The following was sent to members of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, officials within Suffolk County’s Department of Planning, and legislative officials in the Town of Huntington on September 19th, 2017.

To Members of the Suffolk County Planning Commission –

I am writing regarding the sudden decision to cancel the Suffolk County Planning Commission’s public hearing on the Town of Huntington’s objections to approval of Heartland Town Square by the Town of Islip. The hearing was originally scheduled for this evening.

I find it troubling that this public hearing was cancelled, and fear it takes away from the weight of the Town of Huntington’s concerns regarding the impacts of Heartland, which is the largest developmental effort Long Island has seen.

I am well-versed in the project, having written, presented, and lectured on it extensively across the region. My published work on Heartland can be seen in publications such as The Real Deal, Long Island Pulse Magazine, the Long Island Press and Long Island Business News.

As such, I understand Heartland’s implications and resonant impacts, and strongly feel that the concerns raised by the Town of Huntington should be taken seriously by this commission, regardless of who signed the township’s letter of objection.

The Commission serves an important role to the taxpayers and residents of Suffolk County, where the body acts as a control to municipalities that fail to think beyond their own borders in development and land use matters. The historic events that drove the creation of the commission showed the necessity of this role, and I fear that actions such as this will set a bad precedent moving forward.

Local municipalities must be ensured that they can rely on the county to protect them from the ambitions of other townships.

I hope to be able to remain confident in the commission’s ability to not only think about development matters cohesively, but also their willingness to keep above the political pressures of the day to produce objective and thorough analysis of the region’s land use issues.

Richard Murdocco,

The Foggiest Idea