Group Needs Cash For Legal Fight


After filing a lawsuit to delay the ground breaking of Country Pointe at Plainview, a group of Old Bethpage neighbors and one outside environmentalist are looking for financial help to take their case to the next step.

The group says it needs to raise $5,000 to $10,000 to hire an attorney/legal advisor and prepare for a bond if they are granted a preliminary injunction on July 8. The five neighbors from Round Swamp Road filed lawsuit in State Supreme Court last month citing numerous failings in the Town of Oyster Bay’s environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

“Country Pointe as planned will destroy at least 100 acres of deep dense woods, meadows, brush land and oak-shaded lawns that are home to about 55 species of animals—bats, foxes, salamanders, rabbits, etc,” the group said in a statement. “It will also destroy our Quality of Life by turning Old Country Road into Queens Boulevard and inundating the surrounding areas with far more traffic than the roads can handle.”

The Country Pointe project encompasses 750 housing units, a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse and 118,450-square-feet of retail space at Old Country Road and Round Swamp Round, to be built by Jericho-based Beechwood Organization. The town-approved plan would bring homes consisting of 528 market-rate age-restricted homes, 90 Golden Age units and 132 market-rate homes that will not be age restricted. The project also encompasses more than 58 acres of open space, with 57 acres designated for recreational use like sports fields and walking trails.

In addition, the development calls for some office space, a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse and 118,450-square-feet of retail development featuring a 71,400 square-foot ShopRite, which will be relocated from its current location in the Morton Village Shopping Center.

In May, the town voted unanimously to approve the project during a town hall meeting packed with residents and union workers in support of the project, many of whom do not live in the area that will be impacted by the development.

The group of neighbors opposing the project said the new development is great for the people who would utilize it, but it would detrimental to the residents who currently call the area home.

“Our homes will lose value and our community be far more congested, noisy, and polluted,” said the group. “At the next court date, in Mineola, on July 8, the judge will consider granting a ‘preliminary injunction.’ This is essential, but by law we need to put up a legal “bond” if it is granted. We would also like to obtain some legal assistance. When we receive contributions, we will personally provide details of all expenditures. We have already spent about $1,200 of our own money.”

Supervisor John Venditto said he is confident in the process which led to the decision to pass the Plainview project.

“We are confident in the adequacy of the process which provided public input for the town board’s consideration in completing the review of the Country Pointe at Plainview application, and further, I am confident that a well-informed decision was made,” he said.


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