The owners of two asphalt plants in Hicksville that long have been the subject of complaints about pollution and noise have offered to donate one plant to Oyster Bay if the town approves a residential complex to replace the other.

The Lizza family is seeking town approval to replace Twin County Recycling Corp., a 15-acre property on West John Street, with Cantiague Commons, a residential development for seniors and first-time home buyers, said family spokesman Frank Lizza Jr.

The family has offered to donate Engel Street Asphalt Corp., a nearby two-acre facility that serves as a backup to Twin County - and a past sticking point in negotiations between the family and Oyster Bay - in hopes of securing town approval for Cantiague Commons.

Town Supervisor John Venditto and planning and development commissioner Fred Ippolito said they view the proposed donation as a chance to close down the plants and end long-running complaints from residents about noise and pollution. Venditto said the town likely would raze the backup plant and leave the site as open space.

But in interviews, Venditto and the six other members of Oyster Bay's town board wouldn't commit to approving Cantiague Commons, now proposed to have about 470 units of housing for seniors and first-time home buyers. Venditto says he supports 350 units, and several board members said they weren't comfortable with a higher number yet.

The planning department is still evaluating the project and no hearings are scheduled.

"It gets a little scary when it gets up over 400," said board member Chris Coschignano. "Will there be a little reduction when it comes time to have another hearing? That's possible."

The town and the Lizza family have fought over Twin County almost since it opened in 1982 with a 10-year permit.

Oyster Bay extended the permit in 1992 for five years. In 1997, the town opted to not renew the permit, and the plant owners sued. The state Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, overruled the town, and the permit was extended.

The family later proposed a housing development at the Twin County site, and to refurbish the nearby Engel Street plant and keep it in operation. The town board held a hearing on the project in 2003, but many residents objected and board members never voted on it.

The family and the town tried for several years to negotiate a selling price for the smaller plant, but were unsuccessful.

Now, after years of wrangling over the plants, some local residents say they would welcome any solution that leads to the plants' closure.

Joel Berse, head of the Northwest Civic Association of Hicksville, said nearby backyards and pools are often covered in soot from the plants. "It's been a blight on our community for a long time," he said.

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