Saladino: "Stop the Illegal Homeless Shelter"
by Nick Baxter
Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino and Town Clerk Rich LaMarca rallied with residents of Muttontown, Old Westbury and Jericho last week to stop an illegal homeless shelter that Nassau county officials have tried to open without safety and zoning permits.
"County leaders clearly refuse to drop their plans, and feel above the law when it comes to the Town Zoning Laws, which have been in place for decades," noted Saladino. "We have news for the County – this project will not happen on our watch! The project violates local zoning laws and the community opposes it. Recently, the Town returned legal arguments to the court. The Town of Oyster Bay will continue to enforce zoning laws. No one is exempt from, or above the law, not even Nassau County."
County Executive Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) tried to secretly convert and open the nearly-new COVID-shuttered hotel on Jericho Turnpike into a long-term homeless shelter, as a reward for one of her major donors. Investigators are currently looking into potential "quid-pro-quo" and federal "honest services" criminal violations by Curran.
Saladino sued to block the homeless shelter, and six months ago, the NYS Supreme Court granted in injunction to stop the attempted illegal conversion. Residents are concerned that an illegal homeless shelter will become a hive of crime and drugs.
Town zoning restrictions allow temporary stays of up to 30 days at the former hotel, but not long-term stays as planned by the homeless shelter. The developer failed to file for any building permits and/or seek a change of zone for the property’s intended use, according to the Town. Curran has received thousands of dollars from the lobbyists representing the Westchester-based Homeless shelter development corporation.