking price for the house. “We have a housing crisis. I have nothing against a playground, but we need housing, and this space hardly makes sense for a park.”

The house at 55 Waldron, a rental owned by Nelson N. and Maryrose Torigian, was listed 25 days ago by Howard Hanna Rand for $349,000. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom house is 660-square-feet and was built in 1920 on less than one eleventh of an acre. At $365,000, Clarkstown would pay $530 per square foot for the house – at least three times greater than the asking price per square foot at a comparable 1,865 square-foot house on Shadyside Avenue, according to Zillow.

In addition, the town purchase would remove the house from the tax roll. The property pays nearly $7,000 in annual town, county, and school taxes.

It is unclear who lobbied for this purchase. Neighbors say the town has ceded some land for a community garden near Buttermilk Falls and that community members have been lobbying for a green space.

But this tiny parcel situated between two houses hardly seems like an idyllic green space.

“As a community, we don’t have any green space in Central Nyack for kids to play or to sit but we’re not sure how this makes sense,” said an active community member who asked to remain anonymous. “We’re just hearing about this now, but it does seem absurd.”

The selling agent Virginia Biscow said there have been multiple offers on the house.

When asked if the town was buying the property, Biscow said there is no contract in hand.

However, the town on Tuesday is planning to vote on a resolution “Authorizing the town to purchase property located at 55 Waldron Avenue, Central Nyack for General Municipal Purposes.” The public meeting will take place at noon at town hall.

The resolution says the town will buy the property for $349,000 but authorizes the town to bond for 30 years for $365,000 to cover closing costs.

The town needs “not less than two-thirds of all the members of the town board.” This means the council needs at least four votes to bond for this project.

“I haven’t heard too many details and hopeful we’ll receive an explanation prior to voting on the meeting,” said Town Councilman Patrick Carroll.

When asked, Town Councilman Mike Graziano said, “I have no comment.”

Town residents will have ten days after the adoption of the resolution to petition the town for a permissive referendum if they want voters to weigh in on the purchase.

The Town of Clarkstown is no stranger to buying up property, with the last two major purchases ending up in controversy. The purchase of the Rockland Country Day School in 2018 for $4.4 million remains a source of contention as nearby residents want the property to be left as open space while the town has floated development such as senior housing.

Even more problematic is the 2018 purchase of the Grace Baptist Church, which is now the target of a suit filed by a yeshiva that claims the town violated its civil rights and interfered with a contract for sale.