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Letter: Mayor Cavallaro on the ‘Lighthouse’ Development Project

(Mayor Cavallaro sent this letter to Newsday in response to the paper’s recent article on the Lighthouse project.)

With the continuing economic issues facing Long Island, and Nassau in particular, it is good news that the Town of Hempstead will soon be outlining its proposed zoning for the Nassau Coliseum site.  The site represents perhaps the best hope for a revitalization of Nassau County, and the potential to generate both construction-related and permanent jobs for our region.

However, it is imperative that the town and county make certain that any new plans fully assess and mitigate all regional impacts that are certain to result from any redevelopment, including impacts beyond the borders of the Town of Hempstead.  As the lead agency under SEQRA, the town has the legal obligation to do so, but areas in the Town of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, just north of Old Country Road (the Hempstead town border), such as Westbury, Carle Place, Hicksville, Mineola and others were wrongly left out of the impacts analysis previously performed by the applicant.  The County, in approving any lease of the land or other aspects of the project, needs to make sure that all county residents are protected.

Finally, the plan should call for taxpayer equity and an appropriate distribution of the real property tax revenue generated from the redeveloped site, so that all affected communities share the benefits, as well as the burdens, of the redevelopment.

Peter I. Cavallaro
Mayor
Village of Westbury