The following remarks were given to elected officials and policymakers in the Town of Smithtown during a public hearing conducted over the video conference platform Zoom on May 21st, 2020. Interested in supporting The Foggiest Idea’s award-winning reporting and analysis? Click here.

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Richard Murdocco, and I am speaking today on the proposal to integrate residential development within the Hauppauge Industrial Park. I am the founder of The Foggiest Idea, an award-winning resource on the region’s land use, and also teach land use and development within Stony Brook University’s public policy graduate program.

As part of the research process for its award-winning body of work on Long Island’s environmental and real estate development issues, The Foggiest Idea regularly reviews the policy actions taken by local, state, and federal governments that impact communities throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

In general, I am supportive of creating a variety of housing options in the region, but as always, urge policymakers within Smithtown to cautiously proceed with any developmental change-of-zone.

While there is no denying the marked need for attainable housing options geared towards Long Island’s young professionals, in general, municipal change-of-zone actions that increase developmental density are often granted without substantive follow-up policies that ensure these units remain within reach of this targeted demographic. The proposed locations on key roads that limit frontage to nearby homes is a good start.

It is critical if these measures are approved by the municipality that the town ensures that the industrial park’s transportation and wastewater infrastructure can handle any and all impacts of growth in the coming years.