Nassau County supervisors gathered in Manhasset Tuesday to denounce a statewide plan introduced by Gov. Kathy Hochul that would increase housing on Long Island.
North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer Desena, Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino and a handful of other local officials said Hochul’s plan would be an end to local control.
“We’re here to express our outrage at Gov. Hochul’s attempt to take the suburban dream and turn it into an urban nightmare,” Clavin said.
During her State of the State address Jan. 10 Hochul unveiled her plan to build 800,000 new homes over the next decade to address the state’s housing shortage. Included in the New York Housing Compact are local participation requirements and incentives to achieve housing growth along with requiring municipalities with MTA stations to rezone for higher-density residential development
“New York faces a housing crisis that requires bold actions and an all-hands-on-deck approach,” Hochul said. “Every community in New York must do their part to encourage housing growth to move our state forward and keep our economy strong. The New York Housing Compact is a comprehensive plan to spur the changes needed to create more housing, meet rising demand and make our state a more equitable, stable, and affordable place to live.”
Included in the plan is allowing housing proposals that are denied at the local level to go to a “state housing approval board” or courts.
Nassau and Suffolk Counties would be required to grow housing stock by 3% every three years along with downstate areas such as Westchester and Putnam Counties, while upstate New York would be required to grow by 1%.
Clavin said Nassau County could see a potential increase of 300,000 units in the next decade and municipalities would lose zoning control of areas within half a mile of rail stations.
“Last year we had residents say we want local control, not Hochul control,” Clavin said.
In 2022, Hochul rolled out a $25 billion, five-year housing plan aimed at creating and preserving 100,000 affordable homes throughout New York, 10,000 of which have support services for vulnerable populations.
Hochul also called last year for changing zoning laws for Accessory Dwelling Units, which include basements, attics and garages, and was criticized by Long Island officials.
“Under this plan, New York State would be given a new power that would allow bureaucrats to unilaterally rezone suburban neighborhoods,” DeSena said. “This proposal threatens to severely impact the quality of life of other communities.”
DeSena went on to add that high-density housing would strain critical community resources, turn neighborhoods into urban centers, overcrowd classrooms and increase traffic.
“Putting forth a plan like this without input from local municipalities tells us that Gov. Hochul is more interested in meeting goals than working with the people directly affected by this housing plan,” DeSena said. “Together we’ll fight to maintain local control, not Hochul control.”
Manhasset resident Tom Garvey said the plan boils down to big government overstepping its authority.
“They’re attempting to implement a one-size-fits-all approach by taking away local zoning laws without consulting local residents and leaders,” Garvey said. “They have no idea what works here and the potential impact this can have on our town.”
Clavin finished by saying an online petition would soon be available for residents to voice their concerns.