GOP Primary Candidate Selects Avalon Bay Supporter As Campaign Manager
Longtime high density housing advocate Ken Christensen has been tapped by GOP Primary Candidate Robert Lifson as his campaign manager. Lifson claims that Christensen is a longtime friend of his and that he reached out to Christensen to run his campaign. Christensen accepted Lifson’s request. Lifson is challenging GOP, Conservative and Independence designee Eugene Cook. The primary will be held on September 10th.
Christensen is a former Huntington Town Councilman who also helped create the controversial Accessory Apartment Law back in 1991. Presently, in order to have a legal accessory apartment, the dwelling must have a minimum frontage of 75 feet. Christensen has stated that he would like to reduce the minimum frontage required in order to have such apartment. In a Times of Huntington article dated July 14, 2010 Christensen suggested the town completely do away with frontage restrictions. Many are concerned that lifting the frontage restriction could lead to a saturation of apartments in Huntington.
Christensen was also a vocal supporter of the Avalon Bay Huntington Station project as well as the concept of the “Transit Oriented District” or TOD. After the first Avalon project was defeated Christensen was a panelist on the subject of “Transit-Oriented Development, Public Safety & the Media in Huntington Station: What happened and what’s next?” Christensen stated at that smart growth conference “that the density required for the project would not be legal if spot zoned, but the TOD zone would be a quick way to proceed.” The video below is an excerpt of Lifson’s campaign manager urging the Huntington Town Board to pass the second Avalon Bay project on May 16, 2011.
In the video below, Christensen states that “the demographics need to improve in Huntington Station”. If he was referring to income status, that would seem disingenuous because he along with others were pushing for the percentage of affordable housing requirement to be higher in Huntington Station than anywhere else in the town. The requirement is currently 20%. He was encouraging it to be raised to 25% for Huntington Station.
Mr. Christensen also served on the steering committee for the brownfield opportunity area. The report focuses on a 640 acre area in Huntington Station. The 136 page report calls for 1600 units of housing annually. The report was kept a secret from the public. You can read more about it here.
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