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Liz Black, Candidate for Suffolk County Legislature Comments on Recent Town Board Approval of High Density Housing Project, Avalon Bay

Elizabeth Black

Press Release From Elizabeth C. Black

Trustee Huntington School District

Candidate for the Suffolk County Legislature – 18th LD

Last Thursday (June 2, 2011) the Suffolk County Planning Commission approved the Avalon Bay construction project which Avalon Bay desires to build on East 5th St., Huntington Station. The good news is that the communities of Cold Spring Harbor, Greenlawn and East Northport will be spared the resulting pressures that such projects place on the community’s infrastructure and the inevitable decrease in the quality of life. The bad news is that Huntington Station will not be so spared.

The first time Avalon Bay brought its application to the County Planning Commission the plan was approved upon the condition that the proposed land use regulations should apply to all the lands throughout the town that are in the vicinity of our railroad stations.  It was this requirement that killed the project. The fact that the Huntington Station community was against the project was not enough for the Town Board to drop their support. It was only when the Planning Commission expanded the land use regulations to include the lands in the vicinity of the railroad stations at Cold Spring Harbor, Greenlawn and East Northport that the Town abandoned the project.  Projects that increase the density of residential use on the scale proposed by this project are wrong for Cold Spring Harbor, wrong for Greenlawn and wrong for East Northport. The Town Board was forced to recognize this fact. What they still fail to recognize is that such projects are equally wrong for Huntington Station. On June 6, 2011 the town Board approved the project with a 4 to 1 vote.

It seems clear to me that overwhelmingly the community does not want this project.  Also, it is okay for this community to not like this project.  We have watched a steady stream of prime commercial property converted to high-density housing, parking lots and parks. Recently Newsday cheered on the Avalon Bay Project stating that it “would get revitalization started”.  Started? Where have they been?  The community sees better.  We see this as a continuation of a failed strategy, and one that will prove irreversible. There has been little measure of revitalization that has occurred from these “revitalization projects”.  Some have done little more than take tax paying properties off the tax rolls and transfer the cost of services to other taxpayers.

At the same time that the Town was approving the project, the Huntington School Board voted 7 to 0 against the project. We live in a time when education is under assault from a voracious economy and the prospects for the near future appear grim. With the Avalon Bay project we have identified another agent against whom we must rally our ever decreasing resources. Those government officials who support and advance high density residential development of our property appear to be either mindless or in conscious disregard of its consequences on our children’s education and on the general quality of life for all.  The zeal with which they seek to overcrowd our schools, hospitals and highways is matched only by their disregard in enforcing building codes and fighting crime.

We are being governed by some individuals who try to placate us with their jingles and slogans and do not address the critical issues facing our neighborhood. Huntington Station does not need this project. The School District does not need this project. Our highways, hospitals and sewage system do not need this project. The only thing that will be advanced by this project is the unarticulated folly that rests in the minds of those Town Board members who would vote in favor of it and the County officials, elected and appointed, who enable them.

Elizabeth C. Black

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7 comments to Liz Black, Candidate for Suffolk County Legislature Comments on Recent Town Board Approval of High Density Housing Project, Avalon Bay

  • Marina O.

    Cudos to you Ms. Black for providing an authoritative condemnation of this high density housing project, and for exposing the inequitable decisions our Town Council continues to take to the detriment of Huntington Station and School District 3. My only regret is that the BOE on which you serve failed to express your collective disapproval timely.

  • Matt Harris

    This whole project was forced down our throats by individuals who do not live here. It is quite apparent the will of the people was ignored. The timetable of hearing, County Planning approval and Town Board zone change approval was done in record time, less than one month total. With all the the personal and professional relationships involved with both the County Planning Commissioners (some who had to the good sense to recuse themselves) and the 4 Town Board members (who did not and should have), and the owner of the property, and the principals and investors of AvalonBay Properties, I think there should be a State ethics investigation on this highly suspect approval process. Be assured, the fat lady has yet to sing on this and Petrone is no lady.

  • Night Owl

    That was an excellent reply by Elizabeth Black. The town of Huntington under Frank Petrone’s reign has been very destructive for both school districts and certain communities.The town board under Petrone’s rule now wants to change the accessory apartment law to allow permits to be given to those single family home owners who have only 50′ across their front yards down from the now 70′ across. This will not only ruin the quality of life further for many communities but will put an other tremendous burden on the school districts of the town.Single family houses with accessory apartments are taxed as single family houses despite the increase of people living there. This is utter destruction to our tax base. The town will again make money on fees and fines but our schools and taxpayers will foot the bill for landlords, slumlords, town officials. Supervisor Petrone and his crew should be driven from office before they and their crooked/progressive supporters destroy this town once and for all.

  • Really?

    Liz Black may be a nice person but she is quite lacking in any knowledge of economic development or housing. Regardless of the opinion re Avalon, where has she been on such issues before running for office? She hasn’t helped Huntington. All she did was shut down a school. Not someone I would support.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see her in office..

  • Running for wrong office?

    I don’t understand why Liz Black put so much effort into explaining her views on Avalon Bay. She’s not running for the Town Board but for the County Legislature. She must know that the Legislature had no say in whether or not Avalon Bay moves forward. If Liz cares about issues like this, maybe she should be running for Berland’s or Jackson’s seat.

    If Liz is serious about running for County Legislator, I’d love to hear her views on County issues like police staffing levels, funding of the Dolan Health Center, dredging of our harbors, water quality protection, etc.

    Also, how would Liz propose dealing with Suffolk County’s projected $150 million budget deficit for 2012 (due mostly to unfunded State mandates and State budget cutbacks)? And how would she reduce the County’s record-high debt (which grew from $650 million to over $1.3 billion under the Levy Administration)?

  • Go Liz Go

    it is well known that the Town of Huntington is corrupt and anyone with a brain knows that these bozo’s have been in office waaaay too long. We need conservatives on the town board, and would like to know Liz’s stance on reducing property taxes, where Steve Bellone says in his many postcards that he wants to keep taxes where they are…does anyone care about the taxpayer anymore, how about CUTS in taxes, if it means cutting budgets and lowering county salaries and pensions, lets get this done already, the private sector and tax base has already been soaked long enough.

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