Residents Speak Out on Wang Property's Future

Plainview residents want several issues addressed in the plan for Country Pointe project.

Plainview residents raised concerns Tuesday nighbt about the latest proposal to develop the 143 acre property that once was home to the Nassau County Complex.

There's a lot of planning and studies yet to be done for the proposed Country Pointe development now under consideration for the 143 acres of land on the corner of Old Country Road and Round Swamp Road.

The Town of Oyster Bay held a public scoping session at Town Hall, considered to be the kickoff for the public review of the project. The session allows residents to state what they would like to see addressed in the scope for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding the proposal.

The DEIS is based on the scope document, or outline. It will ultimately contain loads of data and analyses from studies surrounding the property, which is owned by Islanders owner , and is being developed by the Jericho-based , owned by Michael Dubb.

Studies on the potential impact on the environment, ecology, traffic and pollution will be part of the DEIS, and, of the Concerned Citizens of the Plainview Old Bethpage Community, gave a detailed report as to what the group would like to see in the report. Among the points she raised:

If slow sales cause the age restriction to move into the 'Golden Age' housing units to be reduced from 55 to 48, which has happened before in the Town of Hempstead, how will that affect the impact on schools, recreation and traffic?

If the proposed supermarket doesn't come through, will there be a large, empty shell of commercial property? Why isn't any commercial office space being proposed?

With seniors having to share their residential area with retail space, will it be safe for them to travel around their neighborhood by foot?

How will the loss of the POB soccer fields be addressed?

With the property's proximity to the Plainview industrial park, and toxic vapor having been discovered there, will developers investigate this in terms of water resources on the land?

Will traffic studies include the project's impact on parking at area train stations and account for increased occupancy at the hotels on Round Swamp Road?

Will the defunct Old Plainview proposal be included under 'reasonable alternatives' to the plan?

The applicants will be seeking a change in the property's zoning, allowing for changes in maximum building height, distance between buildings, and units per building, among other things. Meschkow concluded by saying the zoning changes could create an unwanted precedent for future projects.

Resident Ira Schneider spoke out against Meschkow's concerns, throwing his support in favor of Country Pointe.

"A place like this is only going to be better for the seniors that live in Plainview to stay in Plainview," Schneider said. "If I have to move out of Plainview, I'm going to sell my house to whomever wants to buy it."

Town officials stressed that this was not a hearing on whether folks are for or against the project, and Meschkow said her group has yet to give its official position on it.

"The more individuals that have insights [into the proposal], the better it is for the common good," Meschkow said. "If we're respectful for the environment, it benefits us all."

Other concerns residents raised focused on the amount of entrances the complex would have from Old Country and Round Swamp, and how that might affect traffic. Also, how would construction affect air quality and would schools become overcrowded with an influx of new residents.

The land would become a mixed use development, with multi-family housing units, including the 'Golden Age' and other age-restricted units. 114,330 square feet would be dedicated to retail space for a bank and supermarket. More than 40 acres would be set aside for public use.

The town will be accepting written statements on the scope through March 23. Additional hearings would be required before a final plan is decided upon.

To let your voice be heard on the DEIS, write to James Moriarty Jr, Town of Oyster Bay Dept of Environmental Resources, 150 Miller Place Syosset,NY 11791 or email him at jmoriarty2@oysterbay-ny.gov, by March 23.


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