Something is happening in Oyster Bay. We mean that in a good way.
The town, which for years has been the place where development ideas go to die, is on the verge of giving a final yes to a large housing development on Old Country and Round Swamp roads in Plainview. A variety of factors have come together to make this little miracle; we hope that's a sign of more to come and not simply serendipity.
The Country Pointe project would have 750 homes -- 660 to be sold at market rates to those 55 and older, and 90 units for income-restricted buyers older than 62. The steering of the proposal by developer Michael Dubb and his Beechwood Organization offers a playbook for how to get these kinds of projects done.CartoonMatt Davies' latest cartoon: "Coming for your guns"CommentSubmit your letterReader essaysGet published in Newsday
They did extensive community outreach and welcomed feedback. They harnessed the power of the Internet and social media, building support via an online petition and debunking misinformation with facts. They agreed to reduce the number of homes and add more open space. And they benefited from the town's financial straits; Oyster Bay will enjoy an increase in tax revenues, as will the local school district.
We have our quibbles. The town's demand to max out age-restricted homes reflects the huge market for that, but Oyster Bay, like all of Long Island, needs to recognize that the housing needs of young adults -- even if they have children -- are as pressing as those of empty nesters.
The project needs approval by the Nassau County Planning Commission and site-plan approval by the town board. Dubb hopes to break ground by year's end and have residents moving in by the end of 2016.
For Oyster Bay, this is a good development in all senses of the word. We hope the next stop on the progress train is Hicksville. It's long past time the town redeveloped the area around Long Island's busiest railroad station. Fixing Hicksville would let us know Oyster Bay is embracing a different future with gusto, and not merely shaking hands.