EJ Smyth & Co December 2019

(631) 271-7500 EJSmythCo.com

December 2019

News Around Town The Positive Momentum

The elections are over and, after a fairly low turnout, all incumbents were re-elected to Town Board. While some people lament low voter turnout as a sign of civic laziness, I prefer to look at the optimistic interpretation. Low turnout, combined with re-elected incumbents can be seen as a mark of approval for the direction local government is headed in. Large voter turnout and removal of incumbents indicates dissatisfaction or controversy. Civic involvement is always encouraged. If you or someone you know needs to register to vote, please call me. I’ve been working hard to curtail over-development of apartment buildings in our downtown areas. There are proposed changes which would tighten the restrictions on building apartments. In addition, the Town recently acquired a badly needed parking lot in Huntington Village. This new parking lot is intended to provide parking for existing businesses and residents, and any new construction cannot use the lot in their parking requirement calculation. On the downside, the Town appears to be moving forward with another giveaway of town-owned land next to the train station. I’ve been an outspoken critic of a similar project at 1000 New York Ave., also known as “The Gateway Giveaway,” where the Town essentially gifted a multi-million-dollar piece of commercial real estate to a private developer. Currently on that site, a 66-unit apartment building

is being built. It is difficult for me to determine what the public benefit is because the building offers no affordable units and immediately applied for a massive abatement in real estate taxes. The new project the Town is moving forward with is for a “hotel” to be built on the parking lot between New York Avenue and the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, on the north side of the tracks. I’ve not seen the specifics yet, but I suspect each “hotel room” will have a kitchenette to facilitate long-term occupancy. Stay tuned … There is significant progress on our waterfront. After years of neglect, various floating docks and bulkheads are being rebuilt and should be ready for the 2020 boating season. Although mooring fees have been increased, the revenue is deposited into a segregated Town trustee account used exclusively for maritime-related projects. The overall direction of the Town is positive. If there is a particular public issue you would like answers on, or would like to bring to my attention, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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