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Height Restrictions on the Patchogue River to be Eliminated?

This blog is part of an ongoing effort by the Citizens Campaign for Open Village Government to inform residents of the policies and practices of our village government.

At the Jan 14, 2013 Village Board meeting, Trustee Tom Ferb will introduce a resolution to eliminate height restrictions in areas zoned e industrial, for example construction  on the Patchogue River.  At that time a public hearing on the matter will be scheduled.

Elimination of height restrictions  will do more than ease the way for the Fatfish project but has implications for future development on the river.

Interested parties can be heard by attending the village board meeting on Mon. Jan 14, 2013.  The new time for board meetings is 6pm.

For those unable to attend, a  reminder that village board meetings are now being videotaped and can be viewed on the Patch to learn more about this resolution.

 

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.

John Bogack January 13, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Riverfront Residents will need to pay particular attention to proposed changes aimed at the E industrial zone namely a proposed change to height restrictions for buildings along the riverfront. This is not just a commerical issue. The E industrial zone is ringed by residences within and nearby the E industrial zone that could be effected by any such change. Information about the proposed changes will not be provided in more detail until the Monday meeting of the Patchogue Village Board of Trustees. Any such information would be welcome. There is some thinking that the changes may be related to new FEMA concerns about just high buildings will have to be to deal with future flooding concerns and this proposed change may be related to that concern or even mandate from FEMA. In any event something is on its way and everyone who lives near the river needs to keep an eye on any such proposal and the potential good or negatives that any such change might mean. I am glad to see that there will be a public hearing at a future date that will allow for the public to weigh in on their concerns. Let's hope whatever is on tap to be proposed provides a good change.
Joseph Adriano January 13, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Make way for Tallfish! And more apartments....
Frank Finnamore January 14, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Mr Ferb or any other Board Member can not vote on that zoning change if they live or have an interest in any property that is located within 200 feet of any property affected by that zoning change. Patchogue Village Code 40-7 C (1).
Been Here a Long Time January 14, 2013 at 02:58 PM
So typical of this administration....the law does not work for a specific project proposed by a friend of the their so they change a law. If someone other than the mayor's pal had proposed this project it would have gone no where. I am terribly disappointed that Tom Ferb has become such a terribly disappointing sell-out. And despite the fact that he has to abstain, the change will be approved.
John Bogack January 14, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Frank that is a very interesting observation. I looked at the code and here is the exact wording that you referred to: "In the event that an application for site plan review, subdivision approval, change of zone, a variance or special permit involving property within 200 feet of property in which a Village officer, employee or a family member of them has a financial, ownership or leasehold interest, said Village officer or employee should excuse himself or herself from any participation, comment, deliberation, decision or vote with respect to such application." If this restriction does apply it would also mean that Trustee Hilton and Trustee Devlin who also live near the E industrial zones may also have to recuse themselves. I know the Mayor lives in a far off in a corner of the village removed from all the noise and tormoil of the riverfront and main street. I guess he can vote then. I am not exactly sure where the other trustees live. I guess we will all find out soon.
Joseph Adriano January 14, 2013 at 03:40 PM
If this is the case then Ferb should note vote or comment and neither should Trustee Hilton if he lives on the River (he commented in another blog that he did). And I don't think the Mayor should vote on this either if any of these people are his long time friends. They should all recuse themselves.
Joseph Adriano January 14, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I guess someone came up with the brilliant idea of using the hurricane to get the height restrictions eliminated. Do they think we are that dense?
Joseph Adriano January 15, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Any update here from the Citizens for Honest Government? Thanks for all you do Mrs. M. and team.
John Bogack January 15, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Joe and Frank. I did appear at the Board meeting last night and I did ask village attorney Egan if the above cited ethical rule applied to the vote on the still to come proposed zoning change. He said that it did not. The vote for a public hearing on the proposed change will occur later this month. A copy of the actual resolution is due to be available for public inspection today actually and tomorrow I hope to go into village hall and get a copy and publish it or summarize it if it is long. I am not going to comment on Mr. Egan's opinion at this point in time. I do give Mr. Egan's opinions great weight but I am certainly open to hearing whether there may be different opinions to be expressed by the public too. Fortunately the Citizens Campaign for Open Village Government did tape yesterday's meeting. We are hoping to post that video within the next few days and then every person who has an interest can see my question and his answer and be informed and form their own opinions about this issue. This is exactly the kind of process that the Campaign is seeking to encourage. Let's get issues out into public view, let them be aired, let them see the light of day so that the public can be informed, empowered, and can then act as conscience demands. Let's have facts to judge what actions are needed.
David Kennedy January 16, 2013 at 03:02 AM
John, at our last meeting we were discussing what our mission statement should be for Citizen's Campaign for Village Open Government...I think your last two sentences just nailed it!! As for the the ethics code and the height restrictions proposal, I am looking forward to see the video of Mr. Egan's comments...my only question is if that code does not apply for this situation, what situation does it apply for?
Joseph Adriano January 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Well if the Mayor doesn't have to recuse himself from voting on the purchase of a vehicle himself he pretty much doesn't have to recuse himself from anything, now does he? Does it not matter who is childhood friends are and whether or not he was trying to convince the Chairman of the ZBA to pass the fatfish application a few months ago? Does it not matter that one or two of the trustees live on the river and can personally be affected one way or another the height restrictions? Egan gots some splaining to do.
David Kennedy January 17, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Mr. Adriano, my point is on the code itself...it speaks to direct associations...i.e. value of adjacent property and/or ones financial connections to any developer or development being considered by the Village Board. Certainly, property values in a very immediate area around where property upgrades occur do increase. The code, as I read it, asks elected represents within extreme close proximity to refrain from being part of the decision making process. Why you bring the Mayor up in reference in this is beyond me, but it appears a trustee or two might live within property parameters the code specifies. And this in no way means there is something "underhanded" going on. That should be clear. The point to me is this: A code was written...what was its purpose? How does it apply? And what precedence will be set if this code does not apply here? Is this code even necessary or practical? (I think it is, if for only that it tries to remove even a perceptions favoritism.) Where is an opinion from an Ethics Committee? Isn't questions like this what an Ethics committee is for? Unfortunately I was not at the last Board Meeting (new time and all) so I look forward to see the video and Attorney Egan's comments. All the above questions are worth discussing....which I hope our Village Board will do before rushing to a final decision. Oh, and please don't forget to include and encourage resident opinion and participation before you do, too.
Joseph Adriano January 17, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Like I said, Egan gots some splaining to do... Are you suggesting someone on the board may have a financial interest in Tallfish? An "angel" investor so to speak? I have no evidence of that but I do know that Pontieri's buddies are partnering on the project. Ask the Chairman of the ZBA about it and what role Pontieri, Egan, Sloane and company have all played in trying to get these height variance approvals through. Go to the source and ask them. Also...most residences and/or businesses that are raising their structures due to Superstorm Sandy are raising it less than 5 feet. Do you believe this is the sole basis for this new revision to the code?
Ssmith February 06, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Some people live in the dark and use ignorance as an excuse. Try doing or saying something nice to someone. You will be surprised how good it feels. Concerned about all investors and residents of Patchogue!
Patchogue Snoop March 08, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Funny

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