The Uplands project proposed by the Society of St. Johnland for Kings Park is unacceptable ["No fast track on senior housing," News, July 9].
The organization owns 50 acres of pristine forest, of which only 21 are designated for development of 21 homes by the Town of Smithtown. Meanwhile, St. Johnland seeks to construct almost 200 units and a four-story parking garage on those 21 acres.
The project is pure folly, as the town has worked to prevent overdevelopment of such an environmentally sensitive parcel through zoning. The solution is simple: The state of New York has already stated its interest in a land swap from the abandoned Kings Park Psychiatric Center for the preservation of those 50 wooded acres. St. Johnland has so far refused to budge from its arrogant proposal.
Do we need senior housing on Long Island? Absolutely! However, the public and the town's residents would be better served if it were constructed on a more buildable site.
Sean Lehman, president of the Kings Park Civic Association, is correct when he says that this project could set a precedent for every residential community in the Smithtown area.
Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Fort Salonga Association, a civic group.
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