Consider Tuckahoe: an arbitrary and gerrymander-ish patch stretching on the map from the highway into the bay and designated a “hamlet” as a municipal afterthought. Home to four tax-evading, exclusive golf courses, and many modest houses. Home, that is, to what used to be called “working-class” families.
Tuckahoe, with its landscape and many neighborhoods dotted with disruptive, eyesore commercial and industrial businesses, guaranteed perpetuity by the transfer of “pre-existing” zoning with the sale of land — in defiance of zoning intent. Nestled within this hamlet is the fiefdom of the Tuckahoe School, funded by an outrageous tax rate, now spending approximately $40,000 per student, per year. While the tax rate is high, the relative standing of the school is not.
Further disfigured by the commercial swath of the highway and the implanted businesses, Tuckahoe is and has been a prime target for every lousy development scheme to come down the pike, especially those that demand zoning changes to increase density and profit. Enter the Full Gospel “affordable housing” complex proposed for County Road 39 and touted by Jay Schneiderman [“Southampton Town Board Gives Green Light To 60-Unit Affordable Housing Application,” 27east.com, January 29].
Pushing opposition and balanced consideration aside, Mr. Schneiderman asserts that if he says something, it is sufficient unto law: “I don’t have to make the case for the need for affordable rentals. I’ve said many times — we need them, and we need them particularly east of the Shinnecock Canal.”
On the contrary, he and his board must draw on the public’s wishes and the services taxpayers provide (boards, commissions, consultants) to present reasoned and informed arguments when decisions affect the public purse and the community at large. Issuing proclamations ex cathedra on a case-by-case basis doesn’t cut it.
As always, Mr. Schneiderman refers slyly to “our workers,” as in: “We have a serious lack of places where our workers can afford to live a decent life” — again perpetuating the marketing myth that this housing would be being built for “local” workers, when he knows full well that the housing is open to everyone, working or indigent, in the United States, by law.
The onerous taxation, overdevelopment and unconsidered decisions — absent authentic environmental, financial and social context input — made by an unreflective board glomming on to every politically correct proposition danced in front of them is destroying “affordable housing” and a decent life for the people who worked all their lives to buy, restore and maintain houses here, and pay millions of dollars into Tuckahoe School. We cannot be further burdened by a nontaxable development that will serve to import problems from everywhere to here.
Mr. Schneiderman and his cohorts better stop the bluster talk and seriously start considering Tuckahoe.
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One fine body…