Civic group advocates against 300+ proposed apartments in Smithtown
There's a battle over a new plan to build more than 300 apartments in Smithtown.
A proposed mixed-use development in Long Island Innovation Park in Hauppauge is facing opposition from a civic group.
James Bouklas, president of We Are Smithtown, says some of the reasons he and members of the organization are not in favor of the proposed development include increased congestion and strain on town services they believe it would bring.
"The residents are overwhelmingly against density, they are against height," Bouklas said. "They believe in having walkable communities and having community amenities like a community center. This isn't what the residents want."
The vice president of marketing for Tritec, the company behind the proposed project, tells News 12 they are still in the early stages and getting community feedback. The plan would be for a five-story, mixed-use development that would include apartments, outdoor dining and commercial space.
In a statement, Tritec's vice president says, "There is a desperate need for multi-family housing within the town of Smithtown, which has direct implications on the ability for Hauppauge businesses to attract and retain a talented workforce."
The president of the civic group says the people in the community he's talked to do not want to see this proposed development.
"We think that for too long, we've had this kind of mantra of 'build baby, build,'" Bouklas said. "We've identified a need within the town of, you know, people to advocate the position that Smithtown is really done a disservice by the kind of overdevelopment that the current Town Board has really, really taken to."
A spokesperson for the town tells News 12 a resolution about the proposed development was tabled at Tuesday's meeting, because the Town Board needs more information about it. Once they get it, the resolution will be scheduled for a board meeting.
"We've had development, after development, after development on Long Island -- to the point where we have gone from a rural community, to a suburban community, to a community that more resembles Queens in terms of its buildings," Bouklas said. "Yet our taxes are some of the highest in the country. If building actually led to less taxes, we would have seen it by now."