The Oyster Bay Town Board has declared that the draft environmental impact statement of the 92.8-acre mixed-use Syosset Park project complies with state and town law and set a May 1 public hearing on the document.
The vote last Tuesday was 6-0. Councilman Anthony Macagnone abstained, saying he didn’t receive the document until March 23 and “there’s no way I could read 800 pages in four days.”
The vote triggers a 60-day public comment period that a town official said in an email would probably be extended to ensure that all residents have an opportunity to give their opinions on the proposal. The statement is on the website of developer Syosset Park Development LLC: www.syossetpark.com. The town board will vote on whether to approve the statement once it is finalized.
Syosset Park Development — comprising Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group and Manhasset-based Castagna Realty Co. — plans to build 625 town houses and condominiums, two hotels, a 30-acre park, stores, offices and restaurants on what is now the site of a town public works complex, the former Cerro Wire plant and a landfill.
Theresa Walch, who lived for 17 years in a now-closed mobile home park near the site, called for radiation testing of the landfill and a study to determine whether a link exists between the landfill and what she said is a high cancer incidence in the area.
Several area residents praised the project, which they said is more in line with community wishes than a previous developer’s plan to build a shopping mall.
Craig Snyder, former president of the Birchwood Civic Association, said the developers “have been very solicitous of our concerns.”
Julie Gropper, co-president of the Birchwood at Syosset neighborhood group, urged the council to move the process forward.
“We are tired of looking at an ugly site,” she said of the empty land parcels.
The public hearing is at 6 p.m. in Syosset High School.