April 19, 2006
Groundbreaking Plan Cracks Down On Illegal Housing
Councilmen Ed Densieski and John Dunleavy distributed a document that included their recommendations on the long-awaited Safe Housing Initiative plan, which the board accepted for review.
|Independent / Lisa Finn
Ray Coyne, recreation director for Riverhead, discusses youth initiatives with the Riverhead Town Board. (click for larger version)|
The plan is aimed at cracking down on illegal housing in Riverhead.
According to Dunleavy, the plan is for a brand-new code enforcement division, including code enforcement officers and an attorney to work specifically with a new town code that would help elected officials crack down on the widespread problem of illegal housing in Riverhead.
"We're trying to get safe housing for people in Riverhead," said Dunleavy. "We want to ensure that housing meets state and local codes, and that houses are not overcrowded."
The plan is modeled after successful programs in Babylon and Brookhaven.
Board members are anticipated to discuss the new plan in depth at their next town board work session tomorrow.
New Camp Sparks Debate
Riverhead Recreation Director Ray Coyne addressed the Riverhead Town Board at last week's work session regarding youth initiatives.
Coyne outlined a plan to utilize the town's senior center for youth programs, including game tables.
Coyne said he would be working with Judy Doll in an effort "to interrelate seniors and youth."
Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale cautioned against neighbors who have expressed concerns regarding the noise level generated by kids. Coyne assured that concerns could be overcome with "good supervision."
In addition, said Cardinale, it was important to note that in the past, seniors have enjoyed exclusive use of the facility, and Coyne should keep in mind the "extent we can limit the impact on seniors."
To that end, Coyne said that supervision was the "number one priority," and that most seniors left the center between 4 and 6 p.m., while most youth programs would begin at 6 p.m.
In addition, he said that a new summer camp for up to 260 Riverhead kids had been proposed by Douglas Dey, who runs South Bay Apparel at Enterprise Park At Calverton.
Dey, said Coyne, wants to offer the camp from July 17 through August 25 to kids from ages six to 12, who will be able to engage in sports soccer, basketball, and baseball.
Councilwoman Barbara Blass expressed reservations about the plan, explaining that zoning is not permitted for outside activities except for staff and employees.
Cardinale said that as long as it was clear that no money would be made by Dey, and it that no zoning was going to change because of the camp, the idea could be considered. "If they were going to make $150,000, it would erode the conclusion this board had come to that outdoor activity is not permitted in an industrial park," said Cardinale.
The camp could be permitted under an Article 90 exception which would allow the camp to operate for up to eight weeks as a special exception.
LWRP Proceeds In House
Although Councilwoman Barbara Blass reported recently that former Southold Town Supervisor Josh Horton would be working with Riverhead on its Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, as it turns out, the cost of contracting his company's services would exceed the amount of money left in the balance of the capital project.
Instead, Blass suggested that the work be done in-house, utilizing employees such as Joe Hall and Mark Hepner.
The deadline for completion of the project, said Blass, is the end of April, so the in-house team will be acting quickly.
Showmobile On The Road?
A request from Southold to use the town's showmobile led to a discussion of event policy. The board discussed whether the showmobile should be able to visit other municipalities for worthy events, and if there should be different standards for municipalities and not for profits. The discussion was left open for future debate.