Zoning Proposal Sets Off Huntington Town Board Battle

A proposed change in downtown zoning rules that is scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday has provoked an uproar online and dueling press releases from members of the Town Board.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson announced that he will ask that the resolution he sponsored be removed from the agenda at the morning workshop that precedes  the 2 p.m. meeting.

“I want to thank each resident that reached out to me with their concerns about this hearing,”  Cuthbertson said.  “The extensive feedback made it clear that Town residents are against the proposed code change.”

Council members Eugene Cook and Joan Cergol both said they’d support withdrawing it.

But Town Councilman Ed Smyth issued a press release encouraging residents to  come out to the Town Board meeting anyway and express their opinions about the proposal.

“It is important for my colleagues who are pushing for this monumental change to the zoning code to hear the public’s opinion about the state of development in our town,” Smyth said. “Even if this matter is withdrawn by resolution, the public can voice their opinions during the public portion of the board meeting. I encourage everyone to come to Town Hall on Tuesday and let their voices be heard.  I don’t think my colleagues are going to like what they hear from the public.”

At issue is a resolution that would give the  Planning Board authority to grant special use permits for residential apartment buildings that are within 1,500 feet from one of the town’s five hamlet center boundaries, subject to other restrictions.

Tuesday’s meeting is the first in-person session of the Town Board since the Covid-19 epidemic shut down nearly all public events in the spring of 2020.

“I have always supported public hearings, even when I have publicly announced that I don’t agree with proposed development or town code amendment; as the public hearing allows Huntington taxpayers to be heard by the Town Board, as to what they want for Huntington,” Cook said. “I am proud that over the last several years, many residents have become active in reaching out to the Town Board, prior to the public hearing, as in this case, to make us aware of their thoughts on a matter and the overwhelming majority does not support this code change. I thank my colleagues Councilman Cuthbertson and Councilwoman Cergol for working together with me to request the Supervisor to withdraw this public hearing.”

And Cergol said, “Cancelling the public hearing on this proposal is the right thing to do. I appreciate and look forward to continuing engagement with our residents as we work together to build solutions to tackle the challenges that lie ahead in our post pandemic world.”

Online, several residents have been rallying others to show up to oppose the zoning proposal.

One poster wrote,

“THEY ARE COUNTING ON IT THAT “THE PEOPLE” WON’T SHOW UP ON JULY 13th!!!!

“DO WHAT YOU CAN TO GET THERE AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!!
DON’T ALLOW THEM TO JUST PUSH FORWARD!”

 

 

 

3 Replies to “Zoning Proposal Sets Off Huntington Town Board Battle”

  1. I agree, people move out to Long Island to get away from high-rise buildings, they want to get away from apartment buildings. It’s not a race issue or a class issue, it is as quality of life issue. Roads are in enough bad shape as it is, Huntington just finished closing down 2 elementary schools citing lower enrolls. We have some of the highest taxes and now, with all of this, lets cram a 120 occupancy apartment building to lessen the quaint town feeling for what exactly? Better questions are, who is the developer, who are the contractors in the wings waiting to work and who in our honest town reps are getting paid in some fashion to push this? In the end, it is always about money, never about the people. Someone will get a bonus, maybe a better position in goverment and the hamlets in Huntington will be left to deal with the mess. Need I remind how certain elected officials used money they shouldn’t have for water treatment or made deals with LIPA before PSEG and now who is stuck paying for this…. we are. Not the elected officials, not the contractors, not the vendors, the people that live here. When do we start getting reductions in property taxes? I didn’t sign off on any of that stuff….. I shouldn’t have to pay anything more but somehow I am.

  2. This is a perfect example of why the agendas for the Planning, Zoning and Town Board need to be presented to the public better. If it were not for a couple of people putting this on social media, the majority of community members would be unaware of this item.

  3. So proud of my fellow Town of Huntington residents today. The Town Board “pulled the resolution” but the people of Huntington brought the hearing to them. Enough is enough. This community is paying attention.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.