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Oyster Bay Town approves zoning for Jericho assisted living plan

Rendering of a 280-unit assisted living project called

Rendering of a 280-unit assisted living project called Bristal Jericho. The $80 million construction project should begin in the first half of 2016. Photo Credit: Engel Burman Group

The Town of Oyster Bay approved zoning changes and site plans Tuesday that will allow 280 units of assisted-living housing to be built next to 50 acres of preserved land known as the Underhill property in Jericho.

The Engel Burman Group of Garden City plans to begin construction on the approximately $80 million project called Bristal Jericho in the next four or five months, partner Jan Burman said Tuesday.

“It’s a great use of the property because we’re giving a gift of about nine acres to the town to be preserved forever so we’re only developing half the property,” Burman said. “We have a very large senior population in that area that needs what we’re doing.”

Oyster Bay spokeswoman Marta Kane said the project still needs one final approval by the County Planning Commission because the property is being subdivided.

The sale of the land to the developer from the administrators of the estate of William H. Doremus for an undisclosed price was contingent on the town’s approvals, Burman said.

Restrictive covenants the developer agreed to require the company to give 8.5 acres of land to the town so that a portion “will remain in a natural and undeveloped state.”

The town sued the Doremus estate in 2010 to seek to preserve the entire property, which lies between the preserved Underhill property to the north, Jericho Turnpike to the south and Route 106 to the east. The New York State Court of Appeals ruled against the town in 2012, clearing the way for development.

Burman said the court case was resolved before the Engel Burman group became involved. He said a buffer on the western side of the development will limit the visual impact for residents of the neighboring Hamlet Estates. Woodbury-based attorney Anthony Cincotta, who has previously represented Oyster Bay on zoning issues, represented Burman in its zoning application to the town.

Most of the units will be luxury assisted-living apartments with 80 set aside for dementia patients. The construction is expected to last 14 to 16 months, Burman said.

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