A few years ago we started this campaign by going door to door to get the word out about Mr. Tsunsis’ plan to build affordable housing on the property between McConnell and Oakwood Avenues in Bayport. The fight is still ongoing. We would like as many people in Bayport to help fuel the fire and continue to challenge the change in zone and overdevelopment. With a pending August meeting here are some of our concerns:
- Tsunsis’ proposal includes changing the zoning on a home that has been a single family residence since 1876.
- This zoning change is not beneficial to the residents of Bayport. It only benefits Mr. Tsunis who does not even reside in the town of Islip.
- Tsunsis’ proposal is far too dense for the property it is proposed for. The other town homes in our community have almost twice the acreage with almost half the units.
- Mr Tsunis has proposes that every unit be affordable homes in order to fulfill his commitment to the luxury units on Church Street.
- This goes against the local law 20-2007 by Legislator Schneiderman. (See below.) Mr. Tsunis’ proposal creates more segregation not less, as Schneiderman’s law has been written.
- Both a Hamlet and a traffic study have still not been completed. Our School board has written a letter on our behalf to state the problem with our traffic and they also requested a hamlet study.
Legislator Schneiderman’s Statement
(Legislator Schneiderman was a sponsor of Local Law 20-2007)
The intention of the law was to create affordably priced housing. A study by Rutger’s University’s Urban Policy Research Institute recommended that 1/4 of all new housing created fall within an affordable price range. This bill comprised at 20% as the requirement. The intention was that the development project include an affordable component mixed in with market rate dwellings. By doing so, we create mixed income communities and avoid the stigmatization of affordable housing projects that often occurs. Certainly, there may be circumstances that warrant off-site affordable housing such as the Bulova Watch Case Factory Re-development in Sag Harbor (non-County sewer district). In that case, the per unit costs to renovate the Brownfield Site and Historic Structure exceeded One Million Dollars per unit. In general, however, I think it is a bad practice to designate certain communities as “affordable” and others as exclusive gated communities.