Written by Rachel Shapiro Friday, 29 January 2010 00:00
In Farmingdale and throughout the Town of Oyster Bay, there are several parcels of land that have sparked discussion regarding their purchase, zoning, development and revitalization.
Be it a new matter or an issue that has been around for many years, people voice their opinions either at heated debates at civic and government meetings or at quiet gatherings and during their everyday life as they quietly discuss the land’s fate.
At their meeting on Jan. 21, the Concerned Citizens Association of Farmingdale discussed some of these sites in hopes of bringing to light once again these local economic issues in the Town of Oyster Bay. Among the development and revitalization issues also lays an issue that many people on Long Island know all too well: the loss of jobs.
CCAF President Chuck Gosline ran the meeting as residents discussed projects at the Glen Cove Waterfront, the proposed Lighthouse Project in the Town of Hempstead, development of a parcel of Allen Park, possible projects on the old Grumman site and development of land owned by Republic Airport.
Gosline said, “Nassau County has a Master Plan but the towns and villages have the zoning to make those changes.”
Deputy Commissioner for the Town of Oyster Bay’s newly created Department of Economic Development James McCaffrey was at the meeting to discuss some of the Town’s plans and open it up to the residents of Farmingdale for input.
“Our goal is to try to attract good, high-paying jobs,” McCaffrey said. “Not low-paying retail jobs that would come with a shopping mall or Stop & Shop.”
McCaffrey said not only is it important to try to get companies to come to Nassau County but more importantly, convince the ones that are already here to stay here.
“We’re meeting with LIJ [hospital] to see if they want to open any new facilities,” McCaffrey said. “Meeting with local universities and Cold Spring Harbor Lab to keep it all here.”
With many projects up in the air, in the discussion phase or in the planning phase, Gosline urged residents at the meeting to pass on this message, “What we want to do is get input from residents. We need more voices with opinions,” he said. “If we just sit home, they’re never going to hear our voices.”
Their next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 25 and residents are invited and encouraged to attend as the CCAF hopes to pool together residents’ opinions and ideas to give the Town of Oyster Bay and maybe the Village as collective suggestions for their neighborhoods.
“We want to try to work as closely with the town and maybe village…” Gosline said. “Talk about the potential projects, provide feedback saying ‘this is what our residents want to be’.”
“Our goal is to put together the collective input from hundreds of people so we get most of what people want,” Gosline said