Elwood BOE Weighs In On High Density Rezoning

Filed under: Building & Development,Elwood,Elwood School District,News,OPINION,Politics |

The following is a letter from the Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education to Supervisor Petrone and the Town Board urging them to reject any rezoning of the property currently owned by Oak Tree Dairy.

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January 9,2014

Frank Petrone, Town Supervisor
Anthony Aloisio, Director of Planning
Members of the Huntington Town Council
Town of Huntington
100 Main Street
Huntington, NY 11743

Re: The Rezoning and Development of the Property recognized as Oak Tree Dairy

Dear Messrs Petrone and Aloisio, and Members of the Huntington Town Council:

The Elwood Union Free School District Board of Education (EUFSD BOE) has reviewed Mr. Aloisio’s response to our questions regarding the rezoning and proposed development of the property known as the Oak Tree Dairy Property in a letter dated March 1, 2013. The property, located on Elwood Road in East Northport, is contiguous with our High School/Middle School campus.

Over the course of the last 18 months the EUFSD BOE has allocated significant time at our Board of Education meetings enabling information on the rezoning and proposed development of the Oak Tree Dairy Property to be shared with our school district residents. We have also provided an open forum for our school district residents to ask questions and share comments regarding this proposal. While we remain steadfast in our view that the property rezoning decision is the responsibility of the Town of Huntington and not the EUFSD BOE, we do acknowledge that the decision will have a significant impact on our district, its operations and students. Moreover, Supervisor Petrone recently stated in a public meeting that he looked forward to the Elwood Board of Education “weighing in” on the topic, which we assume meant to formulate and communicate a definitive opinion regarding the proposed rezoning and development of the Oak Tree property. Recognizing that silence might be misconstrued as tacit approval, we will provide a clear view into our position.

The Board of Education recognizes that a number of considerations and concerns have been brought forward regarding the impact a rezoned and densely developed property could have on the Elwood Community at large. Nonetheless, our opinion on the development is formulated strictly on school issues related to the overall safety of our students, undue stress on our transportation system, and the possible long-term threat of overcrowding our schools – a threat that would jeopardize the quality of instruction and our educational program . Additionally, any boom in student population would certainly raise costs and put an unnecessary economic burden on our taxpayers.

As Trustees of the Board of Education, the governing body of the Elwood School District, our role is to optimize and protect the soundness and manageability of our educational services as well as the operational efficiencies of our schools, now and over the long-term . It is imperative that our Board not only focus on the challenges of today, but we must look well into the future and make sure that our school community is not put into harm’s way. Therefore, based on Director Aloisio’s letter in responses to our list of questions and concerns, and especially not offering any long-term guarantee that school children could never reside in this high-density development, the Board will not endorse this proposed rezoning and development.

The Elwood Board of Education respectfully requests the planning board and ultimately the Huntington Town Board as the true decision making authorities on this proposal, reject any rezoning of the property currently owned by Oak Tree Dairy.

Please note that BOE Trustee Andrew Kaplan has recused himself from any dialogue on the Oak Tree Property rezoning issue and has stated his plan to abstain from any potential BOE action on the issue.

Respectfully submitted,

The Board of Education
Elwood Union Free School District

CC: E. Cook; M. Cuthberston; T. Edwards; S. Berland; J. Raia

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One Response to Elwood BOE Weighs In On High Density Rezoning

  1. Any change to the R-40 zoning of this property (1 acre residential) would be, IMHO, a “spot downzone”, not unlike the 2 downzones that occurred on the AB property now being developed.

    Land useage in Huntington has gone through some interesting changes in the last few years under the Petrone administration. The Horizon 2020 report seems to be meaningless at this point.

    It is my belief that Huntington township is mostly “built out” and without the installation of a full sewer system, we are gambling with our future drinking water supply. On site sewage treatment plants are NOT the answer. Just ask the residents of The Greens. High nitrogen content in the drinking water, as recently reported by Bellone, is not the only issues.

    Placing more than 2 cesspools on an acre of land with no sewer line is only courting disaster.

    New York City planned well ahead of their water supply needs, and the lands surrounding the reservoirs upstate are well protected. What will it take to convince Petrone and the rest of the officials running Suffolk county we must stop the over-development?

    matt harris
    February 2, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am

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