Huntington Democrats Want to Bring Overdevelopment Back – But Why Hasn’t Anyone Heard From the Democrat Candidate for Town Supervisor on This Issue?
At the recent June 15th Town Board meeting, Democrat Councilman Mark Cuthbertson proposed a zoning code amendment, seconded by Councilman Eugene Cook, to allow for the development of three-story apartment buildings anywhere up to 1,500 feet outside of our five main downtown hamlet centers – Huntington Village, Huntington Station, and now in East Northport, Greenlawn and Cold Spring Harbor. A public hearing has been scheduled on the proposal for the in-person July 13th Town Board meeting at 2:00pm.
Now that word has spread on social media and the public has seen and reacted to the plan proposed by Cuthbertson and Cook, which could usher in a new wave of overdevelopment, both Cuthbertson and Cook are now trying to cancel the public hearing, or "un-ring the bell," as Councilman Ed Smyth put it in his statement this week.
And in case you were wondering—no, it's not 2006, the year Councilman Cuthbertson’s proposal passed, allowing countless apartment buildings to be built around Huntington Village and Huntington Station for the past decade and a half, enriching Huntington Democrat donors. Fortunately for all of us, when they took office in 2018, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Councilman Ed Smyth worked on a proposal in their first two years in office to put a stop to this unsustainable and reckless overdevelopment and thankfully it passed after a year of community input, in 2020.
It is, in fact, 2021 now, fifteen years after Cuthbertson’s first proposal to turn our suburban town into a city, and his new proposal to expand the development of three-story apartment buildings is a real threat today.
Procedurally, a legally noticed public hearing cannot be cancelled without a Town Board vote and that can only be done on the day of the Town Board meeting but, as Councilman Ed Smyth pointed out, the public has every right to be heard despite Cuthbertson’s and Cook’s attempts to stifle public comment on a matter that will affect all Huntington residents’ lives.
Another important question to ask is, “Where does Huntington Democrat candidate for Town Supervisor, Rebecca Sanin, stand on Cuthbertson’s proposal?” We know where our candidate for Supervisor, Ed Smyth, stands on reckless overdevelopment but Sanin has remained quiet on this pressing matter.
Members of the public may arrive at Huntington Town Hall up to one hour before the 2:00 PM meeting starts on July 13th to sign up at the table in the lobby to speak at Public Hearing #10:
Public Hearing #10 Consider adopting Local Law Introductory No. 42-2021, amending the Code of the Town of Huntington, Chapter 198 (Zoning), Article XI (Conditional Uses; Supplementary Regulations), so as to add §198-68.2 (Uses Permitted by Planning Board). (Local Law Introductory No. 42-2021) Scheduled as per Resolution 2021-370 at 6-15-2021 Town Board Meeting
Further explanation of the proposal from the Town website: [This would] allow the Planning Board to grant a limited number of special use permits for a residential apartment building under narrow circumstances to properties in a narrow geographic area, outside of but within 1,500 feet of the outer boundary of the five hamlet centers as long as the property is: within the C-6 General Business or C-6 Huntington Station Overlay District; is further within the limited area running from the outside boundary of one of the five hamlet centers defined in the Town Code and Comprehensive Plan, to 1,500 feet of that boundary; abuts a residential property; would not exceed the C-6 height limitation; and would not require a parking variance.
Please let your opinion be known at the 2:00 PM Town Board meeting on July 13th at Huntington Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington. Show up as early as 1:00 PM to sign up to speak on Public Hearing #10. If the Democrats and Eugene Cook succeed in cancelling the public hearing, sign up to speak during the Public Portion segment of the meeting, which occurs after the scheduled public hearings at the beginning of the meeting. If you cannot make it to the meeting, please put your comments on the record for Public Hearing #10 by emailing our Town Clerk Andrew Raia at [email protected] or by mailing your comments to Town Clerk Andrew Raia, Huntington Town Hall, 100 Main Street (Room 102), Huntington NY 11743.
UPDATE JULY 12, 2021: Update on Cuthbertson's & Cook's Public Hearing to Bring Overdevelopment Back