A terrific plan gets better!
Long Island Advance
April 7, 2011
10, 2011, a Brookhaven Town-created
Study Group submitted recommendations
for a Carmans River Watershed Protection
& Management Plan for the natural
treasure which extends from Middle
Island to Great South Bay.
would protect 9100 acres that flank the
river, to limit the amount of pollutants
that would otherwise compromise water
and habitat quality. Brookhaven Town and
Suffolk County would purchase about 1000
acres, while other land would be
protected by transferring development
rights away from the river watershed and
away from residential communities.
Development would be directed to
commercial and industrial corridors.
Housing costing in the low $200,000
range would emerge in downtown areas,
where they are needed for our young
workers and retired seniors. The Plan
was advanced by Brookhaven Town
Supervisor Mark Lesko and by Peter
Scully, Commissioner of the New York
State Pine Barrens Commission. Town and
Commission Staff worked with a 24-member
“Study Group” of stakeholders led by
veteran Long Island Planner, Dr. Lee
key recommendations for the Carmans
River Plan was a reduction in nitrogen,
a major source of pollution that comes
from septic systems, fertilizers and
pollution would be eliminated under the
plan, water quality monitoring conducted
and contaminating land uses eliminated
or strictly limited.
River Plan has been hailed as a “model
for responsible land use,” by planners,
environmental and business leaders and
opponents of continued sprawl. But some
of the best suggestions came from the
citizens of Brookhaven who testified at
a March 29 public hearing at Brookhaven
Town Hall. Their recommendations are
likely to be incorporated into the final
plan and will make a good plan even
example, Yaphank citizens proposed
prioritizing the elimination of invasive
plants from the choked upper and lower
lakes while protecting the health of the
overall river. They wanted assurances
that the Carmans River Plan would
endorse that goal. We agree.
wanted assurance that the transfer of
development rights component of the plan
would assure just compensation for
landowners whose property could not be
developed or not be developed fully.
That is only fair and right.
farmers said they were open to a
dialogue on how to prevent nitrogen from
their farms from contaminating the
river: A useful approach. And it was
proposed that approval of development
projects associated with the river
protection plan should be considered not
by the unelected town planning board,
but instead by the elected town board.
Everyone seemed to like that idea.
there were the inevitable naysayers who
were quick to grumble but slow to
advance useful alternatives. You can’t
please everyone. All in all, though, the
Carmans River Watershed Protection &
Management Plan is getting better and
better, thanks to the work of
stakeholders and government alike and
some thoughtful suggestions from private
citizens. The plan will now undergo
required environmental review. There
will be more public hearings and with
any luck, we should have a model land
use plan for others to emulate, adopted
later this year. Congratulations!
Amper is the Executive Director of the
Island Pine Barrens.