Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brookhaven Town Snookers Residents - Developers Win Again!

Carman's River Protection Plan law passed by State doesn't match what the public has been told.

When Brookhaven Town Supervisor Lesko's Carmans River Study Group had nearly finished its work, we were told in an article in Newsday that the plan would "steer development away from 9,100 acres."

That information is wildly inaccurate.

According to the Long Island Advance and Newsday, the actual law that was passed "protected" a maximum of 1,100 acres. But "Protected" isn't the right word, since the plan only moves development away from some of the acres very near the river to an equal area of land that is more distant.

Particularly upsetting is that when the tax map of the acres that were to be protected in NY State Senator Zeldin's office in June, just before the state passed the bill, the properties didn't match what had been presented to the public when the plan was before the Town Board at the end of March.

Then, after the state passed the bill, it was revealed on 20 Jun 2011 that the properties included in the bill were not all going to be "protected" either.

The new law allows the Town to remove properties from the list included in the bill!


From Newsday:

Move to protect Carmans River watershed
Published: February 8, 2011 9:34 PM

Steering development away from 9,100 acres of sensitive Carmans River watershed is the crux of a landmark environmental protection plan scheduled to be approved Wednesday by a committee assembled by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko. . . .


Long Island Advance Editorial Article

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Carmans plan voted by Senate

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko was on the Senate floor when the state Senate passed the Carmans River Protection Plan, amending the Pine Barrens Protection Act of 1993 by adding 1,100 acres to the core preservation area.

“It will add a list of properties to the core of the Pine Barrens but the town needs to adopt the Carmans River Plan and the Pine Barrens Commission has to approve it as well,” Lesko said. “It has to happen in nine months or it’s repealed. The next step is to finalize it at the town level and finish the environmental impact study. Then it goes to the Pine Barrens Commission and then to the state.” Lesko said the list was less than 200 properties.

But the Affiliated Brookhaven Civic Organization President Mary Ann Johnston said the plan passed by the state was essentially different than the one presented to the town board on March 29. “It’s difficult to say it’s an improvement,” she said. “We saw the tax map in Senator Zeldin’s office last Friday morning for the first time.”

Johnston has received support from the Patchogue-Medford and Middle Country school boards who are against the plan, as is. The Patchogue-Medford’s stance is an unusual and important point, she pointed out.

The Long Island Advance received a letter from Pat-Med Board President Brett Houdek that at a recent business meeting, the BOE agreed with ABCO’s findings, specifically citing the process for the preparation of the protection and management plan was the antithesis of community-based planning and that it would allow for large multi-family development throughout the town’s commercial and J-business areas, much of it discussed being on the Medford Route 112 corridor, identified as an ideal location.

Johnston said she met with Senator Zeldin last Thursday afternoon. “He said he was told that our objections were about not being included at the table.

What’s disturbing is that it took him to this point to reach out. He missed the point of the Pat-Med Board of Ed. vote.

In the beginning the town said they were saving 9,100 acres and now it’s down to 1,100. We’re trading on a 12 to 1 ratio.”

Johnston pointed out those large projects already in the pipeline are going forward. “Lesko said they were very far along,” Johnston added. “State law says unless there is a shovel in the ground, it is not exempt.”

Johnston said her group doesn’t want to scrap the plan. “We want a really good plan that really works. You’re saving a thousand and you’re saying you’re saving a river. The Meadows at Yaphank project is 338 acres, which is better than a third of that number. You’ve already wiped that out by developing.”

– Linda Leuzzi


From The North Shore Sun:
State approves expansion of Pine Barrens core preservation area
By Jennifer Gustavson | June 20, 2011

. . .

The bill, which the Brookhaven Town Board endorsed at its June 14 meeting, was passed unanimously through both houses of the State Legislature last week.
. . .
The next step is for the Town Board to finalize the list of new properties that will be added to the core preservation area. Mr. Lesko said the Town Board can only subtract — not add — to the list approved by the state, which identifies property locations by Suffolk County tax map numbers.

Mr. Lesko said . . . the 322-acre proposed redevelopment project called The Meadows at Yaphank slated for the former Parr Meadows race remains excluded from the list. Members of the town’s Carmans River Study group have said it wasn’t included because the project was too far along in the planning process when the Carmans River plan was being developed.

Mr. Lesko also said that not all properties located within the zero-to-five year groundwater contributing area . . . will be added to the core preservation area.

Once the Town Board approves the new list of properties, land owners added to the core preservation zone will need approval from the Pine Barrens Commission if they wish to develop their properties.