"The North Fork Civics: Strategic Action" Session from 4/26/2019

Meeting Notes: NFEC/NFAS: Civic Association Roundtable


One Big Home:

  • Anne M, Venetia, Charlie and Jean are currently working on land use comparatives, using Greenport/Southold, Sag Harbor and Westhampton Beach for their analysis. We will be using this information to consider limiting the footprint of future residences on the North Fork.

Low income/affordable/workforce housing:

  • Need to consider the language, purpose and rules ofengagement for this concept, as purchase and resale have not maintained the affordability of these projects.

Peconic Region Community Preservation Fund (CPF):

  • Barbara Blass has attempted several times to get in touch with Kevin McDonald at Peconic Estuary Program to get a list of parcels included in the CCMP, but has had no response. Suggestions to assist?
  • To date only 10,000 of 15,000 designated acres of inventory have been purchased. Is TDR the best alternative? What other tools can we use?

Helicopter noise:

  • John Cullen provided and recommends we ALL post email address forcomplaints (HTO@PlaneNoise.com), and for every one of us to do this every time we hear one.
  • Concentration over a few ‘cranky callers’ is not enough. Not enough profile for Senators' or Representative' offices.
  • Status of East Hampton airport tentative, if FAA control changes in 2021when contract ends, everything will not be in our favor.

Light and Noise pollution:

  • Light Pollution: What happened to that Light pollution ordinance in Riverhead? Is enforcement an issue? Or is it something that we have to remind the Planning Board or Building Departments to stay on top of the issue
  • Noise Pollution: Suffolk Times article: East Hampton has banned gas-powered leaf blowers to permitted times only


  • “What happens at Route 105 does not STAY at Route 105.” (Mark Haubner) We are all affected. I asked Charlie G and
    Joe P to check status of Mattituck Circle project (Palumbo’s office)

  • Still considering a plan for the Lavendar Farm issue as remedial measures did not work.

Land and Water use:

  • Farmland preservation: TDRs, CPF (slightly behind due to key leads being involved in EPCAL this month)
  • Water: Suggestion to consider population as the limiting factor for use. Need to consider farming and irrigation, residential use and industrial consumption, need facts and figures to move forward on this. No lead taken.
    Nitrogen issue: TBD, larger discussion already started at past meetings.

  • Beach rights: Property owner issues (commons vs. barons) (very local, quick assist, not on radar for the group)

Ag Advisory Board:

  • Anne M alerted us to issue currently before the TB (07.May!) for farm processing plant and unintended consequences impacting water use, industrial zoning, loss of farmland to the footprint and more.
  • Attention to current law regarding “local” produce at a farmstand being comprised of 60% farm-produced and the other 40% provided from farms within 250 miles, taking away the concept of“local” and further impacting CO2 emissions from transportation requirements.


  • Ongoing issues (contractual, procedural and legal), pending TB decision to hire outsidecounsel versed in contract law

GW&CC (Global Warming & Climate Change):

  • Shelter Island Ferry announced at Suffolk County Legislative public comment that they were raising their landing dock by 16 inches inresponse to Global Warming and Sea Level Rise (SLR), putting them in a reactive position, rather than a proactive one. The Peconic Archipelago (suggest Thomas Halaczinsky, Archipelago New York, book) is very real in its future and will be one of our topics in the near future.

NFEC/NFAS "The North Fork Civics”

Next Meeting on 5/29/2019

Join us at the next meeting on Wednesday, May 29th (2 days after Memorial Day.)
Last month's civic meeting on 4/26/19 dealt with a broad spectrum of issues from EPCAL to Helicopter noise, Climate change, Beach Rights, Light and Noise Pollution.

December 7, 2017 at 7pm

image credit: pexels-pixabay-356036

Save the Shoreham-Wading River

Forest and The Mastic Woods

UPDATE: Bill #s A7722-B and S6157-B was passed by the NYS Assembly and Senate with similar support and was presented to the Governor on December 6, 2017.

Bill was vetoed by Governor Cuomo.

There is a bill (numbers A7722-B and S6157-B) that will add nearly 1,000 acres from Shoreham-Wading River Forest and The Mastic Woods to the core preservation area of the central pine barrens.

This legislation must be be signed by Governor Cuomo by next week. Please call his office at 1-518-474-8390 to voice your support for the Pine Barrens Expansion Act.


