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258 Comments by Craigcat

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Southampton Town Supervisor Takes To Facebook In Affordable Housing Search

I'll pass this request over to CEHJR too. He may want to know ;)
You guys are too funny." Sep 1, 16 4:37 PM

A very concerning post from Curtis posting as TSHA this time. He brought the proposal to the town knowing that if they reject or reduce it significantly, the town would be vulnerable to fair housing suits. So the board that appointed Curtis as Exec Director of TSHA is repaid by him bringing them a proposal that threatens the entire SH town.
That is delicious. " Sep 1, 16 4:57 PM

Repeat: We support affordable housing. Our only issue with 41NP is the size of the project. No over-development please.
I'll post this 1000 times if I have to. GGV/TSHA have brought us 1 proposal. According to them, and I guess you, acceptance of the single choice = being for affordable housing and rejecting the single choice = being against affordable housing.
Let's go car shopping together. You get a single choice. Buy it and you drive. Don't buy it and you are clearly against driving.
Absolutes are fun." Sep 2, 16 9:26 AM

We have met with town board members and discussed a number of ideas. The conversations continue. More importantly, you may want to question your blind faith in what TSHA is selling and how they are going about doing it. tenn tom, if you really are from Remsenburg then perhaps you should put some effort into looking at alternatives that could help prevent over-development in your town. Feel free to contact us at anytime. Enjoy the rest of your weekend." Sep 4, 16 10:28 AM

Hampton Bays Superintendent Expresses Concerns Over Town Supervisor's Accessory Apartment Idea

Affordable housing will be addressed through some combination of accessory apts and apartment complexes like Sandy Hollow. I think the town really needs to do some long range planning and take the lead on the issue. Gather up the CAC's and Civic Associations and try to bang out an equitable plan. At the moment it appears the burden will be put on a few hamlets, which isn't fair and doesn't make sense. Pump the brakes. Figure it out. Implement a plan with each community. " Sep 6, 16 3:41 PM

Sigh...what a mess. It's really frustrating. " Sep 6, 16 4:28 PM

They are looking to build 51 units / 67 bedrooms on a little over 4 acres in Speonk. That's pretty west of the canal IMO. More, they claim that the train will help alleviate traffic. The train leaves at 9:43am, thus negating most of the benefit. That's why we are going nuts over here looking for the town to take the lead and formulate a plan. If not these apartment complexes will start popping up everywhere. IMO the town should own an initiative. " Sep 7, 16 2:55 PM

Councilwoman Lofstad is working diligently on looking into affordable housing equitably spread out through each hamlet. Let's give her time and support her on that." Sep 8, 16 7:18 PM

Residents Worry That Flood Of Applications Could Forever Alter Hamlets Of Remsenburg And Speonk

Pump the brakes. Do a block study, please. " Sep 23, 16 4:17 PM

Town Board Requests More Information About Speonk Apartment Plan; Schedules Meeting In Community For October 6

The planning dept came in with an as of right yield at 27 units. The MF44 / article 330-8 proposal yields 51 units.
The entire argument at this point is based on the zone change and density yield, not about whether or not an affordable model should be there. Most people in my community understand this.
GGV and TSHA claim that they can't get 27 units funded, so now we use the town to arbitrate. Do they allow 51 units due to the GGV funding model, which surely won't sit well with the community, or do they somehow find a way to get 27 units done and maintain current zoning? The latter would meet majority community acceptance. There will always be a few that won't accept anything. " Sep 28, 16 11:48 AM

Southampton Supervisor Pitches New Housing Division

Town-wide equitable distribution per hamlet. Reinforce the ownership model by utilizing the Fannie Mae HomeReady program that yields 2 for 1 in affordables (owner + accessory).
Apartments over Village Business areas. Identify and refurbish "zombie" homes.
This can be done." Oct 5, 16 3:42 PM

Residents Criticize Scale Of Speonk Commons Proposal At Work Session Thursday Night

Respectful meeting where both sides presented points of views in a calm and dignified manner. Hopefully we are on our way to solutions that work for all. " Oct 8, 16 4:36 PM

UPDATE: Southampton Town Board Votes To Consider Affordable Housing Zone Change In Speonk

That's not true. Stan and Christine voted no because they felt as though more communication was needed in coming up with that 38 number. They also wanted more time for the community to discuss it. I think they are the opposite of weak.
In the end I hope we all come together now, entire town board included, and discuss this 38 unit concept.
If the actual number of people is the same using an as of right model, then the last major hurdle is the zoning mechanism. I think we are making positive steps. " Oct 27, 16 4:03 PM

UPDATE: Southampton School Board Does Not Plan To Revisit Columbus Holiday Name Change At Next Meeting

Remember the South Park non-offensive Christmas episode? Doesn't seem like much of a stretch anymore. " Jan 30, 17 5:58 PM

