Q and A with Mr. Frank Petrone 2017
Interview session with Mr. Frank Petrone 2017
- The Fort Salonga community is very interested in the proposed cluster development at Indian Hills Country Club. Can you update us on this issue?
It is our understanding that the applicant intends to withdrawn his request for a zone change on this property and will pursue an as of right cluster development via the Town Law Section 278. Essentially the applicant will pursue a development that is similar to the conceptual plan submitted with the Zone Change application. However the yield will be determined by the number of homes that can be achieved via a standard R-40 subdivision. It is anticipated that the Planning Board will require many of the same open space benefits offered in the prior plan, including the preservation of the golf course. It is expected that the Planning Board will issue a positive determination and a full EIS will be required to comply with SEQRA.
- The Open Space program in Huntington is so important to all who live here. Are there any properties in Huntington especially in Ft. Salonga that the Town is considering purchasing? The FSA can try to work with organizations like the Northshore Land Alliance and other groups that have a common goal and money to work toward this end.
The Town acquired the 3.7-acre Tannenbaum property on Route 25A in 2016 (former proposed
FSCP Plat subdivision) through the EOSPA Program. The Town Board authorized the execution of a contract and appropriated funding to acquire an adjoining 7.5 acres (Kruse property, former proposed Timberpoint Estates subdivision), also through the EOSPA Program. The owner had previously received approval from the Planning Board designating the site a Transfer of Density Flow Rights Sending Area, so the property will remain in its natural state with trails. This 10.5—acre addition has trails that are actively used by runner and hikers as a link between Makamah Preserve and the Veterans Parks Complex (with the LIPA right-of-way).
EOSPA – General
The Town’s process for open space preservation is to work with willing sellers. Priority would be for sites that have unique importance and which link to already-protected parkland or active uses (e.g., trails).
Veterans Nature Study Area
Following clean-up and renewed educational use of the property (former brownfield site), the U.S. Department of Education found the Town fully compliant with the conveyance requirements and released the 33-acre parcel north of the Bellerose School in the Veterans Parks Complex to full Town control. I was not sure if this was announced, so I included it. The Town has continued to lead educational programs, mostly in association with the Bellerose Elementary School.
VAMC/Veterans Parks Complex
In 2003 the Town Board requested the public conveyance or a trails easement to allow public trails access on existing trails in a specific component of the VAMC property. I have continuously followed up to no avail. I have attached the letter that was sent previously with the Town Board resolution that formalized the request. I also attached the response that was sent by Department of Veterans Affairs. We would really like to open a dialogue on this matter, which is strongly supported by the Huntington Trails Committee as part of a Veterans Parks Complex trails plan. Among the items in planning is a dedicated accessible trailway between the VAMC and the active parks complex. I have also attached a copy of the map that was shared with the public at the first meeting on the proposed enhanced use lease for an assisted living facility. It appears to indicate that other sections of the VAMC site may be in consideration for other uses. Please see Parcel C, which adjoins public parkland on its complete outer perimeter. It includes the area that was requested for continued trails use. Support of the Fort Salonga Association in preserving additional land at the VAMC might be a key future goal.
- It was observed on the video of the Planning Board meeting of 4/19/17 that Brenna Estates, a 22 acre parcel in Fort Salonga, was being proposed for development. Apparently 10 of the 18 proposed plots are less than 1 acre, as low as 1/2 acre. This would be a violation of the long standing Fort Salonga community rule in the R-40 zone to not allow homes to be built on less than 1 acre. Will the Planning Department allow this to occur?
The meeting that was observed was a preliminary discussion of a conceptual plan offered by an applicant for a modified subdivision map to preserve open space and steep slopes on the property. In order to attain this open space preservation objective, the applicant believed it was necessary to modify the lot area of various lots while staying within the density shown on the yield map. The applicant has re-evaluated his proposal based on the feedback he received from the Planning Board. Several members of the Board were not convinced that the quality and quantity of open space and slope preservation initially offered by the applicant merited the overall reductions in lot sizes that were being sought. As a result, the applicant has resubmitted a proposed map showing all lots with at least one (1) acre.
