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Posted on: February 3, 2022

Brookhaven Joins State, Local Officials in Opposing Gov. Hochul’s Plan to Eliminate Single Family

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Farmingville, NY – On February 3, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and members of the Town Council were joined by State legislators, Village mayors and other local officials to decry plans by Governor Kathy Hochul to force apartments to be allowed in every home’s garage, basement, second floor or rear yard shed/garage – effectively eliminating single family zoning. Gov. Hochul’s plan mandates that at least one “second” unit of living quarters must be permitted on lots that would otherwise be single-family home zoning. Under the Governor’s radical plan, the state would take zoning control away from local governments, eliminating local residents’ ability to voice objections to new apartments at public hearings. The bill also prohibits imposing parking requirements for these new apartments, which will result in cars clogging residential streets.

Pictured left to right are Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich; Bruce Sander, president of Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilman Dan Panico; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Neil Foley; State Senator Anthony Palumbo; Councilwoman Jane Bonner, Patchogue Village Mayor, Paul Pontieri and the Village of Lake Grove Mayor, Robert J. Scottaline.

Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “Under Governor Hochul’s plan, every town, village and county overnight would lose the important zoning protections that keep them from looking like the crowded neighborhoods of the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. That’s not what the residents of Brookhaven Town want. This wrongheaded plan will not solve our affordable housing plan, but it will devalue the homes and quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

Councilman Dan Panico said, “The Governor’s ill-conceived proposal tramples on municipal home rule and local zoning. Moreover, the potential effect on our school districts, the environment and our communities would be staggering. In Brookhaven we have worked and achieved a great deal of transit-oriented development to support an increasing variety of housing stock. We achieve this by working with our communities, respecting the law, upholding home rule and established single family zoning. We join with our colleagues in other towns and villages across Long Island in calling on the Governor to withdraw this proposal immediately.”

Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich said, “I agree that we need to address serious housing issues in the Town of Brookhaven, especially the availability of affordable housing and making sure that those on fixed incomes are not driven out of their homes by the high cost of living. However, this proposal does not take into account the critical importance of local control and the ability of local government to regulate zoning within its borders. This proposal is a blunt instrument that raises serious questions with respect to safety, environmental impact, traffic and the impact on neighborhoods and home values. Until we know the answers to these questions, this proposal should not move forward."

Councilwoman Jane Bonner said, “The Governor’s proposal is an important issue that will have a significant impact on all of Long Island, not just Brookhaven Town. Yes, we do need affordable housing choices, but we don’t need a broad stroke across the state to change the very character of the communities that we live in. We need to maintain local control, and this takes away that control. If the Governor really wants to help Long Islanders, she should do something about the ridiculously high property taxes.”

Councilman Kevin LaValle said, “This is another attempt by the Governor and city politicians to come into the suburbs and tell us how to live. If this proposal goes through, it will create more densely populated neighborhoods and limit the authority of our local governments to control zoning. This is a fight that has been going on for years and we are prepared to defend our local home rule and maintain our quality of life in Brookhaven Town.”

Councilman Michael Loguercio said, “As a Town Councilman and former School Board president, I see nothing but problems if Governor Hochul’s plan goes into effect. If we lose control over our local zoning, the result will be higher density in our communities putting an end to our suburban life as we know it. I am on board with my fellow state and local elected officials in opposition to this absurd and unreasonable plan.”

Councilman Neil Foley said, “New Yorkers are already leaving the state in droves and if the Governor goes through with this, we will see a drastic increase in the number of people who move out. I ask Governor Hochul to please stop this now. Long Island does not need or want this legislation to become law. I stand firm with my colleagues and I will do whatever I can to put an end to this unreasonable plan.”

U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “This blatant attack on suburban communities will end single family housing as we know it, strip local control away from the New Yorkers who live there, tank the value of their homes, overcrowd their previously quiet streets, and on top of it all, not do anything to solve our affordable housing problem. Kathy Hochul isn’t focused on real solutions. This policy absolutely must not pass and one-party rule in Albany must end as fast as possible. I’m very grateful for Supervisor Ed Romaine, Deputy Supervisor and Councilman Dan Panico and the rest of the Brookhaven Town Board for helping lead the effort to save our suburban communities.”

State Senator Alexis Weik said, “The Governor’s dangerous proposal to require all municipalities to permit the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units completely erodes the role of our local governments and will lead to total chaos. To meet the increased parking demand to accommodate a state-mandated expansion of ADUs will be mayhem in our communities. A one-size-fits-all approach to zoning does not work statewide and the determination of ADU approvals and locations should be left to local governments. I strongly oppose this proposal and will fight to ensure it does not become law.”

State Senator Anthony Palumbo said, “Governor Hochul’s accessory apartment policy in her Executive Budget is more progressive overreach by Albany and will have a severe negative impact on Long Island. This radical change in zoning powers would result in greater density for communities and place tremendous strains on every conceivable local service from the water we drink, to traffic and emergency services. Communities throughout Long Island will be better served if important zoning issues remain under local control. This one size fits all approach is not the answer to Long Island nor the state’s affordable housing crisis.”

State Senator Mario R. Mattera said, “This is another effort by New York State, under the leadership of Governor Hochul, to remove local control and dictate to our residents. This is repeatedly the way state government has operated throughout the past two years and it is time for common sense to return. I am proud to stand with Supervisor Romaine, the members of the Town Board and all who are joining with to oppose this newest Albany mandate.”

State Senator Phil Boyle said, "Local control of zoning decisions is vital to ensuring that Long Island and other suburbs do not turn into New York City. I strongly urge my colleagues in the State Senate and Assembly to reject Governor Hochul's extremely ill-advised proposal."

Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio said, "Sitting on a local town board for 10 years, there are many struggles with accessory structures. There are many issues that need to be addressed such as parking owner occupancy, rental permits, that local government takes into account. This is an overreach by the state and should be left up to local elected officials who know their communities best."

Assemblyman Doug Smith said, "Land use is an issue best left to local communities, I am strongly opposed to the state jamming through stack-and-pack housing proposals into residential neighborhoods."

Assemblyman Jarett Gandolfo said, "With this proposal Governor Hochul declared war on the suburbs. It is a radical idea designed to eliminate single family housing and it will destroy suburban living on Long Island as we know it."

Assemblyman Joe DeStefano said, "Local zoning control has rested with New York’s townships for hundreds of years for a reason. The Governor’s ill-advised scheme would eliminate resident input in how their neighborhoods function and would quickly bring the problems of urban areas such as Brooklyn and the Bronx to the suburbs. Local communities are aghast over these Progressive dictates because they know the problems, they are sure to bring."

Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri said, “Governor Hochul’s proposal will create problems for every community and school district on Long Island. Illegal apartments already cause overcrowded neighborhoods, more children in our schools and parking problems. Once home rule on this issue is struck down and accessory apartments become legal everywhere, a village like Patchogue will suffer greatly. I join my fellow elected officials in opposition to the Governor’s proposal and ask that she reconsider this misguided plan.”
Single Family Neighborhoods Press Confrence

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