I’m writing about the upcoming Southampton Town public hearing on Liberty Gardens, the affordable, workforce and veterans community housing apartments planned for property behind the Full Gospel Church on County Road 39 in Southampton. The award-winning not-for-profit Concern Housing has been in the planning process for over four years now, and they have adjusted their plan to ensure that there are only positive contributions to the Southampton community.
Because I wanted to see what Liberty Gardens would appear like, I went to visit other Concern Housing developments in Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson Station several times over the last few years. Each time, I found bright, cheery residents in a nicely kept community: young people, working in nearby businesses; veterans, both young and retired; residents working out in the community house gym and doing work in the computer room. Last time there, they were having a birthday party in the community room for one of the residents.
Liberty Gardens’ design is similar to Sandy Hollow’s design, and many of us remember how some people objected to that — and now realize how beautifully it fits into our community. And, like Sandy Hollow and the affordable units at Fairfield at Southampton in Tuckahoe, Liberty Gardens will be the home of local volunteer firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement, teachers, town and local employees.
And we all know how our local businesses, schools, towns and villages are suffering with recruitment and retention. Stony Brook Southampton Hospital currently has over 200 vacancies for nurses, radiologists and health care workers.
And since we know that 90 percent of applications for our local community housing apartments come from either local residents or those who moved out of our town because they couldn’t find a place to live, many of the residents of Liberty Gardens now will be reducing trade parade traffic, because they will be living closer to their jobs, family and friends.
There is misinformation out there about Liberty Gardens exiting through the Hillcrest community, which it is not. That was eliminated over two years ago.
There is misinformation out there about Liberty Gardens being a giant traffic generator, which it is not. Traffic studies are public information.
There is misinformation out there about Liberty Gardens hurting ground water, which it will not, because it will be tied to the wastewater treatment system at Southampton Care Center, because they have so much extra capacity.
Regarding the misinformation about not having enough local services, just wait until we see how many local volunteers and essential workers end up living at Liberty Gardens. We look forward to that.
East End YIMBY
One fine body…