Your recent editorial regarding the need for additional affordable housing on the South Fork [“The Great Challenge,” Editorial, October 15] left out one major need.
For affordable housing to be built in any of the numbers necessary, it is imperative that our town boards take the lead and rezone existing properties for the density necessary to make such housing affordable.
Rather than wait for a developer or not-for-profit to ask for a rezoning of such property, which then leads to the normal fight between the developer and the local community, it is necessary for each town to rezone properties on their own motion to meet these housing needs.
I would assume that there is no site on the South Fork which is now zoned for multifamily housing as of right, without the need for a zone change or a special permit from the town itself. Thus, every application becomes contentious because it is perceived as a rich developer trying to make money off the local community.
What is needed is for each town to review its current zoning, do a specific analysis of the properties and then rezone the property on their own motion to allow for such housing. Then, when a developer comes in to develop the property, the entire discussion of whether the property is appropriate for such housing has already been accomplished.
Only in this way can the issue be discussed in a forthright and meaningful manner, without the back and forth relating to the needs of a specific developer.
I would hope that your paper can insist that our towns start to take this action now. This will lead to the development of much needed affordable housing on the South Fork.
Mitchell H. Pally
Chief Executive Officer
Long Island Builders Institute
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