(Jun 30, 2014) Mr. Supervisor and members of the Board, I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to express our thoughts and concerns regarding some of the proposals in the Land Use Plan. In the interest of full disclosure, I am currently running for the NYS Assembly’s 3rd District seat that fully includes the areas covered by this Land Use Plan.
I am speaking on the record here tonight to make my position clear regarding the “Transit Oriented Development” project that is being proposed for the North Bellport area… in particular, the “opportunity zone” in the area by the train station, south of the tracks. I’m opposed to this project for several reasons.
While I agree that work is needed to improve the area of Montauk Highway and Station Road, I don’t believe that this plan will accomplish that. On the contrary, I believe that building a 3 or 4 story, multi-family, “affordable housing” building that will consist of, a yet to be determined, number of rental apartments will cause far more problems than it will solve.
Aside from the traffic issues it will cause, this will also increase the number of children being brought into the school district without bringing a substantial increase to the tax base. This means an increase in school taxes for the existing home owners.
Rather than building rental units, we need to continue concentrating on rehabilitating the more than 110 abandoned, dilapidated homes in the area and work with Federal, State, County and Town elected officials and civic leaders to put together incentives for 1st time home buyers to purchase these homes. I don’t want to see these homes going to “investors” who will simply offer them up as rentals. We have more than enough of those already. These homes need to be owner occupied. It’s a proven fact that people that own a home are more apt to take care of it and try to keep it nice, than those who are renting. With every abandoned home that we can help put in the hands of someone who wants to set down roots and grow their family, the entire community benefits. The Town has already made strides in cracking down and cleaning up these properties by requiring owners of abandoned homes to register with the Town. This board also recently approved a change in Town Code to allow for a streamlined process for razing blighted houses in an attempt to crack down on the unsafe and unsightly houses throughout the community. We need to continue these efforts, not shift gears and move in a different direction. When elected to the NYS Assembly I pledge to work with our local elected officials and community leaders to continue the rehabilitation process. We can work together to crack down on some of the illegal chop shops that line Montauk Highway and improve the business climate in the area. By rolling up our sleeves, working together and taking some common sense approaches, we can and will, make this a thriving community that all residents and businesses are proud to call home.