Saladino, DeSena Denounce Hochul's High-Density Housing Plan
By Rupert Deedes
Governor Kathy Hochul’s demand for high-density low-income housing in single-family neighborhoods on Long Island was met with a fierce and united opposition from leaders and residents on the north shore.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and City of Glen Cove Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck all denounced Hochul's plan as an “attack on the suburbs.”
Hochul announced her plan in the recent State of the State address, demanding that 800,000 new high-density, low-income housing units - for 2.5 million people - be built in the next three years.
Hochul would force Long Island communities to build large-scale development projects aiming to reach a targeted housing growth of 3 percent over three years.
Hocul demanded that high-density projects be approved by a newly created “Fast Track Approval” program, which would kick in if a municipality does not build 3 percent more high density housing.
Critics of the governor’s plan note that the program is available only for multifamily projects, and that it exists in order to override the authority of local zoning law.
Under the proposal, Nassau County, which is home to more than 478,000 housing units, would be required to add an estimated 14,340 additional housing units, housing 60,000 new residents. The Fast Track Approval program would deny municipalities the ability to deny unwanted low income housing developments.
Nassau County leaders say that an influx of 14,340 additional housing units in Nassau County - which is already one of the most densely populated counties in the country - would increase traffic congestion and the number of cars parked on the streets, strain emergency services, increase the number of children in schools, increase pressure on local infrastructure,and threaten the environment.
Hochul also outlined a plan for rezoning of areas within a half-mile radius of the 58 LIRR stations. This plan would "up-zone" neighborhoods to increase population density and allow for large apartment buildings to be developed.
“Removing the rights of residents to have a say over the future of our communities is a direct threat to democracy,” stated Oyster Bay Supervisor Saladino.
“The future of our suburban communities is at stake," added North Hempstead Supervisor DeSena. "We need local control, not Hochul control,”