Declining enrollments have led the Northport school district to close schools and put the buildings on the market. Northport resident Doug Roberts shared this letter to the mayor about the possibility of the village government moving into one of the buildings.
Good morning Mayor and Trustees-
If you can change the zoning code to accommodate 2 high-density restaurant operations, you can certainly figure out a way to zone the Residence D District so that whatever happens on the Laurel Avenue School parcel is in line with the Village’s goals and plan.
The question coming out of last night’s meeting is: Does the Village have a plan?
There is a real discussion to have here as a community: What would we want to be allowed as of right on a large parcel like The Laurel Avenue School, which currently serves as a bit of a buffer between residential and commercial uses?
I hope to see you lead us through that discussion, so that these decisions are made in the context of our shared vision for what we want Northport to look like for our kids and grandkids. If we don’t formulate and implement a comprehensive plan, we end up in the situation we saw last night with Britannia Yacht Club, where a well-heeled corporate property owner can lawyer up and force the Village to change its zoning code to benefit their interests.
Act now, and the fancy lawyers will advise their clients not to enter a contract to purchase that parcel unless they plan to comply with the Village’s requirements. Continue with the reactive spot-zoning we saw last night, and we’ll end up getting bullied with Article 78s and other litigation forcing our hand to give developers carte blanche on this and any other large parcel that changes hands.
As a quick aside, the actions you are taking down at Steers Park are refreshing and much appreciated by all of us who use our parks with our kids. This gives me hope!
Thank you for your service to our community.