As the April 1 deadline for adoption of the New York State budget passed, a top issue of debate remains Governor Hochul’s Housing Compact. Emphasizing the strain this proposal would have on local infrastructure, emergency services and the environment, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jen DeSena and Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino stood with local utility leaders, environmental preservationists and first responders in front of the Albertson Water District HQ to make a final push against the governor’s Housing Compact.
The officials were joined by EMS officials and environmentalists to express concerns regarding the proposal to override local zoning laws.
“Republican and Democrat state lawmakers both agree that an override over local zoning laws will be detrimental to our communities, but Governor Hochul continues to plug her ears,” Clavin said. “We’re here, once again, to send a message to Albany: Local Control, not Hochul Control.”
Clavin shared a physical demonstration of 30,000 residents who mailed in a postcard or signed an online petition to stand against the New York Housing Compact. Clavin said that these only represent a fragment of New Yorkers who are dissatisfied with the proposed override of local zoning laws, reaffirming most of the aforementioned residents reside in downstate communities.
Long Island’s aquifer system will not be able to keep up with the population increase expected under the New York Housing Compact. The current sewage infrastructure would need to be upgraded to accommodate the expansive housing units. And emergency services would be stretched thin, school buildings would be overcrowded and local roadways and bridges would be strained with an increase in vehicles.
The opposition is not against more housing, but the process in which it is achieved. The officials reiterated that additional housing is being developed throughout all of Long Island, with input from residents and local leaders. The partnership between government and residents is vital to ensuring smart housing growth.
The New York Housing Compact is a plan that would force Long Island municipalities to allow massive development projects to ensure a targeted housing growth of three percent over three years. The developments would forcibly be approved through the governor’s newly created “Fast Track Approval” program that comes into play when the municipality does not reach its 3 percent housing growth goal. The program, which is only available for multifamily projects, exists to override the authority of local zoning law, meaning multifamily housing will be approved in areas zoned for single-family housing.
Under the proposal, Long Island would add an estimated 30,000 additional housing units over the course of three years. Under the “Fast Track Approval” program, municipalities would be stripped of their ability to combat the unwanted housing developments.
Governor Hochul’s plan includes a forcible rezoning of areas within a half-mile radius of Long Island Rail Road stations. The plan also calls for an “expedited environmental review process” for projects built in the forcibly rezoned areas.