At the May 2 Smithtown Town Board meeting, local residents came to speak, raising issues and concerns to the board members.
Comprehensive plan concerns
Local resident William Holst spoke, addressing his statement to a resolution passed on May 2 that read: “Town Board to accept as complete for purposes of SEQRA review the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the firm of H2M Architects & Engineers for the Town of Smithtown 2020 Comprehensive Plan, and to authorize the town clerk to advertise same with a public comment period to close at 5p.m. on Friday, June 23.”
“I do have questions as to whether or not people who aren’t comfortable making written comments are going to have an opportunity to speak regarding the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement,” Holst said. “I hope you give the chance for the public to make comments not necessarily in written form.”
He added, “We’re in a very different place the last time there was a comprehensive review of planning the future of Smithtown.” Because of this, he intends to make written comments after he gets a chance to look through the environmental impact statement.
He concluded by saying, “I hope that when you review the comprehensive plan that foremost in your mind is what is good for the majority of residential homeowners in the Town of Smithtown.”
Summer Nights worries
The next speaker was Meg Shutka, representing Eddie’s Power Equipment, located at 553 Lake Ave., St. James. She expressed concerns with the Summer Nights event which is held once every month on Wednesday evenings in June, July and August. The event closes down Lake Avenue.
Shutka said their business commonly stays open until 7 p.m. on these nights, and that the shutting down of Lake Avenue negatively affects operation of their business. “Closing the road hinders people being able to pick up or drop off their equipment after their own work hours,” she said.
According to her, in the prior year the Town Board attempted to help in moving the event to a new location, but resistance came from the Community Association of Greater St. James — the Summer Nights organizers. A compromise was to move the start time back to 6 p.m. This year it is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
“All we are asking of the town is to require that the road closure occurs no earlier than 6 p.m. and that the event set up not occurs before 5 p.m.,” Shutka said. “I think that is more than reasonable.”
Bull Run Farm confirmation
As the town meeting concluded, the subject was broached regarding the special exception removal for assisted living facilities in residential zoning areas. A resident wanted to know if it was official that there was no way that an assisted living facility could go up on the Bull Run Farm property located on Mills Pond Road.
Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) confirmed that “the local law has been adopted — that use will not be permitted on residential development properties.”
Holst queried whether the developer had withdrawn the application but the town attorney, Matthew Jakubowski, confirmed the application is “no longer a permitted use.”
The next Town Board meeting will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, at Smithtown Town Hall.