Developer Freezes Plan For Oaktree Dairy
With compromise in mind, the review of an application to build Engel Burman’s 444-unit Seasons at Elwood senior community at the Oaktree Dairy has been put on hold.
The firm requested that the town cease review of the controversial proposal, which civic groups in the surrounding area have slammed as being too dense and one that would snarl traffic and overburden infrastructure in the low-density Elwood hamlet.
The time-out is part of an effort to find common ground on the proposal, Supervisor Frank Petrone and Steven Krieger, an Engel Burman Group partner, said.
“They asked us to cease review of this so they have an opportunity for me to pull together members of the community and themselves to sit down and sort this all out,” Petrone said.
Engel Burman Group first floated The Seasons, a 55-and-over lifestyle community that would replace the Oak Tree Dairy on Elwood Road near Cuba Hill Road, in early 2012.
Krieger said Tuesday they made the request to cease review in an effort to reach a compromise with area residents, many of whom have spoken out strongly against the proposal. Several have kept a monthly vigil at Town Hall, speaking at each town board meeting to remind the council members of their opposition to The Seasons.
“What we’re trying to do is reach a consensus with the community, something the Engel Burman Group has always done and has a history of doing across Long Island,” Krieger said.
Petrone was “instrumental in influencing us” to withdraw the application, Krieger said.
“He’s been instrumental in being someone who wants to see some sort of compromise reached here,” he said.
Petrone and Jim Cameron, the president of Preserving Elwood Now, an affiliate of the Greater Huntington Civic Group which has opposed The Seasons, said efforts have been ongoing during the last few weeks to pull the meeting together. Petrone said the meeting would include the supervisor, Engel Burman Group President Jan Burman and “two or three community leaders.”
Cameron stressed the community is looking for the town and Engel Burman to strike the right balance with the project that is proposed.
“The community in Elwood at large is not against development. They’re looking for something that is within the character of the community,” Cameron said.