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Oyster Bay Voters Approve Town's Land Sale

The town referendum is headed to an easy, 2-1 victory in major blow dealt to advocates of a mega mall in Syosset.

The "Yes" votes appear to have it.
The "Yes" votes appear to have it.
The "Yes" votes have it.

Voters in the Town of Oyster Bay  overwhelming voted "Yes" Tuesday to allow the town government to sell a 53-acre parcel of its land, specifically, the current Department of Public Works property in Syosset, for $32.5 million.

With nearly 64 percent of the votes tallied, the "Yes" votes were leading 13,097 to 6,373, better than a 2-1 margin.

Just before 11 a.m., Supervisor John Venditto issued a statement:

"The residents of the Town of Oyster Bay have spoken and, by a 2:1 margin, rejected Taubman's mall, Taubman's greed, and Taubman's shameful and unethical behavior throughout the entire referendum campaign., Venditto said. "The residents of the Town of Oyster Bay are much more intelligent, sophisticated, and well informed than Taubman gave them credit for."

Taubman officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The vote on the special referendum means the town will get $30 million up front from representatives of Simon properties, a much needed infusion of cash into the town's coffers.

The decision is a significant blow to Taubman, the owner of the former Cerro wire property that has financed a virulent media and canvassing campaign urging voters to cast "No" ballots. Taubman has wanted to build a mega mall on its site for 18 years.

The town and its allies at Simon Properties have fought the mall all along. Simon is Taubman's competitor. Simon wanted the land to further thwart Taubman's efforts and the town needs the cash.

"There was never any doubt in my mind that the residents of the Town of Oyster Bay would do the right thing, and they did," Venditto said.

The town will not have to vacate the surplus DPW property for up to 8 years.

A "No" vote would have meant the town couldn't sell the land and the town wouldn't get the money.

The referendum was forced by a petition drive led by mall giant Taubman, who wants to build a upscale shopping mall on the land next to the DPW site.
barry soetoro August 21, 2013 at 08:40 AM
the politicians are dancing in the streets
concerned citizen August 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Well. The votes are in. We did our job. Lets now see how the story unfolds. Is it a win win. Why did the town need this so bad? I got 40 phone calls Were they going bankrupt and needed the money? Make the book look better? Is Simon going to build a mall? Who benefited on this one? Lots of questions! Lets hope that all was done in good efforts for all of us and politicians are congratulated. Last thing we need is a scandal. Times have been tough enough. TOB the people have spoken and please make us proud! Thanks.

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