Greenport seeks pro-housing status from Hochul

North Fork village among seven on Long Island seeking state funding

Greenport, Others on Long Island Seek Pro-Housing Status
Mayor Kevin Stuessi and Governor Kathy Hochul (LinkedIn, Getty, Google Maps)

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.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

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.

Stuessi, however, told The Real Deal that he ran on a “smart development” platform and that the village’s actions were in line with that. The development moratorium was imposed while the village rezoned nearly a third of its downtown to give numerous retail businesses as-of-right uses instead of conditional ones that were difficult to meet. For many properties, housing above the store was legalized.

The village did amend its parking proposal for larger businesses, he said, but at the same time eliminated longstanding parking requirements and fees for smaller ones.

“A vibrant, year-round downtown is a big focus and I’m confident with our efforts to add housing and encourage small business we will get there,” Stuessi said by email. “Our summers are busier than most ever imagined and we want to leverage this to create housing for local workers and bring more vibrancy to the winter months.”

Holden Walter-Warner

This article has been updated with comments from Mayor Kevin Stuessi.

Read more