|We, as Smithtown residents should make every effort to preserve open space in
Smithtown. Parkland adds to the esthetics and value of our community and adds to our
quality of life as Smithtown residents. While not directly a Town issue, I am of the opinion that
if the State is willing to "swap" the property that St. Johnland is proposing for expansion and
development, with a previously developed State owned parcel, it should be done. Part of the funds allocated for clean up could be used to remediate the State property, allowing St. Johnland to develop the
property, meet their expansion requirements and preserve pristine acreage that, in my opinion should remain undeveloped.
I am cognizant of the fact that the property in question belongs to St. Johnland. I am in favor of property owners being unhindered in developing property provided development complies with local zoning laws and criteria. In this situation the private property owner would be negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement with the state and working in partnership for the benefit of the community, the private property owner and the state, rather than being compelled to follow a course of development. Given the close proximity of the proposed development site to St. Johnland, it makes sense to remediate and redevelop property that has already been developed as opposed to developing an untouched parcel of property. As a Town Councilman I will be an advocate for this type of cooperation between public and private interests for effective land use that results in beneficial development while maintaining the quality and character of our community.