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:
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
sophisticated, and well informed than Taubman gave them credit for."
Taubman officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
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
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.
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.
"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.