Leaving Long Island


It’s been said multiple times that Nassau County officials are not doing enough to keep young professionals from leaving Long Island. The ever-rising cost of living coupled with diminishing housing prospects has the island’s future leaders jumping ship in favor of the city boroughs, New Jersey and all points south.

It seems that whenever a new housing project sprouts from the ground, it’s aimed for those of the 55-and-older community. Of course, that generation needs housing and they surely could use a break from skyrocketing property and school taxes, but those projects should be able to coexist with projects aimed at the next generation of Long Island homeowners. The area around the Hicksville train station is ripe for apartment buildings meant for young commuters. Opportunities like that also exist in Syosset and further south in the Valley Stream area. In Plainview, the Country Pointe project is set to bring an entire community for older, retiring Long Islanders, complete with retail and park land. A massive amount of effort was put into gaining approval for this project and Town of Oyster Bay officials did everything in their power to make the project sound as palatable as possible for residents. The town did its part in silently backing the developers, while ensuring that dissenting voices were drowned out by various union members at town hall meetings.

The town can’t really be blamed for wanting the project happen, as I’m sure there is much more guaranteed money in 55-and-older housing than in apartments for young people. However, when that generation dies, as it surely will, what will be left for Long Island’s future, a future that has been neglected for far too long? The island’s future must be nurtured and cared for and set up for success. Currently, Nassau County and the Town of Oyster Bay are busy working as custodians for the status quo and neglecting their responsibility to keep their eyes trained on tomorrow.

—Ed Mitchell

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