The Huntington Town Board at its Sept. 24 meeting voted to urge State action on two measures of importance to Town residents: adding invasive bamboo to the invasive species list the State is promulgating and placing limits on the number of retail liquor store licenses that can be issued within a geographic area.
The bamboo resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Susan A. Berland, was approved unanimously and followed previous attempts by Councilwoman Berland and Supervisor Frank P. Petrone to amend the Town Code to regulate the planting of invasive bamboo species. In remarks at a public hearing and during the public portion of recent Town Board meetings, residents have described for the Board the damage caused by bamboo migrating from neighboring properties.
The resolution approved at the meeting takes note of a recent amendment to the State Environmental Conservation Law, effective next January 20, that requires the New York State Council on Invasive Species to work with other state departments to develop and promulgate joint regulations restricting the sale, purchase, possession, propagation, introduction, importation, transport and disposal of invasive species.
“If ever there were a plant that fits the definition of invasive, it is bamboo,” Councilwoman Berland said. “I hope as the State puts together its list of invasive species covered by its new law, the type of evidence presented to this town Board will clearly make the case that bamboo should be included in the regulated category.”
“The stories residents have told us about how invasive bamboo has hurt their quality of life have been heart-wrenching,” Supervisor Petrone said. “Whether it is through Town Code or State regulations, it is clear that action must be taken to protect residents.”
The liquor store resolution, sponsored by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, followed presentations to the Town Board by area liquor store owners asking for the Town to oppose the granting of a liquor license for a store proposed for 295 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station. In addressing the Town Board, the liquor store owners noted that a significant number of stores already existed within a one-to-three mile radius from the proposed location.
Noting that the undue proliferation of liquor stores within the Town was not in the public interest, the Town Board voted to ask the State Liquor Authority to conduct a public hearing into whether a license should be issued for that address, and, in a 3-2 vote on the broader measure, to urge the Governor and the State Legislature to place limits on the number of retail liquor store licenses that can be issued within a geographic area. Supervisor Petrone and Councilwoman Berland joined Councilman Cuthbertson in calling for the state legislation.
“State law has long recognized the need to regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages, and defining how many liquor stores in an area constitutes saturation is a logical extension of this regulatory function,” Councilman Cuthbertson said. “The State Legislature needs to address this situation to help preserve residents’ quality of life.”
In other action. Supervisor Petrone announced that a special Town Board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, to present the 2013 Town Budget.