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SRO Crowd Pans Brownfield Plan

A crowd shows up at the Brownfield meeting on March 27.

In a lively and often contentious meeting that lasted more than two hours, local residents took Town officials and the Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) team to task over a proposal to analyze a large area of Huntington Station with an eye toward the potential for redevelopment.

According to the evening’s BOA study team speakers, there are several sites in Huntington Station, including the LIRR Parking Lot at the southwest corner of Railroad Street and New York Avenue; the Rotundo site on New York Avenue south of the railroad tracks; and 1000 New York Avenue that were targeted for evaluation. As the presentation evolved, however, it became apparent that there were many more sites in the BOA team’s crosshairs.

Working under a New York State grant, the Town of Huntington, its Economic Development Corporation and its Community Development Agency jointly contracted with a consulting team comprised of Gannett Fleming, HR&A Advisors, Inc, and Sustainable Long Island to implement the Brownfields program. The BOA group reported that they collected site data, examined opportunities for redevelopment, and initially engaged the Huntington Station community to solicit early-stage feedback on the project.  The March 27 meeting was designed to hear more community input–and input is exactly what they got!

Many Huntington Station residents addressed the overflow crowd and expressed suspicion about the plan’s ultimate objectives. Fears about increased housing density, the continued erosion of life-quality, and the loss of local businesses were chief among their complaints.

In a particularly poignant moment, one speaker asked, “how can we trust you when you can’t clean up the illegal apartments and the crime in Huntington Station?” to a tumultuous round of applause.

Town officials have an obvious interest in the outcome of the BOA efforts and were noticeably evident in the crowd.  Conspicuous among the attendees were Town Council Member Susan Berland, HHA Chairman Bob Fonti, Town Spokesman AJ Carter, Supervisor’s Assistant Joan Cirgol, and Highway Superintendent William Naughton.

Tonight's Brownfields meeting was located behind the Big-H Shopping Center and Famous Footwear.


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30 comments to SRO Crowd Pans Brownfield Plan

  • Village Eyes

    Susan Berland arrived after the meeting started. Mark Mayoka and Gene Cook were there the entire time. Noticeably absent were Mark Cuthbertson and Supervisor Petrone.
    Renaissance and Sustainable Long Island had lots to say about process and the structure of the process and how the process has to be orderly…but couldn’t come up with the most basic answers to questions, such as how their other brownfield projects have turned out.
    Other questions were referred to the report, and when the consultants realized that 95% of the room had actually read the report before the meeting, they started to look panicked. As Joan Cergol helpfully pointed out, these consultants were only paid “100k, not 150k – as if that matters”. Exactly, Joan.

    • Reality

      What is unbelievable to me is the fact that someone called Bazeel Walters, a dignitary and he didn’t even get up and speak out about how he supports more housing for “his” people. I’m pretty sure everyone is onto his game, and yet he couldn’t muster up the guts to stand up and speak out for the community he claims to represent. It was just last year, when he stood at the podium at Town Hall, in full support of, and stated that Avalon Bay was a start. That it was what “his” community wanted. What a farce. What, exactly, does Porter Trejo stand for? The answer is – “whats in it for me.”

      • Basil

        This guy Bazeel Walters really gets under my skin. Why didn’t he speak up? And your right! Why was he named as a dignitary? I read somewhere a long time ago he lives in Greenlawn and is a felony. He does not represent Huntington Station. He is an absentee landlord, they call him the Black Pius over here in HS. If he was named as a dignitary by Joan Cergil you can see how the Town bows to illegal landlords and developers.

    • Dump Berland

      Susan Berland is an abomination to all residents of Huntington Station and S.D.3. Her idiotic ideologies and coin toss approach, to major developements such as Avalon Bay, have made her the most hated person on Town Board. She actually stated, at the Avalon Bay vote, “well, I guess its better than nothing”. REALLY ????? I would have taken “nothing” over another tax negative, school destroying, infrastructure overloading,”housing project”, any day of the week. Hell, I would’ve taken the MTA rail yard they threatened us with. At least it pays taxes to the schools and does’nt produce children. The community (the people that actually reside in the area, pay their fair share in taxes and have children in S.D.3) came out in droves to oppose the nightmare. Instead, Berland tossed a coin and voted for the people that made the most campaign contributions. She slithered in the room late last night and offered nothing to the dialogue, as usual. Sorry Susan, no photo ops in the Station, for you. Go back to wasting zillions of dollars on unnecessary crap, in Dix Hills and please stay out of the Station, you’re appearance and phony concerns, are hideous to us.

