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Letter: Concerns About Village Zoning Change

As a resident of Farmingdale village, who happens to live near the old Chase bank on Conklin, I had been extremely concerned about a proposed village zoning change. This change would allow for restaurants in all areas currently zoned office/residential.

Why was I concerned? Not because I don’t want change, nor do I believe in NIMBY (not in my back yard), or do I necessarily believe drunks will terrorize children in the neighborhood. But it would clearly change the Village feel we work so hard to maintain. We plant trees and flowers, hang holiday decorations, even tried to beautify Main Street with brick and lampposts.

What I have learned in my short attempt to make sure my voice was heard is a warning to all; you will not be made aware of such important decisions which the Village may make, even if it affects the property directly opposite your house. You must pay attention. Apathy reigns, most people don’t seem to care initially, but also don’t realize that once such a zoning change is made it’s too late. And most important, even if some people get a piece of information, since it generally comes by way of a game of telephone, it’s just wrong.

Reading some comments on a Farmingdale blog, I see most people don’t see the difference between Levittown, Bethpage, let alone other Farmingdale districts.

Friendly’s, Chili’s, and KFC are not in the Village. And yes, there are numerous empty storefronts on Main Street; these would certainly make a nice location for a restaurant, in an area already zoned for such.

So why did I oppose this zoning change? It would have allowed most old houses to be torn down, and replaced with just about any restaurant, not just a “high end” steakhouse, and most of us here don’t want Conklin to look like Route 24.

What has been created in the towns west of us is the same thing I see all over Long Island, poor development without considering the consequences. The Village of Farmingdale is different and we are proud of it. I’m very happy with the decision of the Village board, which agreed with my neighbors and me on Monday, Dec 5. Although there will be no zoning change, therefore no restaurants here, I will certainly pay much more attention.

Eileen Fitzpatrick, Farmingdale