From: Slaughter, Joshua
To Whom It May Concern:
As many of you have probably seen, the proposal to construct solar arrays on wooded, public land in Yaphank and Bellport has been getting a lot of attention the past few weeks. While the Bellone administration has yet to submit a contract for approval to the legislature, this is expected in early 2016, Legislator Browning has introduced two resolutions that are before the Ways and Means Committee next Thursday, December 10 at 12:30pm in Hauppauge. Your support for these resolutions is appreciated. Anyone from the public can speaks for 3 minutes during the public portion.
I have attached the two resolutions, IR 1926-15 and IR 2014-15, which directly impact this plan and land in question.
IR 1926-15 was tabled at the last committee. The resolution would effectively prevent the administration from moving forward with drafting a contract until the Legislature took action to approved the plan.
IR 2014-15 is a new resolution that seeks to create a Master Plan for the Yaphank County Center, and places a moratorium on any projects for the area until that plan is in place.
The County owns hundreds of acres of land in Yaphank which were acquired decades ago to accommodate the future expansion of County offices and operations. In recent years, as it has become apparent that the County will not need to use the entirety of its Yaphank holdings to house government offices, so numerous uses for the property have been proposed. The prior County administration proposed the enormous mixed use “Legacy Village” at Yaphank, which was ultimately rejected. Some of the Yaphank property was dedicated to parkland in 2011, and another 2011 resolution (Resolution No. 298-2011) declared 247 acres of property as surplus and directed the Division of Real Property, Acquisition and Management to offer the land for sale or lease to maximize the monetary return to the County. In 2013 the County sold 230 acres of the Yaphank property to Oakland Transportation Holdings for the purpose of establishing a rail transfer station. The latest proposal at Yaphank would allow a private entity (Solar City) to clear dozens of acres of woodland to allow for the installation of solar arrays for a minimum term of twenty (20) years.
The County has no cohesive or cogent plan to guide the use and management of its Yaphank holdings, and has instead pursued a piecemeal and scattershot approach. IR 2014 would convene a committee, comprised of experts in planning, advocates for the environment and members of the local community, to determine the best way to utilize the Yaphank land.
Your presence and support next Thursday is greatly needed and appreciated.
Joshua P. Slaughter
Suffolk County Legislature
Legislative Aide, Media Contact, Third Legislative District
1120 Montauk Hwy., Suite G
Mastic, NY 11950
Phone: (631) 852-1300 Fax:(631) 852-1303