Jul 28, 2014

Town Board Backs Liquor, Bamboo Rules

Members vote to ask state for help on two matters.

Town Board Backs Liquor, Bamboo Rules Town Board Backs Liquor, Bamboo Rules

Note: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong information about the day of the meeting.

  The Town Board voted Monday to ask state regulators to act on two measures, adding bamboo to the invasive species list and limiting the number of retail liquor store licenses within a given geographical area.

Both matters have been the subject of debate in Huntington and elsewhere on Long Island.

Councilwoman Susan A. Berland has been the leading council advocate for town regulation of invasive bamboo species. Numerous town residents have made sometimes-emotional pleas for some solution to the spread of the bamboo from other residents' properties.

  The bamboo resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Susan A. Berland, was approved unanimously and followed previous attempts by Berland and Supervisor Frank P. Petrone to amend the Town Code to regulate the planting of invasive bamboo species.

  “If ever there were a plant that fits the definition of invasive, it is bamboo,”  Berland said. “I hope as the State puts together its list of invasive species covered by its new law, the type of evidence presented to this town Board will clearly make the case that bamboo should be included in the regulated category.”

 The resolution, which was approved 5-0, notes that a recent amendment to the State Environmental Conservation Law, effective  Jan. 20, requires the State Council on Invasive Species to work with other state departments to develop and promulgate regulations dealing with all aspects of invasive species. 

 “The stories residents have told us about how invasive bamboo has hurt their quality of life have been heart-wrenching,”  Petrone said. “Whether it is through Town Code or state regulations, it is clear that action must be taken to protect residents.”

The liquor store resolution, sponsored by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, followed presentations to the Town Board by several area liquor store owners asking for the town to oppose the granting of a liquor license for a store proposed for 295 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station. The liquor store owners noted that a significant number of stores already existed within a one-to-three mile radius from the proposed location.

  The Town Board voted to ask the State Liquor Authority to conduct a public hearing into a license for that address. Petrone, Berland  and Cuthbertson voted for the call for more state action, urging the governor and the State Legislature to limit the number of retail liquor store licenses that can be issued within a geographic area.

 “State law has long recognized the need to regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages, and defining how many liquor stores in an area constitutes saturation is a logical extension of this regulatory function,” Cuthbertson said. “The State Legislature needs to address this situation to help preserve residents’ quality of life.”

 Petrone also announced that a special Town Board meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday to present the 2013 town budget.


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