The following comments were submitted on April 5, 2018 to the Town of Oyster Bay in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for Syosset Park. You can read the DEIS document here.
To Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Members of The Town Board, and Mr. George Baptista:
I am writing regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Syosset Park.
While the DEIS for Syosset Park is comprehensive, there are outstanding conceptual and environmental issues with the plan that have gone unaddressed since the project’s first initial scoping was conducted in June 2016.
Principally, the document fails to mention how Syosset Park’s market projections will weather changing dynamics of the regional real estate market due to other large mixed-use real estate projects in the developmental pipeline. These include those that are either currently being built or proposed. Other efforts the DEIS should account for include the revitalization of downtown Hicksville, the replacement of the former Sears department store with mixed-uses, and larger developments further east like Heartland Town Square in the Town of Islip, the revitalization of Huntington Station, and the Ronkonkoma Hub in the Town of Brookhaven.
Like these other projects, Syosset Park is proposing large footprints for retail, office, and hospitality uses – potentially oversaturating the regional market. Further, at the conclusion of each five to six-year built phase of Syosset Park, the town should work with all stakeholders to conduct a market study to reassess not only the community’s needs, but those of the region as well. This would allow for the proposal to be dynamic and be properly amended to better fit with regional needs in the future.
The question is – Are the applicants and municipality planning on addressing these issues before the appropriate approvals are given? If yes, the FEIS must reflect these plans accordingly.
As part of the research process for its award-winning body of analytical and reported work on Long Island’s land use issues, The Foggiest Idea regularly reviews DEIS and FEIS documentation for the various development projects being considered by policymakers across the Nassau/Suffolk region.
While in the past The Foggiest Idea has generally supported the developer’s proposal in concept, there are significant planning concerns that the DEIS has not addressed. As first noted in 2016, the opportunity to develop at this scale in Nassau County is rare, and the environmental review should be worthy of the project’s potential.
The Foggiest Idea Inc.