- What is the status of the Town of Huntington and the LIPA lawsuit? There was an editorial in the Sunday April 16 issue of Newsday stating that LIPA and local Government should end the court fight and agree on lowering taxes on plants. Hopefully your successor will carry on the fight to save the town from paying back taxes to LIPA, as you have done in the past.
The Town remains committed to pursuing the LIPA lawsuit unless a settlement can be reached Currently, the Town is in the process of finalizing a scheduling order. A scheduling order sets up timelines for depositions, summary judgment motions and trial dates.
- The 1014 Holding Company LLC is applying for a Zone change for the property at Ft. Salonga Rd. and Rinaldo Rd to allow a 2400 sq. ft. convenience store and also allow alcohol sales. What is the status of this property?
The 1014 Holding Company is before the ZBA seeking a special use permit to locate a convenience store within a shopping center zoned C-6. The application was heard on May 25; however the ZBA has requested a conceptual site plan showing proposed outdoor seating for a restaurant located within the subject shopping center before making a decision. The applicant was given two weeks to comply with the requested exhibit. After completing the plan, the attorney representing the opponents to the convenience store will have two weeks to review and comment on that plan. At the completion of this review process, the ZBA will be in a position to render a decision on the special use permit.
- What does Supervisor Petrone see as his Legacy to the town of Huntington in general ?
Well-managed finances to hold down spending and taxes and consistently earn AAA bond ratings. Significantly reduced debt service to seven cents on the dollar of government spending from almost 25 cents.
Preservation of open space through Open Space Bond Acts, the first for a Town on Long Island. Preserved more than 300 acres through open space purchases. This includes the Tanenbaum and Kruse properties at the intersection of Ft. Salonga and Makamah Roads and the Roberg property at Makamah and Breeze Hill Roads.
Preserved other land through program allowing transfer of density flow rights. The first parcels preserved were in Ft. Salonga (flow rights transferred to Bren-Tronics in Commack)
Expanded parks system, including creation of Veterans Park in East Northport, Breeze Park in west Huntington, Sweet Hollow Park. Major upgrades to other parks, including Manor Field Park.
Reduced pollution in Huntington’s waterways through a major upgrade of the Huntington sewer plant and creation of the Northport Harbor Water Quality Protection Committee. Implemented recycling and expanded it to include single stream recycling and curbside pickup of electronic waste.
Implemented numerous energy initiatives, including making Huntington part of the Climate Smart Communities Pledge, establishing a solar energy demonstration project at Town Hall and creating electric car charging stations at Town Hall and at the Huntington LIRR Station
Innovative housing initiatives to foster creation of workforce housing, including the first limited equity cooperative in Melville and legislation requiring developers seeking density increase to set aside a percentage of the units as affordable or contribute to an affordable housing fund.
Encouraged development of 110 Corridor in Melville as Long Island’s downtown. Brought major companies such as Canon and Leviton to Melville
Made major strides in Huntington Station revitalization after decades of neglect.
Expanded programs for seniors, including the senior beach house in Centerport.
- and to the hamlet of Fort Salonga in particular?
Roberg, Tanenbaum and Kruse purchases for passive parkland (trails) in Makamah Road area
Preservation of land thanks to transfer of density flow rights from Ft. Salongs property to Commack business.
- What does Supervisor Frank Petrone see as the biggest challenges ahead in the corning years for the Town of Huntington?
Addressing the needs and demands of Millennials for different housing options against the wishes of those who want to preserve Long Island’s traditional single-family home lifestyle.
Fostering job creation to keep young people from locating elsewhere when they graduate from college.
Continuing to provide programs and services at a level residents expect and want against the restrictions of the state tax cap legislation. This includes open space purchases and open space preservation.
Developing a framework to finance and construct a parking garage in Huntington Village and dealing with development pressures in the Village until a structure is built.
Continuing Huntington Station revitalization, especially to include projects south of the railroad tracks, which would require expanding sewer service to the area.
Bringing about and dealing with a resolution to the LIPA tax certiorari case that does not devastate Northport school district residents.