Syosset residents, Oyster Bay officials weigh Cerro Wire development

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SYOSSET -

Concerned residents packed a meeting Tuesday night to discuss a redevelopment plan for the former Cerro Wire property in Syosset.

They packed the Syosset High School auditorium to meet with town officials.

Some raised concerns of overdevelopment. Others praised it for potentially creating union jobs.

"We're losing the middle class, so a developer that comes into town and does this type of project and uses union workers, this is good for the entire community," argues Arthur Gipson, a union plumber.

The Simon Property Group plans to put hundreds of town houses and condos on the property, which covers more than 90 acres. The proposal also includes hotels, stores and more.

"Something has to go there," says resident Julie Gropper. "It's ugly. It's dangerous the way it is. Something needs to go there."

But hundreds of new housing units are the wrong answer for commuters like Henry Mo.

"Is the current infrastructure enough to handle this project?" he asks. "I'm a daily commuter to New York City. It's very hard to find parking -- 7:15 [a.m.] you get to the train station...You're not going to find parking."

Other critics have raised environmental concerns. They say there may be toxins beneath the soil and at a nearby capped landfill.

Simon says it has had the area tested already.

"We want independent testing," says Kevin McKenna. "Outside the perimeter of the landfill by an indepenent third party environmental firm that is not connected to the Town of Oyster Bay."

More than 100 people signed up to speak at the public hearing. No decision was expected to be made Tuesday night.

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