Assisted-living proposal stirs Jericho ire

A proposed 97,000-square-foot assisted living facility to be A proposed 97,000-square-foot assisted living facility to be built across the street from Jericho high and middle schools has met opposition from the school district. Photo Credit: Handout

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A $22 million assisted-living facility proposed for Jericho, where the developer said there is "definitely a need," has raised the ire of school district officials who fear it would bring traffic hazards and strain water and other resources.

"It's literally across the street from the middle and high school," Jericho school district Superintendent Henry Grishman said this week of the Old Cedar Swamp Road site. "The primary concerns we have are traffic-related. The supplementary concerns [are] we would lose that green space, and the impact on the local aquifer."

Garden City-based developer The Engel Burman Group presented the proposal for the 97,000-square-foot building at a school board meeting last week. An Oyster Bay spokeswoman said Thursday the project is in its early stages and no application has been made to the town department of planning and development or town board.

Engel Burman president Jan Burman said in an interview the traffic created by facility employees and visitors would be minimal and comparable to that of the landscaping business now on the site on Old Cedar Swamp Road near Route 106. Joe Lorintz, school board president, said Engel Burman is presently in contract to buy the site.

The building, which would be the 11th in a chain of The Bristal assisted-living facilities, most of them in Long Island, would tie into the sewer system and offer the schools a connection, sending water to the Nassau County treatment plant rather than into the aquifer, Burman said Tuesday.

Jericho students would benefit from a mentoring program used at other Bristal sites to be established with the facility's senior residents, likely to be locals, he added. "It really enables people to age in the community they've built over the years," he said.

The facility, on 4.87 acres, would have 140 beds and 164 parking spaces. It would require town approvals for a special-use permit, site plan and change-of-zone, from a one-family residence zone to a general-business zone.

Oyster Bay Councilman Chris Coschignano, a partner at the law firm representing Engel Burman, would recuse himself from any votes, town spokeswoman Marta Kane said.

Officials in neighboring Muttontown said the development could impact resources in their village and are asking the town to seek a full State Environmental Quality Review, Muttontown Deputy Mayor Mary Marks said Wednesday.

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