UPDATE: Cardinale reacts to the supervisor’s master plan comments

02/02/2011 3:17 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Sean Walter (front) during the hearing on the Master Plan in 2003.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter let the world know what he thinks of the town’s master plan during a Town Hall discussion last Thursday about assisted living projects.

“I personally don’t like the master plan; I think it’s a load of crap,” Mr. Walter said at a public Town Board work session.

He blamed the master plan’s recommendations for the slew of commercial projects currently proposed along Route 25A in

Wading River, which he said will be turned into “Route 58″ under the plan’s recommendations.

“When you see this master plan is calling for intense development in Wading River, and then you go to Aquebogue and Jamesport and it’s calling for antique zoning, I have no faith in this master plan,” the supervisor said.

The town’s comprehensive plan was adopted in 2003. It attempts to chart the build-out of Riverhead Town by specifying where higher density development is preferred and where historic and natural preservation methods should be used.
Rival Riverhead Democrats have repeatedly accused Mr. Walter and the current all-Republican Town Board of “dismantling the master plan” by allowing development that doesn’t comply with zoning and the plan.

In reaction to Mr. Walter’s remarks, former Supervisor Phil Cardinale, whom Mr. Walter defeated in November 2009, noted that the plan was adopted during the administration of former Supervisor Bob Kozakiewicz, who is now town attorney under Mr. Walter. And Mr. Walter served as a deputy town attorney under Mr. Kozakiewicz.

“If it’s a piece of crap, [Mr. Walter] played a part in producing that piece of crap,” Mr. Cardinale said.

He said the Democratic ticket led by former supervisor Vinny Villella, on which Mr. Cardinale was elected as a councilman in 1997, and former councilman Chris Kent made updating the master plan a major part of its campaign, which saw the three Democrats win a Town Board majority. The master plan wasn’t adopted until the tail end of Mr. Kozakiewicz’ administration in 2003, and the zoning recommended by that master plan was adopted during Mr. Cardinale’s first two years as supervisor in 2004 and 2005.

Mr. Cardinale, of Jamesport, said the entire town participated in developing the master plan, as there were numerous public meetings, and that if the current board wanted to make changes, it would have to undertake a comprehensive study of the entire town to do so, and not just change individual areas. Mr. Cardinale said it’s been only five years since the master plan zoning was enacted and that typically, master plans aren’t changed within five years.

“You can’t just call the master plan names,” Mr. Cardinale said. “If you want to accomplish anything of substance, you have to do a study to amend it. You can’t just do it by executive fiat.”

Mr. Walter made his comments after Councilman John Dunleavy made a proposal to add zoning for assisted living communities.
Mr. Dunleavy, who has been working on changing the zoning code to allow for assisted living, said there is a large senior citizen population in the town and the nearest assisted living facility is in Greenport, with most of the others in places like Holbrook and Smithtown.

“We want to put one in Riverhead, so that if someone has to go in one, their friends can visit them,” Mr. Dunleavy said, noting that many seniors don’t want to drive long distances.

Currently, assisted living facilities are not allowed anywhere in town under its zoning code. Officials have tried to change that, as there have been at least three proposals seeking assisted living facilities in town. Officials say 24 percent of the town’s population is over the age of 62.

A draft version of a code amendment from deputy town attorney Ann Marie Prudenti recommended allowing assisted living facilities in the residence retirement community zone, which is located north of Middle Road, and in areas close to downtown and to hamlet areas. Ms. Prudenti said this was a recommendation of the town’s 2003 master plan update.
That was when Mr. Walter made known his displeasure with the plan.

The supervisor also said he wouldn’t want to see assisted living facilities in Wading River or other hamlets, believing they should be restricted to areas served by a commercial sewer district, such as downtown Riverhead or Route 58.

The town has received several informal proposals for assisted living facilities, for parcels including the land north of The Home Depot on Mill Road, the land on the northwest corner of Route 25 and Manor Road in Calverton and the west side of Roanoke Avenue, where Peconic Bay Medical Center has expressed interest in building on its parking lot across the street.

The draft version of the code amendment calls for a minimum lot size of 15 acres.

Assisted living facilities allow seniors to live independently in a residential community where a variety of services and assistance are available on site.

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95 Comment


  • Coming from the Master of Crap himself, Sean probably knows what’s best!!! As usual, I’m sure he has a solution that is even worse……………

  • I am ready for the next election!

  • If the Supervisor is trying to avoid another Route 58, then I would tend to side with his characterization as being right on Target. Or should I say WalMart? Or Home Depot?

  • One wonders why Sup. Walters refers to the Master Plan as a “piece of crap”? Not exactly polite or politically correct language. Did it ever occur to you Sup. that the residents of Riverhead would like to see less development in the hamlets and villages and more in downtown Riverhead. The Town Board has already given the store away to the owners and developers of the currently rising hotel for Atlantis with over generous tax breaks. If those businesses will pay the kind of taxes we all do, just think how well off our town would be. Now Jodi and her pals are on the gravy train with the Summerwind swindle. Want to change the zoning regs or amend the master plan for your advantage? Just get yourself elected to the Town Board and all the benefits of your real state investments in depressed properties will at last be yours. Smart business,yes. Ethical governing, very questionable. Riverhead has plenty of “affordable housing”. Check the For Sale ads in the local paper. What the townspeople are desperate for is well paying jobs. The teachers, school administrators, CSEA and the leaders at Town Hall have them locked up so any person with talent will move out of here.

