(East Meadow, New York) – On February 3rd, Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello and the Majority Caucus of the Nassau County Legislature joined with County Executive Bruce Blakeman, homeowners and many other elected officials from the County, Towns, Villages and Cities to make residents aware of a hidden provision that Governor Hochul snuck in her massive budget proposal, which would eliminate single-family home zoning across New York State. The elected officials and residents demanded that the Governor remove the provision and stop trying to destroy the suburban nature of Long Island.
This contentious provision mandates that localities permit Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU apartments) on the property of single-family homes, overruling local zoning laws and regulations. These ADUs would have no concern for parking, carbon footprint, water supply, or local zoning set-back laws, and could be either attached or inside the main dwelling, or a separate building outside of it.
This is not the first time this issue has come up. This provision had previously been attempted in the State Legislature but failed. Rather than having debates on the issue and risk failing again, the Governor has decided to bury it inside her budget packet, which runs hundreds of pages. The passage of the budget would then allow this provision with no hearings, debate, or any opportunity to remove it from the rest of the budget and vote on it separately. This is the exact same manner in which the controversial and dangerous bail and disclosure reforms passed in New York State in April 2019.
Among the many concerns regarding the Governor’s urbanization plan which were addressed by officials and homeowners at today’s press conference include the impact these ADU’s will have on the environment, sanitation, sewers, traffic, parking, emergency services, police, gas and electric supply, water supply, school districts, and the overall quality of life in the Long Island suburbs. Additionally, there is no money provided in the State mandate to fund any studies or alleviate any of the problems these ADU’s will cause to the community. It will be Long Island’s middle-class families and seniors who will bear the burden of this proposal and be forced to pay even higher taxes as a result.
“The impacts of this legislation are far-reaching, negative and irreversible,” Presiding Officer Nicolello said. “This is an aggressive overreach by the Governor on behalf of urban interests, while taking punitive action against hard-working families who have worked to provide their families with the blessings of tranquil backyards and quiet and safe streets on which to ride bicycles.”
Legislator Tom McKevitt was the person who found the hidden provision as he read the hundreds of pages of budget documents that the Governor’s office released.
“When I researched the Governor’s State Budget Proposal, I was astonished to find that she buried this offensive legislation, which constitutes a sneaky attempt to destroy the suburbs,” Legislator McKevitt said. “Long Island neighbors will not stand for this attempt to urbanize suburbia by outlawing single-family homes.”
Officials have drafted letters to the Governor demanding that this legislation be removed from the state budget proposal. Legislators are setting up petitions that residents can use to express their opposition to this plan, and people are encouraged to contact their state representatives as well as the governor’s office to express their outrage at their callous attempt to destroy the suburbs.