Source: CBS New York
Complaints Arise Over Rapid Growth Of Downtown Farmingdale
Some Residents Are Concerned That The Village's Character Is Being Compromised By Aggressive Construction
Posted: February 4, 2019
Originally Published: January 16, 2019
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — One Long Island community is now considering a moratorium on new development.
The mayor of Farmingdale is proposing the move — and it’s getting support from some residents and business owners who say downtown is growing too fast, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.
The turnaround seemed to arrive overnight — explosive growth in the village of Farmingdale. The demolishing and rebuilding has taken center stage near the Long Island Rail Road station.
“One hundred million dollars worth of development in our downtown area,” Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said.
The mayor, who is also a village pharmacist, has been hearing some complaints.
Farmingdale’s master plan in 2013 was to build 375 units of housing over 25 years, but in just six years it has already surpassed 250 units.
The village is buzzing as an up-and-coming destination, but some residents are pushing back, worried about a sudden change in the character of their hometown.
“It’s almost getting to … have you ever been to New Orleans? It’s like a Mardi Gras,” one person said.
“There’s lot of new shops, a lot of new little restaurants that we can all enjoy,” another said.
“Parking is extremely difficult on Main Street,” another added.
Bars, restaurants, shopping and millennials. Vision Long Island’s Eric Alexander said multiple Long Island villages are going through such a resurgence.
“But of course they want it at a pace that they can digest, that works with their quality of life,” Alexander said. “We always have to listen to the local community.”
Citizens Campaign for the Environment, which is located on Main Street, said challenges come with smart growth.
“Increased litter, a lot more congestion, a lot more truck traffic making deliveries and a lot of noise,” said Citizen Campaign’s Adrienne Esposito.
Entrepreneur Kelly Zhou said municipalities have to address that, but not at the expense of new businesses.
“We see a lot of young people coming into the area from the train station, from the new apartments upstairs,” Zhou said.
When asked if it’s time to hit the pause button, Mayor Ekstrand said, “That’s correct. Let’s look at everything that’s been done in the past six years. Let’s look and see if we have to tweak the master plan a little bit.”
A six-month moratorium on new downtown development will be voted on at the next village board meeting.
Following a contentious community hearing, a proposal to build another 54-unit apartment building and performing arts center on Main Street has been withdrawn.