  • What sort of business fraud makes it profitable for downtown stores to stay empty for so long? Many have been empty for years. How can this be profitable unless there is some very dodgy tax hole? Can we know the terms of this? Can we plug that hole so that the owners either rent at correct value, or sell off and stop leaving us with a ghost town. It seems all of the prior administrations and this one too have not addressed this OBVIOUS scam.

  • dear jed, i brought this point up approximately 7 yrs ago in a letter to the editor- one business owns almost all the storefronts/buildings I s/w each tenant that came and went and the scenario was always the same after a few months the rents would skyrocket and any meager profit would be eaten up and the business would leave, along side the rent were the TOWN inspectors checking to see if every little detail and obscure code was met like moving any advertising signs every 5 days yet how could any of these buildings possibly be up to code with the electric or heat , why arent they inspected and fined when they are empty?, there is a “will ” on someones part to see Riverhead main st. fail and Town government is absolutely ineffective and cannot have any impact unless they exercise EMINENT DOMAIN – which is a tricky and long winded process not to mention costly – A

  • Phis is right, but this is not the only “piece of crap” being produced by Sean!!! There’s plenty of them right now……….

  • Great info in this thread! I am going to send this over to all my elected officials outside of Riverhead, for obvious reasons, and make sure that folks are paying attention. For that matter, I will also send this over to other new outlets that might actually want to investigate. For those of you who are unhappy with this, PLEASE DO THE SAME! The county, state and fed need suggestions on how to reduce tax, increase revenue, reduce expenses, and improve the quality of life.
    If you do not contact them directly,they will not find out on their own.

  • Her legacy will always be treasured!

  • Freezing cold room – and no good reason why. … Beds were very comfortable, with down pillows and a down comforter. The location is great for …

  • Epic fail/Epic bail.

    Would the last one out please turn out the light.
    It’s all over but the crying.

  • The cutting needs to be done in the salaries…not from the children… I just do not understand how it got so out of hand on LI. Salaries employees at schools are the reason so many people can not leave on LI. It is very sad.

  • of course not..because it is all about keeping their crazy salaries and screw the kids… Half of them really do not enjoy teaching anyone….so rare to find a teacher that really cares.

  • I heard SWR is merging with Riverhead or Longwood because its failing?

    Is this definite?

  • I heard SWR is merging with Riverhead or Longwood because its failing?

    Is this definite?

  • That’s the first I’ve heard of this. We can ask around.

    Grant Parpan, Editor

  • Just asked Riverhead’s superintendent Nancy Carney and she said that is not true for Riverhead.

  • I really hope they decide not to do this. Kindergarten is so important and serves as the foundation for their entire school careers. Many districts added UPK programs because there has been an emphasis on early childhood education over the past couple of years and how the birth-age 2 and preschool years are so important for kids. I also hope other districts don’t entertain the idea of putting kindergarten on the chopping block.

  • Ms. Chinese states kindergarten is not mandated in NYS. If so then why is the cost of providing this included in our school tax? Not every family has a child in kindergarten so why should they have to pay for another parents kid’s baby sitter? Isn’t it time parents took responsibility for their kids well being and stop buying into the notion that kindergarten is vital to their child’s education. Sit down and help your kids to read and write before they enter school.Teach them ethics, obedience and don’t leave this to some teacher. It’s not his/her job.

  • There was something on the SWR website a while back about exploring it.They didnt say which districts but I heard Riverhead too.

  • ..because of Wading River

  • They really need to get back to teaching how to think and learn instead of teaching to the test like they are commanded to do by the administration. No Child Left Behind is a complete failure and the kids are no better for it.

  • They really need to get back to teaching how to think and learn instead of teaching to the test like they are commanded to do by the administration. No Child Left Behind is a complete failure and the kids are no better for it.

  • Hi Joe b here, The way to solve shoreham schools Problems is simple look at the State of Maryland They run there schools on a great budget. You get X AMOUNT AND THATS IT. lIVE WITH IT.Teach the children! Our nation is 34 th in the world.Lets be number One in the nation!!! /World.Don’t hurt the teacher who really love to teach.Joe Birbiglia .Shoreham WildCats hunt for #1

  • Very well said!!!!!!!!

  • Very well said!!!!!!!!

  • Outstanding!!! Tom, you hit the nail on the head with this one.

  • Everyone who writes a letter to the editor is required to submit their name. That takes courage. But people who write uneducated and negative comments online are not. Well done supporter. Thats nothing but a cowardly and ridiculous act. People with strong opinions but no backbone what-so-ever have no right to criticize. Its a joke and you should be embaressed. Michael Tehan

  • arent the teacher grossly over paid and under worked???? Linda Eklund gets more done in a week than teachers do in their short school year.