At the Patchogue village board meeting of of Jan. 14, 2013, Trustee Tom Ferb introduced a resolution to amend height restrictions in areas zoned E industrial.
A public hearing on this resolution is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2013 at village hall at 6pm.
This resolution, in an attempt to accommodate the new FEMA floodplain requirement, addresses the definition of "height of building" and, as well ,would allow a 15 foot increase in building height, that is, from 45 to 60 feet in E industrial areas.
Introduction of this resolution, at this time, suggests that the Board wishes to attract and accommodate further development in the villlage. In and of itself, this may not be a bad thing. Why not, however, let the Zoning Board of Appeals decide issues, such as height, on a case by case basis? This provides residents the opportunity to have a voice regarding each application, allows the ZBA to fulfill their responsiblilty to protect the interests of the residents and helps to maintain a reasonable balance between the rights of the residents and the rights of the developers.
Allthough the impetus for this resolution is the new floodplain requirement, this is not a riverfront issue only. It affects E industrial throughout the village. It was introduced, however, without specifically identifying all of the areas in the village zoned E industrial and therefore impacted by the height amendment. Some residents may be unaware that they live in close proximity to an E industrial zone and may suddenly and surprisingly find themselves living next to a 60 foot building. Itemizing the affected parcels would serve to notify those residents, living in or near E industrial, of a change which can have significant impact on their property values, their quality of life and the character of their neighborhoods.
A "blanket" or overall extension of height allowance throughout the village ignores the fact that many E industrial areas are not in floodplain, are not subject to the new FEMA requirement and therefore those residents and their neighbors will be unecessarilly exposed to the effects of overdevelopment
Why the haste? If this resolution becomes law the aesthetics and character of the entire village will be forever altered. Shouldn't that require more careful consideration of the issues?