UPDATE: Protesters Say Weekend Rally At Zeldin Event Was Peaceful

I don't blame him. Recent events have shown us that "protest" has quickly devolved into rage and vandalism. Oddly, those demonstrating in the name of free speech and fairness are doing nothing but stifling free speech and fairness. The hypocrisy is almost comical. " Feb 3, 17 9:43 AM

Town Supervisor Says He Is Hesitant To Entertain Second Apartment Complex Proposal For Speonk

A good part of community was willing to work with the town on the 38 unit concept at 41 N. Phillips. That parcel already had unique zoning that allowed for increased density. The town did the right thing by communicating with us, and working with us on a compromise that keeps the 38 unit density fairly close to the as of right density. Beyond that, we are done with down-zoning. No more density increases.
The Chiffert proposal is a different animal. It's not a blighted parcel, but a pristine wooded lot. The current zoning allows for single family homes on 1 acre parcels. IMO, this project should be DOA. It was not received well when presented to CAC-West. The resistance from the community will likely be rather significant. We've been talking about it for over a year already. " Feb 11, 17 1:53 PM

Most of the money comes from the state. It's rather confusing, but the state grants money to developers who bid on 100% affordable housing developments and sets all the financial criteria as well. To me that's the biggest issue here. The state needs to offer more flexibility so that these projects can be done a much smaller scale, and include ownership and rental hybrids. Anyway, it's the state $ that keep these things affordable." Feb 12, 17 10:43 AM

That it is. " Feb 12, 17 1:36 PM

Southampton Town Approves 38-Unit Affordable Housing Complex For Speonk

The town is motivated to address the need for workforce housing using a spread out approach, where each hamlet does its fair share. 41NP was always designated as an ideal location for this kind of model. You don't have to agree with it, but please understand that the dollars and the pressure to get these projects done actually comes from the state. Speonk has now done its fair share in addressing workforce housing. We have a lot of vacant land to protect. Other developers will not be met with the same spirit of compromise. The zoning anomaly at 41 NP already allowed for similar density. Other parcels do not have the same higher density zoning. " Mar 26, 17 12:44 PM

The town master plan and subsequent hamlet study stated that the mixed use zoning at 41 NP made it an ideal location for multi-family, transit oriented, affordable housing. Again, you don't have to agree with the premise, but the facts are the facts in this case, and that is due mostly to the existing mixed use / higher density zoning. Max occupancy using this 38 unit concept = 71 people. There is no max occupancy with the "as of right" model, but we estimated approx 64 people would live there if developed as such. The "as of right" apartments over the village business segment could have yielded market rate, or affordable rentals using the section 8 voucher program. In short, there were no controls or vetting under the as of right model. The controls and vetting using the state funded program are significant, and income levels will range from a low of $37K to $87K annually." Mar 27, 17 3:05 PM

Earth, and your concerns are valid and have been discussed at length. I can write a dissertation on this file as I spent a year and a half fighting it, talking to town board members, looking for alternatives, learning about the funding and state influence, etc. In the end it was the existing as of right / mixed use use density at 41 N Phillips that changed my thinking on this proposal. If developed as of right, the impact on the school could be worse, and the controls over the rental portion above the VB segment non-existent. In short, no perfect outcome existed. At least with this one we do have some controls, checks and balances, and design input. What I do know for sure is we'll never get consensus on this. Just giving one point of view." Mar 30, 17 5:16 PM

There is that risk. We have a lot of land to protect over here. If there was one parcel that was primed for multi-family, it was 41 NP. Now we have to protect the others. Does 41 NP give us some leverage in defending the other parcels? I think so. Whatever the case may be, we'll need to be diligent and protect the area pretty much forever.
I appreciate the respectful debate.
" Mar 31, 17 11:14 AM

Zeldin Votes In Favor Of ACA Repeal; Schumer, Gillibrand Say They Will Work To Defeat Replacement Plan In Senate

ACA exchange: Care Connect monthly premium for family of 4 = $1200+ / month.
Individual deductible = $6000
Family deductible = $12,000
Hospital network = limited and insufficient.
Prescription plan? No.
Dental? No.
Vision? No.
So it's $14,400 just to sign up and hope like heck you don't get injured or sick.
Take politics out of the equation and ask if this is fair, makes sense, and is sustainable at the current annual premium increase trajectory.
" May 5, 17 1:09 PM

Dr. Chris Gobler Shares Opinion, Concerns Over 'The Hills' Proposal

The potential risks to water quality should outweigh the perceived need for a golf course, which very few Southampton town residents will ever use, or even care to use.
It's not like there's some overwhelming demand for this golf course. The demand is actually imported in this case.
This risk/reward scenario, where the reward benefits so few, and the risk could potentially impact so many, should make this version of the Hills project DOA.
" May 7, 17 5:54 PM

