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Oakdale developer pulls apartment proposal

A developer has withdrawn his proposed 109-apartment complex for Oakdale ahead of a vote by the Islip Town planning board to deny the application.

The proposed rental complex, on a vacant mini-golf course on the south side of the Sunrise Highway service road near Oakdale Bohemia Road, was first submitted to the town in 2008 by OGC LLC of Woodbury and Queens-based Pickman Realty Corporation.

OGC was seeking a zoning change, which ultimately needs approval by the town board. The town's planning department recommended the planning board approve the complex.

But planning board member Donald Fiore objected to some changes in the application made since its initial public hearing in 2008, notably that the apartment buildings would be three stories instead of two.

"I have a problem approving a plan that has changed," Fiore said. "How is the public to know it changed from two-story to three-story?" He added, "There appears to be a veil of deception here."

OGC attorney Tim Shea of Hauppauge said despite the changes, the plan "meets all the necessary approvals" and that the town's planning department didn't require another public hearing.

The changes in the plan included more green space and landscaping, made possible by making the apartment buildings closer and taller. "We're providing substantially more landscaping and less building space," Shea said.

Fiore was unsatisfied and motioned to reserve decision on the application pending more research. "It's going to look like we're not doing our jobs, or we're very lax," he said.

The board voted down the motion to reserve, and board member Anthony Musumeci then motioned to deny the application. Shea asked if another public hearing was possible instead of withdrawing the application or being denied by the board. When told no, Shea and developer principal Steven Willner withdrew the application before the board's vote.

When later asked if his client will resubmit the application, Shea declined to comment.

The original plan called for 48 senior condos and 82 nonrestricted units, for a total of 130 units. After the original public hearing in 2008, where the planning board reserved decision, the plan was changed to 109 rental units in two-story clusters.

The board approved the plan changes at a second public hearing in 2009. Subsequent changes called for another decision hearing, not another public hearing, town officials said.

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