It is important to understand that as your former mayor, in 2008, I had the vision and leadership to engage our Villages residents as we began the development of the 2035 Farmingdale Village Master Plan. I led the charge as we applied for and received grants, conducted research and met with the experts to review the best practices as to what has worked in other municipalities. After three years of planning my strong leadership helped to develop a solid document and a new path forward for our Village. That vision was long-term not short sighted and meant to establish a well-built foundation on which the Village’s future could be laid.
I respectfully request your support. Much more development is coming that most of you might not be aware of. My promise to you is full transparency and communication.”
- After three years of study and meetings with ALL members of our community our Master Plan 2035 was completed and adopted in 2011 with a unanimous vote by the mayor (myself) and all trustees, Ralph Ekstrand, Cheryl Parisi, Bill Barrett and Pat Christiansen all voting yes. The code that followed was again unanimously adopted. Rte 109 and Conklin Street remained zoned to permit Office Residence, “Auto Related Uses” and all other uses permitted in Zone D.
- Sometime after I left office a public hearing was held that restored the right for multiple dwellings to be constructed on Fulton Street and Conklin Street (within Zone D) The only legal requirement was the Board of Trustees put an advertisement in the legal section of The Farmingdale Observer. No signage, no email or other notification was given.
- 63 apartments were built on a little over 1.5 acres. The new code not only allowed apartments again on Rte.109 but added “Bonus Density” to builders, giving them 50% more units if the builder offered public amenities or incentives. That was nuts as far as I’m concerned. Bonus Permits was a tool to be used by our train station and downtown to revitalize Main Street. Even if the Board thought it was ok, why did they get crumbs when the developers made millions of dollars?
Under the current Mayor this firm footing has been compromised. Our village zoning codes have been changed and modified some 28 times since 2012 allowing developers many generous benefits. Working around and outside the Master Plan amounting to a tactic called ‘spot zoning’. This short sightedness has led to continuous waivers of village codes especially for parking requirements and densities. A leader’s special use power is deemed ‘special’ for special circumstances not for an everyday developer benefit. The current mayor has approved over 372 units of housing (By expanding the DMC code outside of the downtown study area) in five years. The 2035 MP was to create 375 in the downtown DMU code.
In October 2019, the board voted to create a new zone along Route 109, entitled “Work Force Housing”. Every resident in attendance at the Hearing was not in favor of this Zone without further study. Residents questions and concerns were ignored. They did not care what the residents thought. The Hearing was a farce!
The time has come for a more balanced approach to future development one that will require a board led by a stronger leader with more vision toward the future and adherence to the downtown master plan.