workforce housing …
If you attended our networking event at Plaza Café last week you heard a lot about Supervisor Schneiderman’s plans for creating more workforce housing in the Town of Southampton. We also had a lively dialogue with him on a variety of topics. Our SBAHIC’s next project will be 2 new energy efficient houses in Tuckahoe. Bids are out now for the construction and we hope to be breaking ground soon. The Business Alliance continues to focus on this issue, whatever you call it!
Lack of workforce housing here is a huge problem for all local businesses, and we must all pull together to do our best to dispel the increasingly vocal opposition to it. What is workforce housing? It’s housing for teachers, nurses, doctors, carpenters, masons and all the other trades that are in high demand here. It’s realistically priced homes for our employees, our children and our grandchildren.
My own Service Manager rented for years in Hampton Bays, but recently bought a home in Patchogue. So now she commutes from Patchogue to Hampton Bays which is really a shame, but the move made perfect sense for her family because even Hampton Bays prices and taxes aren’t really “affordable” for most young families. And as we all know, the problem is compounded east of the Canal.
Our Board of Directors has decided to form a few subcommittees to explore how we can work with Town government on a few other related issues.
Possible creation of more accessory apartments. This is another of Supervisor Schneiderman’s new proposals that was met with instant public opposition especially in the already densely populated hamlets in our Township. That said, properly planned zoning can provide a win-win to homeowners and tenants alike. Apartments limited to one bedroom could be very beneficial to all.
Exploration of less restrictive short-term rental regulations. The Township does not have available hotel/motel space to meet tourism demands. Short-term rentals are here to stay with the advent of services like Air BNB, HomeAway, etc. Hundreds of homeowners are using these services illegally, but on the plus side these short-term vacation stays are clearly a boon for our local business. We want to look at ways to compromise with a solution that’s fair and beneficial to all.
Sign code review. Although not related to housing, we will be looking at ways to make the sign code more business friendly while still maintaining its goals for aesthetic improvement.
For the issues outlined above, and with all that we strive to accomplish, our main goal is to keep a balance that is fair for all – we must always balance what is best for the environment, the local residents and seasonal visitors and the interests of local businesses.
Please let me know if you’re interested in working on one of these committees! Hope to see you at the Southampton Social Club at our 12/9/16 Holiday Gathering.
Thanks for your continued support,
Sheryl Heather, Executive Director