Letter to the Rockville Centre Herald Editor (March 10-16)


Let’s listen to other ‘suburban voices’

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to last week’s guest column by Mayor Francis Murray, “Suburban voices were heard in Albany.” Murray’s extended beating of the accessory-dwelling-units dead horse acknowledges the corpse, but provides no alternative ride.

Further, the blows delivered seem to generalize beyond the ADU issue. ADUs exist in many Nassau County localities — zoned and otherwise — because they provide a solution to a problem some “suburban voices” have, with parents or children who are unable to find, or afford, housing on Long Island, or pressed for extra income to remain in their own homes.

All parties agree that the ADU is a flawed solution, born of desperation, like using dynamite to break up a logjam. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s explosive is a reminder that some other “suburban voices” have not been discussing our housing problem. This blockage prolongs the pain.

Rather, we are offered diversionary claims that Rockville Centre “homeowners would have to foot the bill to address the influx of students” and “to pay an incremental amount for … village services,” which implies that new residents are a burden. That’s a policy of stagnation. Will there really be so great a horde? Will they all have school-aged children? Will they not pay taxes?

I suggest that our Industrial Development Agency’s tax abatement gifts to speculators — like the Rockville Centre Diocese sale — produce the greater “incremental amount” for which residents are repeatedly asked to “foot the bill.”

What is needed are more thoughtful “suburban voices” to discuss “better than ADU” plans, and a mayor ready to listen.

Brian Kelly, Rockville Centre