Read more or download the bill at:



This legislation was proposed by NYS Assemblyman and Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Steve Englebright and Co-Sponsors Fred Thiele, Anthony H. Palumbo, Dean Murray and Luis R. Sepúlveda and was passed by Assembly with overwhelming support. Senator Kenneth P. LaValle sponsored the bill in the Senate with
Co-Sponsor Brad Hoylman and the bill was passed with similar support and was presented to the Governor on December 6, 2017.

From the S6157-B and A7722B bill:

This legislation expands the core preservation area of the central pine barrens through the inclusion of two environmentally sensitive areas located adjacent to the central pine barrens boundary - the Shoreham property/Wading River Marsh complex and the Mastic Woods complex.

The Shoreham/Wading River complex consists of more than 800 acres of property containing extensive woodlands, fields, tidal marsh, a vernal pool, and nearly one-mile of shorefront on Long Island Sound. Based on inventory work by the New York Natural Heritage program this property contains more than a dozen rare plant populations and is composed of twenty-five distinct ecological communities.

The Mastic Woods complex contains several forested pine barrens communities, providing habitat to many dozens of indigenous bird, mammal, and reptile and amphibian species, including habitat for the federally threatened Northern long-eared bat. It also encompasses the largest remaining undeveloped property within the Forge River watershed. This river is among the most significantly impaired waterbodies on Long Island and preservation of the woodlands will help prevent further deterioration.

Press coverage on the Pine Barrens Expansion Act

Read the editorial at Newsday  for more background information.



More background on previous efforts to preserve the Shoreham-

Wading River Forest:

NYS Assemblyman and Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) has proposed legislation the Suffolk County's Shoreham-Wading River Forest situated on over 800 pristine acres of woodland, wetland and shoreline be considered for adoption as New York State Park.  

Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition supports this project and if it is successful, would advocate for NYS PILOT payments for this new State Park and other State Parks on Long Island.

Richard Amper, Executive Director, Long Island Pine Barrens Society has written a in-depth proposal to the Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation. This proposal will start the process of State Park creation for the Shoreham-Wading River Forest. He has extended an invitation to residents, civic organizations and conservation groups to indicate their support by signing-on (including title and affiliation, if any) to his letter. Print, sign and mail the attached letter in PDF format (click here).

Press coverage of the Shoreham-Wading River Forest over the past few years can be found here:

"Strategic Doing" Session from 3/6/2019

Forward Moves:  What SHOULD we do? Pick Three (up to Five) issues that are COMMON to the North Fork/Peconic Region What WILLwe do? What do we need to do AS A GROUP/TEAM to help each other accomplish our goals in our own district?

  • Create a City Harvest chapter for food-insecure population
  • Rapid response team among CAs: a coherent communication method and community outreach
  • Alternative wastewater needs advocates—no replacement of septic, upgrade to de-nitrification, start
    investigating graywater reuse and rainwater harvesting


  • Traffic situation, health and safety issue as well as Quality of Life, need Evacuation Route as well as safe
    passage for emergency (fire, police, ambulance) vehicles

  • Create Bi-Town joint safety committee meetings
  • Take to the State level as Route 25 is NYS road

Land Use

  • No New Building/Moratorium—We have an inventory of buildings which can be retrofitted (empty Big Box stores) 
  • Should house size be mandated? Should there be a Pyramid Law? (East Hampton has one, google it)

Farmland-Peconic Bay Community Preservation Funds

  • Should “The Peconic Region Community Preservation Fund,” (which includes both North and South Forks) funding resources be pooled and made available to our five towns?  Most South Fork towns make in two months what takes Riverhead five years to make
  • The Peconic Estuary (PEP, CCMP, CLPS) is a nationally-designated area—Look at pursuing this at the NYS or the Federal level.
  • SubCommittee persons to move this forward. Name of this adhoc group—The North Fork Civic Association Coalition

 Visioning Session from 1/16/2019

Water quality

  • Restrict the use of pesticides and fertilizers on residential property.                                                   
  • Protect quality and quantity of drinking water and prevent salt water intrusion by limiting development, encouraging alternative wastewater treatment systems.
  •  Need for monitoring the transporting water from NF fire hydrants to Shelter Island for pool use.

Land use

  • Slow overdevelopment. 
  • Make CPF funds available regionally throughout the East End.  Monies should be transferable and available to use throughout the East End. Concern that SF has much more funding than NF/Riverhead but not as much land to protect. Villages need to be included as well. 
  • Intentional Communities/Affordable Housing is needed, especially for seniors.
  • Special attention to commercial development, appropriate siting.


