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Promises

Patchogue Village should hold developers to their commitments to the Village, and our elected officials should keep their promises to Village residents.

Patchogue Village applauded when Capital Management LLC (the O’Hara brothers) built owner-occupied housing units on South Ocean Avenue (Bay Village) to replace two large boarding houses that were blighting our community.

When they were elected on the Patchogue First platform, our Village Board had made a promise to Village residents that they would fight high density rental housing, and they kept their promise in this instance.

Even so, the developer on the site was given special permission by the Village of Patchogue to build more units than the village code permits. In return for this exception, the developer agreed to make a substantial contribution to the community by making much needed improvements to , an absolute gem of beautiful waterfront property that has tremendous but still unrealized potential.

In January of 2006, before the Village Planning Board, the developer promised to make improvements to the park in excess of $100,000. The Planning Board made it a condition of their approval of the plan that the developers make those improvements to the park in consultation with the Village Board. See Planning Board minutes and determination, dated January 17, 2006.

This past August 22, 2011, a village resident (Bruce Boerjes) asked Mayor Pontieri about the status of the improvements to the park which have yet to be made, more than four years later. Mr. Pontieri told the resident “that money will come through and I have been in constant contact with him (the developer).” He assured Mr. Boerjes that “the contractor did not walk away from the project.” Trustee Devlin also confirmed that “It is in the minutes of the Planning Board, as I sat on the Planning Board at that time and it was part of the grant.” See Village Board minutes dated August 22, 2011.

On November 28, 2011, I attended a Village Board meeting and inquired again about these improvements. The Mayor informed me that the developer was not obligated to make these improvements because the agreement “was never in writing.” He said the developer may build a $25,000 playground instead. This flies in the face of the planning board determination, and contradicts the Mayor and the developer’s previous representations. In effect, if the Mayor permits the developer to renege on its commitment, this constitutes a substantial gift to the developer.

Despite the fact that the developer never made improvements to our park, it was issued a Certificate of Occupancy for Bay Village, and was also issued a Certificate of Occupancy for its new project on the corner of Main Street and Potter (). The ribbon cutting for this project is on December 1, 2011.

The Mayor should direct the Village attorney to hold this developer to its commitment and to the conditions of the Planning Board approval. And he should make it clear to all developers that if they make a commitment to Village residents, they will be required to honor those commitments.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bob February 17, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Developers like Tri-tec and Capital Management have made Patchogue a laughing stock in the real estate and construction industries. They know they can get away with anything if they come here and Pontieri will give them anything they want. That's why they give him "Man of the Year" awards from bogus building and housing associations and donate so much money to his political campaigns. Why would they support someone who they know will stand up to them and hold their feet to the fire. We don't know how to negotiate and we look very foolish. We are the Rodney Dangerfield of Long Island communities. We can't get no respect.
Andy Miller February 17, 2012 at 09:54 PM
From Long Island Business News: “They’re great businesses,” Pete O’Hara said of Checkers. “You can make a lot of money if they’re run properly.” Well Mr. O’Hara if you have so much dough why not make good on the promise you made to Patchogue Village to give $100 grand to Shorefront park? Mascot dock could use some monetary help too according to Trustee Hilton. Make good on your promise and share the wealth ! Mayor Pontieri brags you are a “wonderful partner.” Prove it and give us the $100,000 you owe us from 2006. Maybe the Village will be nice and not charge you the interest you owe us.
florence casey February 18, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Another screw up. Why don’t you get those builders of Bay Village to pony up on the dock? If they still owe the village $100,000 wouldn’t that help solve this problem? People love that dock. We are a waterfront community. Save the dock and dump the apartments you are trying to squeeze on main street. We can’t pay to fix the dock but we can pay to mess up Terry Street and make it a one way. We can pay to take West avenue from the county and design it like a big parking lot. Who is making these brilliant decisions? Where are the priorities in this village?
John Bogack February 19, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Jo. I saw your comments a few days ago and also Elizabeth McQuire's as well. And have been thinking about an answer. I wish I had one that completely solved everythig but I don't. I don't think there is just one answer although at heart what I said about people coming out on a winter's night to advocate for their neighborhoods is a truth. Sometimes there does come a time when you can't be a summer soldier if you want to win whatever struggle you find yourself in. Otherwise I think improving civic life in the village just requires going at it one small step at a time and being patient. Televised Board meetings was something I advocated to the Board more than a year and half ago at one of its meetings. Now candidates from both parties see the need. I think after the election is over we will see those meetings. If I can use a gardening analogy, you have to plant a seed and keep gardening until you get what you set out to grow knowing that it might take longer than you thought. Lastly I would also say we could use many different neighborhood civic associations. A one size fits all civic association I think is not going to work in the end. We actually have a lot of neighborhoods in our small village. If people banded together more to improve those areas in and around where they actually lived I have a sense we would be well on our way to seeing a lot more people positively engaged in the civic life of the village and with good result.
good taste March 14, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Mrs. McGuire's determination to help our village is evident in the posting 'Promises' which she wrote last December. 'Promises' is about the $100,000 that Capital Management LLC promised the village in 2006 and they still haven't paid. Read the post and the responses to learn more. Our village could put $100,000 to good use.

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