Smithtown hearing seeks input on waterfront

Smithtown hearing seeks input on waterfront

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The waterfront revitalization program hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Kings Park branch of the Smithtown Library. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

The Town of Smithtown has its sights set on the waterfront.

With a date set for Feb. 24, Smithtown announced it would be sponsoring the first of several public workshops in which the town will seek community input on the development of a revised local waterfront revitalization program. It has been nearly 26 years since the town adopted its last program, and the issues have changed — so the public will have a chance to weigh in at a workshop on Feb. 24 at the Kings Park branch of the Smithtown Library at 6:30 p.m.

In a statement, the town Planning Department said the existing revitalization program has served as a guide for Smithtown for more than 25 years in helping establish objectives, programs and standards to promote the beneficial use of coastal resources.

“Many changes have occurred in understanding coastal issues and management, in government laws and programs addressing coastal management, and in the conditions and circumstances affecting Smithtown’s coastal resources and uses,” the Planning Department said in the statement. “While the general directions established by the current LWRP are sound, after more than 25 years a complete rewrite of the LWRP is taking place to reflect these changes.”

The town said that Charles McCaffrey, an expert in state coastal management programs, policies and laws, will be consulting the town after making it through a competitive bidding process for such consultation. McCaffrey said he would be drafting each section of the new program for the town, which will be reviewed by elected officials in Smithtown, and met with community input. The process will include updating and re-structuring the existing plan to address changes in the overall pattern of development in the coastal area, the condition of the natural resources of the coast, current and future public use and access to the coast, and the needs of users that depend on a coastal location.

The draft plan will also identify federal and state actions necessary to advance the town’s program.

This first public workshop will focus specifically on identifying the issues of concern to the community and review the work done to date on updating the boundary of the waterfront area and the developed coast section of the plan. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

The Kings Park branch of the Smithtown Library is located at 1 Church St. in Kings Park.