The following comments were formally submitted on December 21, 2020 to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and members of the Town Board.
To Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Members of The Town Board, and Mr. George Baptista:
My name is Richard Murdocco, and I am writing to submit public comments in regards to the proposed rezoning of downtown Hicksville.
As part of the research process for its award-winning body of work on Long Island’s environmental and real estate development issues, The Foggiest Idea regularly reviews the policy actions taken by local, state, and federal governments that impact communities throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Due to the significant role that Hicksville plays as both a residential hamlet and commuter hub, the impact of any rezoning will resonate across the region.
The rezoning proposal that is before the Town Board is a long overdue step towards bringing the area surrounding one of the Long Island Rail Road’s key train stations in sync with Hicksville’s significance as both a destination and gateway for the rest of Long Island. In previous remarks to this governmental body, The Foggiest Idea has supported efforts to update the Town of Oyster Bay’s zoning codes to meet the 21st century housing needs of the region in areas that contain key infrastructural systems that are supportive of growth.
With this particular rezoning proposal, the various numerical districts slated to be created allow for the phasing of increased developmental density with the focal point of growth being the immediate area surrounding the LIRR’s Hicksville Station. This approach is sensical, and if the necessary upgrades are made to NYS Routes 106/107, reflect sound planning practice.
As such, the rezoning action should be approved.
That being said, any individual project that seeks to take advantage of these newly flexible zoning codes must be assessed upon not only their standalone merits, but alongside other real estate development efforts in both the immediate area and surrounding townships.
Moving forward, I urge the Town Board to be cognizant of regional impacts as they gauge individual developmental efforts in the years ahead. By taking a cohesive regional approach to development, elected officials in Long Island’s towns and villages can ensure future economic vibrancy as well as the environmental sustainability of our region.
The Foggiest Idea Inc.