  • Regional Transportation plan is needed.  Alternatives to cars.  
  • LIRR can be focal point of plan, improve system, better schedule, need new RR cars, track repair.  Transportation from stations—Lyft, Trolley?
  • Water taxis can alleviate traffic. Pedicabs to consider.  We need Bike Paths perhaps along the RR tracks.
  • Tourism tax, contributions from business can create funds for planning.
  • Regional speed limits rather than multiple changes throughout the towns.


  • Concern that FCC says that local communities cannot restrict 5G networks—only federal regulations apply.


  • Require all residential houses to do an energy audit.  They are free and can be arranged through


  • Develop a program where civic leaders mentor high school students.
  • Plan a Civics Fair/Community Pot Luck at Mitchell Park, Greenport to showcase work that we’re doing and engage community.

Great Rock Golf Club's Proposal

Come to Riverhead Town Hall on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7PM to hear about the proposed new site plan for Great Rock Golf Club at the Planning Board meeting.

According to the agenda on the TOR website: "Public hearing on a preliminary site plan application to construct a 2-story clubhouse addition to the Great Rock Golf Course located at 15 Fairway Drive, Wading River. The proposed clubhouse would have a first floor with an area of 6,588 sq. ft., and a basement with an area of 6,230 sq. ft. The site plan also proposes landscaping, lighting, parking, and drainage improvements, as well as the relocation of existing trailers on site. The parcel is located within the Residence B-80 (RB80) zoning use district, and is described as SCTM No. 600-57-1-1.3 "

The community has had past litigation with the Great Rock Golf Club and any new plans must still be compliant with the existing covenants. It is the Riverhead Town Board’s responsibility to uphold the original covenants on the property that provide protection for the surrounding homeowners by limiting expansion and the number of homes that could be built there.

In 2011, the Great Rock owners had submitted an apparently similar site plan calling for a 6,500+ sq. ft. catering hall, with second floor offices, a 6,200 sq. ft. basement and more parking and lighting.

The RNPC with Wading River residents filed a lawsuit in 2011 in opposition to Great Rock’s proposed site plan expansion. On May 3, 2012 the TOR Planning Department denied the new Great Rock site plan. For background, go to Save Wading River page or click here.

Proposed Mega-store to be built

on the Main Road in Mattituck?

Come to the American Legion Hall on Wickham and Pike Street

on Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 6:30PM to hear about the potential building of a 20,000 square foot retail store on the corner of Main Road and New Suffolk Avenue.

Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association will hold their January meeting  in the American Legion Hall on Wickham and Pike Street from 6:30PM to 8:30 PM.

The MCLA meeting will focus on the potential building of a 20,000 square foot retail store on the corner of Main Road and New Suffolk Avenue.

How will such large building project impact the surrounding community?  Please come to MCLA meeting and voice your opinion on this new retail store proposal.

At the right is the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association meeting flyer that you can right-click on the image and save to print-out and distribute to your neighbors and members of your organizations to help publicize the meeting.

NNFEC/NFAS Civic Association

(Coalition) meeting April 26th

"A Springboard to Our Continuing Discussion"

Come join us on Friday, April 26th at the Peconic Lane Community Center (Red Brick Schoolhouse) at 6:30pm in Room#1 at the end of the hall to the south.

We’ll use the last meeting as a springboard to our continuing discussion about protecting and nourishing our rural way of life on the North Fork. Bring a one-sentence highlight of your accomplishments from the last month—we are in a series of sprints inside a marathon, so small advances are big news.

"What Should We Do? What Will We Do?

We will begin strategic planning based on the March 6th Strategic Doing Session, see sidebar below.

Listen to a  discussion of Paul Hawken's

book "DrawDown" on SoundCloud

Mark Haubner a member of the Steering committee of Draw Down East End & North Fork is interviewed on the WPKN broadcast "Digging in the Dirt Radio" hosted by Kevin Gallagher and now available on on SoundCloud.


The interview features a discussion of Paul Hawken's book "DrawDown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming" that concerns today's climate crisis. The author provides a detailed plan of step-by-step solutions. Hawken's "Drawdown" team of over 200 researchers from 22 nations provides the tools and a road map of 100 ways for communities to implement these scientifically based techniques and thus begin the "drawdown" of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere with the goal of the eventual reversal of global warming by 2050.