  • Dazed and confused

    I was there. I still don’t know where I was, what I did, or anything that was said or promised. I feel empty. Does anyone know wtf that was? Or was it?

  • Transparent

    What intrigued me was, Joan Cergol, using Frank Petrones tired play of : “when someone speaks out, appoint them to a committee, and shut them up, right away.”

  • Joan Seagull

    She really is a cow manuree specialist! Sadly the entire crowd saw through the smoke and mirrors act. The giggles , sneers, grins and grimaces did not go ignored.

  • Anonymous Me

    I was there , and if I had known it would be a dance I would have worn better shoes. They waltzed around everyone’s question without answering them directly.Just answer the question ! I was very frustrated afterwards.We all better keep a close eye on this project.
    Yeah Berland was there, with a stupid look on her face the whole time not even listening to the people but chit-chatting.Probably thinking about her little orphaned fire hydrant.

  • Huntington politicians

    IMHO Joan Cergol needs to fired. She is a disgrace.

  • Ilene

    Can anyone say, Ilene Fucci for Supervisor? This womans passion, is awe inspiring. Pulling no punches, she unleashed a lot of pent up frustration and hostility, that the entire township shares, towards our elected officials. Her words, conveyed everyones sentiments, to a tee. She, along with a handful of other residents in the community, is the type of person that should be elected to represent the people of this town. Thank you Mrs.Fucci and all of those who daringly speak out about the injustices that have been bestowed upon us. I hope we can get these people or people like this elected to office.

    • Her ideas

      Ilenes ideas need to come to fruition. All 9 billion committees they have formed need to cease and be reformed and NO ONE that has been on any of them should be allowed to have any say in this community.

      The new steering committee needs to be comprised of all the so called rebel rousers that the nice man from Renissance ,the only sane clear headed “new guy on the block”, called passionate. WE need to lead that steering committee. AND IT WONT COST A DIME FOR WHAT WE HAVE BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO TELL YOU IS WRONG!

    • me

      The reason that Illene speaks so caring and concerned about this town is because she actually LIVES HERE!!!!. She is very concerned about what is going on with her town like everyone else and she is not affaid to let them know. We need a lot more people like her to make our voices heard.

  • well so far....

    The Town Comptroller quit, and head of Engineering quit, I would not be surprised to see Joan Cergol also give her resignation this week.

    The rats are jumping ship. There is a reason why.

  • are you kidding me?

    Where was our supervisor?

  • absentees

    Frank Petrone, Mark Cuthbertson. Remember that November 2013.

  • Matt Harris

    It was painfully apparent to me that Sustainable LI was unprepared for a crowd. Their flustered non-response to the question of Brownfield remediation in Freeport and Hempstead was embarrassing, to say the least.
    My biggest fear now is the ineptitude of the Town will drive away Renaissance, our last best chance to actually get our downtown back….

    • Where was Eric Alexander

      Isn’t he part of Vision and sustainable everything? WHy did they send 2 very timid unprepared little girls to do what he has been supporting all along?

      Come on Eric? Or are you about to be appointed by Bellone to head the County’s development team and screw HS?

      • Matt Harris

        FYI…Eric Alexander was there, and he has nothing to do with Sustainable Long Island or the BOA report. It was an EDC/CDA/Gannet Fleming/ Sustainable LI show. Period.

        • Alexander is an ASSOCIATE of Rennaissance!

