Once again we are reaching out to you, as the fate of our community and the future of the Town of Oyster Bay is in jeopardy. The Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor Venditto and the six town council members are currently preparing to vote on the Final Environmental Impact Statement, early next month, for the proposed "Colony at Olde Oyster Bay." The decision to approve this project would establish a precedent in our town for the largest and most dense Planned Unit Development in Nassau County.
As we mentioned in an earlier letter, the proposed site is a state designated critical environmental area and special ground water protection area. The Long Island Regional Planning Board specifically designated this site for permanent "open space," or if that was not feasible, to be used only for low density commercial development. This proposal is in complete contradiction of that designation.
On Dec. 28, the State Legislative Commission on Water Resource Needs for New York State and Long Island, co-chaired by Assemblyman DiNapoli, cited the town for this proposal; all to no avail as the Town of Oyster Bay has no plans to reduce the massive density of this development.
When originally proposed this development addressed a sorely needed element in our community, 160 units for our seniors. It also included 15 acres of "real" open space. Neither of these components exist today as we understood them 18 months ago, when the developer first approached the community via the school board. The aforementioned proposal that included "senior housing" was more palatable, addressed a real need in our community, and limited the impact to our schools and local services. No development would still be the best decision, especially at a time when other towns are buying land to maintain open space and protect our sensitive environment and precious resources. The Town of Oyster Bay has that option as it is their choice to sell this property rather than preserve it.
Now it is your last chance for our community to voice our concerns to the town supervisor and all six town council members. Everyone is welcome to attend the Feb. 16 town council meeting at 7 p.m. and talk personally to our elected officials. If you cannot attend, you can still voice your concern by calling every council member and the town supervisor today at 624-6300.
Thank you for your continued concern.
Carol and Lance Meschkow
(Editor's Note: The Meschkow's have also submitted the following:)
* A New York State Commission in a letter on Dec. 28, 1998 cited the Town of Oyster Bay and recommended scaling back the proposed 538-unit "Colony at Olde Oyster Bay."
* The State Commission on Water Resource Needs of NY & LI, co-chaired by NYS Assemblyman DiNapoli, in a letter written by Legislature Director John L. Turner, faulted the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) as inconsistent with the Long Island Regional Planning Commission Study on Ground Water, which called for this particular property to be preserved as open space or, only if necessary, low density commercial development that would have a minimal impact on ground water. It went on to further state that the proceeds of any sale should be utilized for the acquisition of open space within the state designated Special Ground Water Protection Area.
* This development, if built, will set a precedent for the Town of Oyster Bay as the largest under construction in Nassau County. It will also request the unprecedented creation of a new town zoning ordinance for these Planned Unit Developments (PUD).
* The original proposal included a "Senior" Housing Component of 160 affordable units. This concept has been replaced with units at a higher price that have no age restrictions.
* Local civic groups and concerned citizens have been protesting the size, density and environmental impact since the Dec. 8, 1998 presentation of the DEIS. Approval of the Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected in March.
* The Town Supervisor and the six Town Council Members may be reached every day at 624-6300, if you wish to comment.
* The next Town Council meeting is Tuesday night, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay. It is open for public comments on all subjects.