NY Health Act: Universal

Healthcare for New Yorkers

The New York Health Act will be reintroduced in the 2019 legislative session. This healthcare legislation, if passed, will guarantee healthcare to every resident of New York through a single-payer system. The new NYH Act bill is not yet available online, but you can read a summary of the previous bill here:

In 2019, the need for single-payer healthcare is growing, and if this is an issue that impacts you and your family, it is important to let your representatives in the Senate and the Assembly know your concerns.

By calling, emailing and tweeting your elected officials in the both State Senate and Assembly, you can ask them to be an original cosponsor or just vote for the NY Health Act. The Campaign for New York Health has a simple online tool to do all three. Also, get more information on the proposed healthcare legislation at their NYH website.


Alternately, you can write and send letters by mail to your representatives in the Senate and the Assembly.

Find contact information for your Senator at: 
Find contact
information for your Assembly member at: https://www.nyassembly.gov/mem/

The Campaign for
New York Health:

"Public support has
never been higher for
single-payer healthcare
with over 70% of the
public polling in favor
(86% Democrats; 52% Republicans).

A majority of the Senate
is on record as either
a cosponsor or having supported it in their campaign."

1/31/19 A Community Forum

on Downtown Zoning

The Town Board will be hosting a Community Forum on Downtown Zoning at Town Hall on Thursday night at 6:00 pm. The forum will focus on the rough draft of Downtown Zoning changes with input from  the community . Topics covered will include building height, design, and lot coverage. 

 If you cannot attend you are encouraged to submit written comments to the Town Clerk via email at Townclerk@townofriverheadny.gov, mail, or by dropping off comments at Town Hall.

If you would like to view the forum from home tune into channel 22 or watch via the Town website at:

Beginnings of Solar Roadmap for

Riverhead Residents

Solar issues for Residents:

  • Educate residents on solar energy (overview), Net Energy Metering, Community Solar,Community Choice Aggregation
  • Benefits of solar energy production
  • Frame issue of lease/purchase option
  • Provide easy step by step guide of Building Dept requirements

What is solar power?  Solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) cells that are made primarily of silicon, aluminum and glass. These cells absorb the sunlight, and the light causes the silicon atoms inside the cells to move. The moving electrons travel along the aluminum and a direct current (DC) of electricity is formed. That direct current must be converted to an alternating current (AC) to power the devices inside your home. This is done by a DC to AC inverter.
Any resident in any zoning use district can install solar panels on their rooftop or in their yard. (Fast-track permitting)

A Building Permit is required for the installation of solar panels. Information on the requirements and fees is contained in section 217-12 F of the Riverhead Town Code.

From the Riverhead Town Code (See section 217-12 F)

§ 217-12 Building permit fees.

Residential or commercial energy conservation devices.
Residential or commercial energy conservation devices constructed or installed in or upon a structure which qualify for any federal, state or local tax exemption, tax credit or tax rebate, including but not limited to solar panels: a flat fee of $150, except that the residential fee for solar installations that meet the Fast-Track requirements set forth below shall be $50.
An applicant shall meet the criteria and submit the information and documentation listed below to be eligible for the Fast-Track reduced fee and expedited review (14 days):
The proposed solar installation shall be on a residential building or legal accessory structure.
The proposed solar installation shall be on a roof with a single layer of roof covering.
The proposed solar installation shall be flush-mounted parallel to the roof surface and no more than six inches above the surface.
The proposed solar installation shall have an eighteen-inch clearing at the roof ridge and an eighteen-inch clearing path to the ridge.
The proposed solar installation shall create a roof load of no more than five pounds per square foot for photovoltaic (PV) and six pounds per square foot for residential solar hot water (RSHW).
The applicant must retain services for installation by a prescreened contractor. (See Fast-Track application terms and conditions.)


Read more of the Building Dept requirements at the Town of Riverhead website.

For more information on the benefits and issues of solar energy for residents: residential solar installations on rooftop or ground, Community Solar, and Community Choice Aggregation, click on the link below to download a pdf of this report.

Click here to download a pdf of the Residents Solar Roadmap report


North Fork Civics Roundtable

3/06/2019 Meeting

"What Can We Do? What Should We Do?

Come join us on March 6th at the Jamesport Meeting House, at 6:30pm to discuss what you and your civic would like to accomplish within the next 5 years, 20 years, and 50 years. Any idea worthwhile, thinking out of the box encouraged.

We will begin strategic planning based on the January 16th Visioning Session, see sidebar below.