'Hills' Opponents Protest Outside Of Southampton Town Hall Monday

I haven't seen the public benefit from this project. Building a golf course that the vast majority will never use, surrounded by homes that are unattainable to most, over a delicate and vital part of the environment just doesn't make sense. This PDD application is for the benefit of a tiny segment of the community, and is pretty much the opposite of smart growth. As I've stated prior, there is no organic community demand for this model. It is a push strategy that imports the demand. Finally, has anyone asked if Discovery Land is planning to pay the fine for not building 10% affordable? Councilwoman Scalera is looking for legislation that stops developers from using loopholes to avoid that mandate." May 22, 17 9:36 AM

Discovery Land Says It Can Use Pine Barrens Credits To Increase Density If PDD Is Rejected

Yeah, that's a threat. Approve the PDD and we extinguish the credits, deny and we use them for increased density. The only way to read that is as a threat. The use of this threat is actually a new low in the Hills drama. When you strip this application down the core, you are left with no real public benefit, increased risk to the environment, a golf course and homes used by people outside of our community, and another opportunity for smart growth squandered away. In a very real sense, the existing community takes the risks while those outside of the community enjoy a round of golf. If a PDD is ultimately judged on the strength of the public benefits, then this PDD application has failed IMO. " May 26, 17 10:00 AM

Southampton Town Will Auction Old Westhampton Community Center Building

There have been discussions about actually getting it done this time. It will obviously take careful planning, and a ton of community outreach. In the end, I think we have a town board that is willing and motivated to see this through, so let's see it through. In my humble opinion, we approach this as an opportunity to work with this town board, and not get bogged down or cynical based on what has, or hasn't happened in the past. The time is right to get this done. " Jun 4, 17 10:09 PM

Tuckahoe Affordable Housing Complex's Special Zoning Extended Over Objections

I was at the hearing yesterday. I was very involved with the Speonk application and fought against the additional density of 51 units. According to Georgica Green, the state funding application went in as a bundle with Sandy Hollow and Speonk tied together. However, they could have been unbundled in the event Speonk was voted down. Sandy Hollow was approved and was to be built regardless of what happened in Speonk. They have been consistent with that point and reiterated it again at the hearing. At no point during the 16 months that we worked on this did a single town board member use the bundled state application as an excuse to support, or not support the Speonk project. Those discussion were always about overall density along the N. Phillips corridor. Please believe me when I state that we had an awful lot of discussions with this board about Speonk Commons. This board was extraordinarily accessible throughout the process, and only approved the application once the zone change was nearly equal to the as of right density. In my opinion, there was no fix or deck stacking as it pertains to Speonk Commons. I hope this helps clarify things a little. " Jun 14, 17 2:14 PM

Apparently it didn't expire. It had something to do with how the state approved the pdd, which actually extended the expiration date into next week. Mostly legal stuff. I had to leave early too, but that's my understanding of things. The town board wasn't reconsidering the application itself, just the extension. " Jun 15, 17 7:21 AM

Suffolk County Completes Purchase Of Two Affordable Housing Lots In Southampton Town

The state, county and town are all motivated to address the housing issue. The town actually established a Community Development office, where one of the goals is to approach attainable housing equitably and strategically by hamlet. The town is actually doing a smart thing in that regard, as they are being proactive in how they want it done, rather than reacting to what developers want to do. I've been to a few of those meetings and I assure you that (A) there is no pay to play, and (B) the town is looking to solve a problem without overburdening any given hamlet. In my opinion, this is the correct approach, and every community should be directly involved in the process. The town wants that participation. Sorry for the long post. " Jul 28, 17 8:25 AM

I actually fought hard against the Speonk project as it was too large, and that corridor is in serious danger of overdevelopment. However, we worked with the town and got the project down to roughly the same density as the as of right yield would have brought us. So it's more a matter of being pro-fairness than anything else. "Affordable" is a relative term. Singles making $36K for a studio or couples making up to $89K for a 2 bedroom don't scare me. Can they afford a house in my community? No. Is this rental concept the best solution? I don't think so. Is it an adequate solution? Probably for some. The pressure will come from the state to address workforce housing. I think it best to have a seat at the table and do this in an equitable way. Again long post, sorry. Thanks for the respectful dialogue. " Jul 28, 17 10:04 AM

State Could Revoke License Of Westhampton Beach Day Care Center

Both of my boys attended Bright Beginnings. Dawn always ran a tight ship and the program was excellent. I hope that this issue is resolved fairly and Bright Beginnings continues to give an academic head start to the children of our community. I'm sure there are many parents who would concur with that sentiment. " Aug 13, 17 9:20 AM

Southampton Supervisor Candidate Ray Overton Supports 'The Hills At Southampton' Application

Devil's advocate - shouldn't the town board be taking their time with this decision? This is a serious development that requires an awful lot of intense study, which is apparently ongoing. One misstep by the town board could result in a lawsuit from either side. Ray has stated his position and Jay is still weighing the options. At some point in the near future the town board will vote on this project and then we'll decide whether or not to support that decision. Just my opinion, but I actually appreciate that the town is going about this methodically and carefully." Aug 26, 17 11:20 AM

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