James Cameron, President of the Elwood Tax Payers Association:
Letter of Support
Dear Chairman Mandelik & the Honorable Members of the Town of Huntington Planning
My name is James Cameron and I am president of the Elwood Taxpayers Association. I
was recently before the Planning Board to represent my community members in
reference to the attached letter of support for the proposed modification to the Town’s
Comprehensive Plan and hopefully the subsequent change in zoning for the property
located on the Northwest corner of Manor Road and Jericho Turnpike. The current
application was filed by Syndicated Ventures and is application 2013ZM397.
As a leader in the community, I am charged with representing the community on both
what is popular and what is not. We are all aware that there is a contingent of Huntington
constituents that are not in favor of this project, most of whom do not live within the
hamlet of Elwood. We understand that their subsequent objection is to the necessary
modification to Horizons 2020 that is required for this project to proceed. On this very
sentiment we have decided as an organization to engage with those that are opposed or
unsure about the project to fully understand the root of their concerns and issues. On
Friday, July 15th the Elwood Taxpayers hosted a meeting at the Elwood Library to meet
with our neighbors and discuss their concerns. This was the first of monthly meetings
that we plan on hosting with the residents that are opposed to the project.
At this meeting we had the developer, members of his engineering team, board members
from the Greater Huntington Civic Group, Huntington Matters, Elwood Taxpayers and
Huntington residents. Residents from the hamlets of Huntington, Huntington Station, Dix
Hills, Greenlawn and Elwood were also in attendance. Furthermore, the members from
Elwood included civic members from Manor Plains, Old Chester Hills, and the Elwood
The residents had an opportunity to review the site plan, topography maps, any portions
of the DEIS that they had questions about, and to direct questions to the developer, the
civil engineer or the environmental engineer that Mr. Torkan brought with him. The
meeting was well attended and each resident that had a concern, question or issue had
an opportunity to be heard and their question addressed. All residents left satisfied and
continued conversations with fellow community members, the developer and the
engineers for an additional 45 minutes after the meeting concluded.
As I stated in my testimony to the Planning Board on Wednesday, June 22, Syndicated
Ventures is requesting a modification to the Comprehensive Plan that would allow them to
develop commercial real estate on a commercial corridor. This is not precedent setting
as almost all of Jericho Turnpike is zoned commercial. As a matter of fact, the properties
to the Southwest and directly south are existing commercial properties (Dix Hills Plaza
and the AT&T building respectively).
Also, as I previously mentioned at the Planning Board meeting in June, Mr. Torkan and
his company are looking to come to Huntington, Elwood specifically, to become a
neighbor and contributing member of our community. Unlike residential developers that
come to a community, build homes and sells them off, commercial landlords become long
term partners with a vested interest in the community and its prosperity.
The time that Mr. Torkan has dedicated to getting to know the community, the many
groups that represent the community, its residents, and all of their concerns has been
ongoing since we first met in February of 2013. His recent commitment to meet monthly
with residents that are against his proposal speaks directly to his willingness to work with
the community and its constituents to come to a reasonable outcome for all members of
the Town of Huntington.
We respectfully request that you vote in favor of the proposed amendment to Horizons
2020 for the application by Syndicated Venture 2013ZM397.
Elwood Taxpayers Association