The Fort Salonga Association’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6, is being postponed. There will be no meeting at the elementary school on Dec. 6. The new meeting date will be announced shortly.
Since our association’s founding in 1946 our officers and directors have always tried to represent the interests of our community at large. We have never been a single issue organization, representing only the few. We are now trying to navigate the very difficult issues surrounding the Indian Hills Country Club with the FSPOA (Fort Salonga Property Owners Association), not to be confused with the FSA. The FSPOA is against the zoning change and the Northwind Group’s plans for development.
Early this week, the FSA board voted to support the zoning change but not the specific plan put forward by the club owner. This has obviously left the FSPOA leadership and its supporters feeling that we are not representing their interests.
Separately, three members of the FSPOA are seeking to be considered for FSA board positions in our upcoming election. We determined that their initial independent nominations did not meet our requirements, which means their names would not have appeared on the ballot.
At the FSPOA’s own community meeting earlier this week, by way of email, and in the local press, FSPOA supporters have expressed extreme displeasure with our board’s decisions. The three independent candidates for the election maintain that their nominations are valid, and that our by-laws require a different interpretation.
Postponing the Annual Meeting and Election
In at least the last 40 years, this is the only time the FSA has had to prepare for a possibly contested election. While our by-laws allow for independent nominations, and provide a process for a contested election, this is essentially a new process for us. As a result, the FSA board has decided we must postpone our annual meeting and election for 45 to 60 days so we can process an open and fair election. We are in communication with the FSPOA leadership and the three independent candidates.
Soon we will announce the new date for the community meeting and election, will publish a complete ballot with all incumbent and the three independent candidate names, and instructions for how Fort Salonga Association members can vote.
Fort Salonga Faces Many Challenges
We believe it is important to show that we are an organization that represents the whole Fort Salonga community, whether you live in Town of Huntington or Town of Smithtown, near the VA or the industrial area, or by Indian Hills. Despite our hamlet occupying a small space on the map, we contend with a broad range of issues and opportunities.
The Indian Hills plan has understandably generated a great deal of interest by our residents. The builder has met numerous times with the FSA, members of the club, and those who live nearby. While some concerns have been mitigated the site plan and environmental concerns still require the community’s careful review. The FSA board was not unanimous in its decision to support the zoning change, but a majority did vote in favor of this decision. You can see a copy of the letter sent on behalf of the board to Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone on the FSA website at www.fortsalonga.org. In the letter to Supervisor Petrone the FSA states that the ultimate configuration of development, including size, type, and quantity of homes is yet to be determined. Also the SEQRA analysis could impact the final plan. All of these factors will be considered by FSA.
The rezoning does not compromise our one acre zoning. Any homes, cluster or single family, will not exceed the one acre yield of the property. The purpose of the cluster zoning law is to preserve open space.
We’ve had residents come to our monthly meetings throughout the year to voice their opinions, and the entire board has read every message sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. What we’ve learned is for many people this is not a simple issue. We’ve heard from people who are concerned for the environment and are against the Northwind plan, and from people who are concerned for the environment and are in favor of the Northwind plan. We’ve also heard from people who support one view or another but tell us they are afraid of retaliation from neighbors if they make their opinions known. We hope that feeling will change but it will take good effort on everyone’s part.
There are challenges and opportunities ahead. In the coming year the FSA looks forward to working with all the residents, including the leadership and members of the FSPOA, on solutions that make Fort Salonga the very best community it can be for all of us.
Fort Salonga Association