Press Release July 20, 2012ABCO Accepts Councilwoman Kepert’s Invitation to Create Alternative Carmans River Plan - Citizens’ Committee for the Carmans (CCC) To Move Forward
ABCO announces its acceptance of Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert’s invitation to create an alternative plan to preserve the Carmans River for consideration and action by the Town Board. After the deeply flawed plan produced by the Carmans River Study Group was rejected by the Town, and formally withdrawn by Supervisor Lesko on March 29th, the Town Board unanimously agreed on the need for an alternative process to develop a watershed protection and management plan and adopted Resolution 12-380.Since then the Town then held several hearings to gather public input on the parameters of an alternative process and plan.
Reluctantly, ABCO agrees with Councilwoman Kepert that "the best course forward" may be the creation of a Citizens' Committee for the Carmans that would be responsible for developing a community-based and scientifically-supported plan to protect the river and its watershed.
Building on the work of the prior study group, the Citizens’ Committee for the Carmans will operate in an open and transparent manner to prepare a watershed protection and management plan in accordance with Town Resolution 12-380. Committee members and advisors have been selected from planning, environmental and conservation experts and advocates, as well as the broader civic community. Focusing on strategies to protect the watershed, the outcome of the CCC’s work will not be predetermined.
ABCO anticipates the cooperation of Town agencies and officials as the CCC develops an alternative plan. Specifically, copies of all data and reports considered by the prior study group should be made available without delay. While a draft protection plan is expected to be completed within four to six months, the CCC will not be constrained by artificial deadlines.The efforts of the entire Town Board in attempting to develop a model for preservation and sustainable development in the Carmans watershed are gratefully acknowledged. While the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to that effort is welcomed, ABCO recognizes the challenges involved. However, we are confident the alternate process and recommendations to be considered by the Town Board will provide a road map for future preservation and management plans throughout Brookhaven. ABCO strongly supports the Town Board in reasserting Councilwoman Kepert’s belief that "community-based planning processes turn the 'business as usual' process of development on its head. No longer should developers determine a community's future; instead the community tells the developer and the Town of Brookhaven how they would like to see their neighborhoods built. When the residents have this level of input in the planning process everyone wins."