Hochul's accessory apartment plan is hokum
The Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners has been battling to preserve single-family neighborhoods against illegal college boarding houses for more than eight years ["Hochul’s stumble on housing needs," Editorial, Feb. 9]. If not for Brookhaven Town’s jurisdiction over our housing codes, our suburban way of life would resemble overcrowded cities.
We bought our homes so we could raise our families and grow old in single-family communities. We did not choose to live in communities overrun by unlimited accessory apartments that will change our neighborhoods’ dynamics.
We already have town codes for accessory apartments that require inspection and review to ensure that all fire safety and building codes are met. We have seen what happens when unscrupulous landlords squeeze too many students into a single-family home and a fire breaks out.
Our town provides our communities with blanket coverage that at least has checks and balances to help ensure our single-family communities are preserved. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s absurd proposal has too many unintended consequences.
— Bruce Sander, Stony Brook
The writer is founder and president of the Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners.
My parents moved to Long Island in 1959 to escape overcrowding in the Bronx. Lured by wide-open spaces, they moved into a modest house in a neighborhood with good schools, single-family homes and plenty of parking.
Fast-forward 60-plus years, and the once-uncluttered Island now sports a bevy of strip malls and 7-Elevens at every turn. Traffic is horrendous, roads are in much-needed repair, and, for many, street parking is at a premium.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan to allow accessory housing on Long Island could turn single-family homes into multiple-family dwellings, similar to those in the Bronx, the very same neighborhoods they escaped from so many years ago.
Allowing this type of housing would only add burdens to local infrastructure as well as putting strains on local resources, including schools, police and fire departments.
Enough is enough.
— Stuart Abbott, North Bellmore
Before "Granny" or any other homeowner thinks it’s a windfall becoming a landlord, they had better be an expert in New York State landlord-tenant law. Any well-seeming tenant can stop paying rent. The landlord must give them up to 90 days’ notice to vacate before the landlord can even begin the eviction process. Good luck getting a court date.
Do you have any idea of how much money it will cost to evict a tenant? Not to mention the stress of having tenants living rent-free in your home when you can’t pay your own bills. Is this what our senior citizens need in retirement?
And what if a neighbor rents to college students who have parties a few nights a week? Will you be happy that your neighbor gets this extra income?
The answer to affordable housing is lower taxes, not turning Long Island into an urban area.
— Cathy Greene, East Setauket
The writer has been a Long Island landlord since 1990.
I oppose Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan. It is an ill-conceived stopgap that not only does not come near to solving any housing and economic problems New Yorkers face, but also would be detrimental to our entire housing and economic crises.
This plan would substantially destroy real estate valuations and would stress our already overstressed infrastructure. Hochul intimates there are no other options.
As a builder, real estate and zoning expert, and entrepreneur for 30 years, I know there are other options. Lower governmental costs, starting with employee salaries, and lower salaries of overpaid schoolteachers and administrators. While current pension statuses cannot be touched, future ones can be. Change the pension guidelines and think forward.
This proposal should not be considered a blanket statewide fix. The local governments have a better knowledge of their communities. Urban, suburban and rural areas have completely different needs. The burdens on these infrastructures are in no way similar.
— Susan B. Lyons, Freeport
Will Gov. Kathy Hochul’s private home be in an area that will be inundated with "accessory dwelling units"? Will these now-illegal living spaces become legal with little thought given to proper living conditions, such as how many rooms will be permitted in a garage, or will basement areas need egresses added? And how many "backyard cottages" are permitted on what size properties?
What about the impact on local schools? More children to be educated. Did Hochul discuss this with school administrators before issuing her plan? There will be increases in garbage and cars parked on local streets. All of this needs to be addressed before this plan is put into effect.
— Gloria R. Maffettone, Uniondale
The writer is a retired school administrator.
I am sickened by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s "affordable housing plan," which effectively eliminates zoning and would no doubt ramp up density, congestion and real estate taxes on Long Island. Taking zoning decisions from local governments would be about as effective as removing cash bail from the justice system.
We have spiking crime, and this latest ridiculous idea on zoning will most certainly have multiple unintended consequences and would likely mostly benefit contractors and real estate brokers. Aren’t we smarter than this?
We need to say no to this impending density disaster.
— Marc de Venoge, Manhasset
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s hokum is her proposed solution for "affordable housing." To suggest that accessory apartments can be built at owner discretion is inviting the slow deterioration of neighborhoods.
Suburban residential communities are for single-family homes — that is why they exist. It is one thing to add or modify homes for family members’ needs (and there is a limit there, too), but quite another to permit unfettered expansion for whatever an owner desires, such as a nice secondary income.
These days, adding a deck or a large doghouse requires a permit. Hochul’s hokum does not.
— Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington
It is hoped that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plan includes a provision stating that the basement, attic, garage and any bedroom in the governor’s mansion that is not being used by an immediate family member shall be converted to accessory dwelling units.
— John Minogue, Manhasset