Assisted living only behind Home Depot
Congratulations are due to Marsha Kipperman for her well-reasoned letter to the News-Review editor concerning the proposal to change the zoning of 25 acres behind Home Depot on Mill and Middle roads from Agricultural Protection to Retirement Community so that 179 housing units can be built there. (“A Peconic Landing not necessary here,” April 28.)
This development is being called an assisted living community, but in reality there are only 50 apartment units proposed for people who need a moderate amount of assistance, 24 units for people who need higher levels of assistance and 105 units of “independent living” — at 1,200 to 1,400 square feet each — for people who need no assistance.
Based on the number of people living in the senior housing communities along Middle Road who might have need for assisted living unit in the future, I would guess the 74-unit part of the plan is justified. But how can the inclusion of 105 units of “independent living” be justified? My guess is that there are hundreds of such units available in the Riverhead area.
Build the real assisted living units and scrap the independent living units part of the proposal.
Let’s move on already
Here we go again, on April 30, another Riverhead News-Review article on the Riverhead Animal Shelter (by the way, cats are animals too). Aren’t there any other stories in this town? Rex Farr is “demanding” that Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota investigate because a town employee received tickets and was arrested for picking up a lizard and a snake and diving with a suspended licence in another state eight years ago! I think the district attorney has more important issues to deal with like narcotics, DWI and several high profile murders. Mr. Farr is right, a humane shelter is not too much to ask for, but with individuals like him, Pat Lynch and Gail Waller, who are not even Riverhead taxpayers, and members of RSVP group that will never happen. All appear adversarial and have a singular priority that will never be satisfied.
For the record, I do not know anyone involved, nor do I have any connection with this nonsense. I am a Riverhead taxpayer, a News-Review reader and a regular donor to private animal care organizations. I have several suggestions to resolve this issue. All ideas involve shutting down and reorganizing the animal shelter. The New York State Agricultural and Markets Law 114 allows municipalities (village, town or county) to combine with other municipalities, incorporated humane societies or similar incorporated dog protective services for the purpose of maintaining a dog pound or a shelter.
Option 1: If Ms. Waller has spent “thousands of her own dollars “ on Riverhead shelter dogs,” great, then she and the rest of the “activists” can pool their resources and create their own private shelter and contract their services out to the town.
Option 2: The town can subsidize the private Kent Animal Shelter or the private Suffolk County SPCA to take over shelter responsibilities.
Option 3: Merge Brookhaven and Riverhead animal shelters.
I have been an avid supporter and News-Review subscriber for many years. Lately the paper appears to have been taken over by the animal activists. Every week another article on the same topic, regurgitating the same facts.
The only Long Island story that is getting more press is the Gilgo beach murders. Why?
We deserve better
Let’s take a minute to pause and see what we, as Riverhead Town taxpayers, have been getting for our money out of our leadership.
Currently, our Town Board, which includes all members of the same party, can’t get along. In fact, the dysfunction is so severe a councilman is running against his own party’s town supervisor.
The board’s most recent budget includes a 4.3 percent tax increase; an internal town investigation is looking into whether a political appointee used taxpayer resources for private business; EPCAL, which could hold the key to lower taxes and improved quality of life, remains underutilized; and the developer of a proposed multimillion-dollar polo project can’t get a hearing before town officials.
Riverhead deserves better. Thankfully, this year, we’ll have an opportunity to vote in an entire new slate of leaders who can focus on the town’s needs and not their own petty squabbles and personal controversies.
Editor’s note: Mr. Williams is a member of the Riverhead Democratic Committee.