          Renaissance is proud to be associated with the following organizations: Vision LI and CIBS

          Scroll down to the Bottom of the page, it may have not been his show, but his lobbying efforts aren’t going to waste! Recognize any other organizations, like Commercial Industrial Brokers Society, which David Pannetta, the current President, is now serving on the Planning Board for The Town of Huntington (appointed by Petrone) and an EDC member who served on the steering committee for the Brownfield report, COINCIDENCE? And maybe Mark Cuthbertson wasn’t there because of his conflict of interest. He is a member of CIBS. Below is his Commercial Industrial Brokers Society directory listing:

          Law Offices of Mark A. Cuthbertson

          Street: 434 New York Ave.
City: Huntington

          Phone Number: 631-351-3501
Fax: 631-614-4314

          E-Mail Address:
          Occupation: Law: RP Tax Cert & CONDEMNATION; Real Estate; Land Use

  • Anon


    Those should be the prevailing words of this Town come November. Lawn signs, spray your car, make sweatshirts.


    There is only one constant through all of this demise and that is FRANK PETRONE!

  • sustainableli

    Don’t forget if you have any questions about this Huntington Station “non plan” you were told to contact sustainable Long island who showed last night they are clueless. They are located in Farmingdale. The same Farmingdale found in the Town of Babylon.

    One of the biggest problems seen last night is too many chiefs, no indians. All I kept thinking was how many pollocks does it take to change a lightbulb and how much grant money will be spent to find the lightbulb that fits in that particular socket.

    I hope Renissance does not abandon us. They are the only hope we have unless all these idiots resign and abolish all the committees and start from scratch.

    Joan Cergol should move, far far away. I would be embarrassed to even drive through town if I was her. 10 years on the EDC, The CDA, planning department, planner after planner, a Horizons 2020 comprehensive plan in place that will never come to fruition and MILLIONS in grant money to say “let’s move past that document, its not a plan, it is what we could potentially do, not what we are going to do” for HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars (that could have been used to a new police annex or community center) to have NOTHING to show for all this wasted tax payer money. How many committees, coalitions, plans, artists renderings and what have we got? Sidewalks and $60K worth of ridiculous artwork being put in the plaza and not even from a local artist???????????????????????????????????

    Fire her NOW!

    And why did she feel the need to say it was $100K NOT $150K? At this point does that matter? How much do YOU cost us Joan? Stop selling your soul and STEP DOWN IMMEDIATELY!

  • Another MIA

    Doc Spencer who cares so deeply about this community and all in it was not there.


    • Disgusted +

      Doc was out to dinner with Schenkler planning how to bury this story on page 5. Anyway whats 640 acres to Doc. Thats how much he lives on.

      And Joan needs to go- today. Take Fonti with you Joan.

  • KK

    You can be sure Petrone will show up for the ‘Ban All Bamboo in Huntington’ committe.

  • Plan not a Plan?

    So the Town pisses away 100K of our State Tax dollars for a Phase 1 Plan that states clearly a “recommendation” for cohesive rezoning for high density housing with a “critical component to be TOD zones (page 111-107)with midrise 4-8 story apartment buildings (page III-3)”. But last night we are now told to ignore the report?

    So now the Town will piss away another 250K of our state dollars trying to spin a different way to get their high density housing.

    Same story as in 2002, and before they just don’t get it, building more apartments in the Station is no revitilazation. If they want apartments there is plenty of land in Lloyd Harbor for them to build on, we have enough.

  • HS Homeowner

    When people ask me where I live, I just say Huntington because I’m embarrassed to admit I live in “the Station” these days.
    To to TOH – Clean up the mess on the streets before you consider restoring the brownfields. This “plan” stinks to high heaven and it leaves me wondering who is lining their pockets along the way. We can’t afford any more of these ridiculous housing projects.

  • Observer

    How terrible. I can’t believe that after all the mess with Avalon Bay, these people still don’t understand how important it is to get the gangs and the rest of the mess out of Huntington Station before they start building more apartments! It’s just so hard to believe. I guess it makes sense, if Berland spent the whole time chatting away. What does she care? She lives in Dix Hills. And why should Spencer care either? He’s got his gated mansion in Centerport to hide and luxuriate in. No gangs there! Cuthbertson too is a big-time Harborfields personality. You can bet all he cares about is that gangs, poverty, and high-density housing don’t come anywhere near his own family. Why and how these people got elected in the first place is a mystery to me.

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