New civic group unites different portions of Riverhead

Some of Riverhead Town’s biggest civic associations are joining forces through a new group called the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition.
The Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association joined in April, the Greater Calverton Civic Association joined in late 2009 and the Wading River Civic Association joined last September, according to RNPC co-founder Dominique Mendez of Wading River.
“The unification of our civics brings us together on issues concerning town-wide zoning disputes and challenges to our master/hamlet plans,” said Wading River Civic Association president Mike Harrigan in a written statement.
The RNPC is working to educate and mobilize its membership, and also is trying to convince the town to improve the quality and amount of information it makes available to the public, according to Ms. Mendez.
When people are informed about what’s going, and they impact subtle changes in code or the granting of a new variance can have on them, some of them are actually willing to get up off those couches and come to a hearing,” said Phil Barbato of Jamesport, the RNPC’s other co-founder.
A few early RNPC initiatives include suggestions for code changes to require cell tower builders to set aside monies for their eventual removal and a series of ‘best practice’ suggestions for improving public access to information, including more descriptive public hearing and agenda content plus access to basic information on submitted site plans, the group  said in a press release. The Town has already implemented a number of these best practice suggestions.
Last Thursday’s Zoning Board of Appeals agenda, for example, included a brief description of each project on the agenda, rather than just the name of the applicant, which was all that was listed previously.
The group can be reached by email at [email protected], or by mail at RNPC, Box 984, Wading River, NY 11792.

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