Greenport seeks pro-housing status from Hochul

Developers have been known to meet resistance from Greenport, a popular weekend-home and tourist destination on Long Island’s North Fork. But the village is among the first in the state to sign up for a new housing incentive.

Greenport is seeking pro-housing status from the state as part of an initiative that gives priority for state funding to municipalities with the certification, the Suffolk Times reported. Greenport is the only East End municipality seeking certification.

To qualify, Greenport must show that it has issued permits to increase its housing stock by 1 percent in the past year or 3 percent over the course of three years. It’s unclear if Greenport qualifies under those metrics, but there’s another path to pro-housing status: passing a resolution committing to pro-housing measures. Greenport did so in November.

Should the state certify the village under Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Pro-Housing Community Program — which Hochul instituted by executive order following last year’s demise of her New York Housing Compact — Greenport will get priority for funds largely geared towards housing development. Hochul has made $650 million available for the program.

Not many localities are champing at the bit, though. Among the state’s 600 municipalities, a mere 15 have started seeking pro-housing certification since the program’s Aug. 1 launch, according to the Times Union. Reviews of their applications are underway.

On Long Island, Brookhaven, Hempstead Village, Mineola, Patchogue, Port Washington and North Smithtown have applied, along with Greenport, Newsday reported.

Greenport Mayor Kevin Stuessi has been pushing for affordable housing solutions, one of which would be to simply add housing to the supply-constrained village. During a community meeting, Stuessi said recent zoning code changes should help, as should a pending update to the village’s comprehensive plan.

But Greenport has taken some anti-development positions in recent years. For nine months last year it imposed a moratorium on projects in certain commercial, retail and waterfront districts.

Also last year, the village floated heavy-handed parking requirements for new businesses, only to back down after negative feedback.

At the start of this year, Greenport enacted a six-month moratorium on sewage hookups, which effectively stymies development that is not planning to use a septic system. The mayor’s stated rationale was that an evaluation of Greenport’s sewers is underway and if a pipe breaks, he does not want any more sewage in the system than is already there.

Holden Walter-Warner

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