In Huntington, when economics combines with politics, residents are left with a toxic soup consisting of pandering government officials and shady special interest groups.
When organizations such as Vision Long Island, the Working Families Party and the Rauch Foundation have more influence than the taxpayers, something is definitely wrong.
Since Huntington residents do not have a town charter outlining the property rights of taxpayers and homeowners, there is nothing to protect them from overzealous government officials who are trying to build an urban utopia via ‘Smart Growth’.
No More Avalon Bays!
As the story of Avalon Bay reminds us, homeowners living in the unprotected hamlets of Huntington have no control over their land use and are often considered by government officials as NIMBY’s and ‘impediments’ to the utopian society officials are trying to create. To make matters worse, there is not one current board member who is opposed to government sponsored ‘affordable housing’, even if they did vote against Avalon Bay.
Further, if high density housing and million dollar tax breaks for large corporations are such a boon to the economy, why don’t town officials just get it over with and bulldoze all the single family homes in Huntington and then pave over all the parks so developers can bring in more multinational corporations? Wouldn’t that increase the tax base without increasing the student population?
Time To Decentralize
Currently, there are four (4) villages in the Town of Huntington: Asharoken, Huntington Bay, Lloyd Harbor and Northport.
In each of these villages land use is controlled only by residents who live in that village – not by town officials. In other words, the local officials of Lloyd Harbor (or anywhere else in Huntington) cannot tell the people of Huntington Bay to start building high density housing because some special interest group wants to please its membership or some career politician is looking to garner more votes for the next election. They are protected by the law – not abused by it.
What Needs To Be Done
Since Suffolk is an I and R county (Initiative and Referendum), Huntington residents can take matters into their own hands by voting to control their own land use by designating each of the unincorporated areas as ‘hamlet zones’. Recently, the Huntington’s Planning Department designated Huntington Village as a ‘hamlet zone’ but we’re not sure what that is because they’re not saying. (FOIL request in progress) Regardless, here is a listing of the current areas designated as hamlets in the town of Huntington:
- Cold Spring Harbor
- Dix Hills
- East Northport
- Eatons Neck
- Fort Salonga
- Huntington Station
- South Huntington
- West Hills
Next: How to put it all together.