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An Open Letter to the Riverhead Town Board

July 31, 2022

Dear Ms. Aguiar, Mr. Hubbard, Mr. Rothwell, Mr. Beyrodt, Mr. Kern and Mr. Howard,

On June 21st, at the Board’s invitation, dozens took the time to attend a Public Hearing concerning zoning for the sale and use of firearms within Riverhead Township. The term “Public Hearing” implies an interest in gathering resident input, as it was understood that Mr. Howard’s and Ms. Thomas’ initial revision might require some fine tuning.  After many citizens spoke and wrote letters, we would expect our Town Board to be giving careful consideration to the suggestions, perspectives, and concerns as they worked on the zoning revision that would best serve our community.

However, when asked about the revision status at the July 6 Town Board meeting, Supervisor Aguiar’s response, “You can have a public hearing to hear from the public, but that doesn’t mean you have to act on it” was as disappointing as it was disturbing. 

While we are encouraged by Councilman Hubbard’s comments at the July 19th Town Board meeting regarding the importance of this zoning code revision, we would expect his fellow Board members to also recognize the importance of having restrictions in place.   

One only need look at the fast-tracked Cannabis Advisory Board to see that the Town Board can quickly determine a need and move forward gathering community consensus when they feel resident safety is at issue. Now, with the details of recreational cannabis sales & use agreed upon, the majority of Board Members recently acknowledged this committee’s success.

Given that we now have a blueprint on gathering expedient and effective community consensus, and to address zoning restrictions pertaining to public safety, we would expect the Town Board and Town Attorney’s office to recognize the similar need for acceptable zoning parameters for the distribution and use of firearms in Riverhead Township.  

We implore you to move forward on these important revisions and encourage you to begin with assembling a Firearms Advisory Committee of local residents with no vested interest, while implementing a moratorium until the revision is completed.  Any of the undersigned would be honored to be part of shaping this critically important zoning in the interest, and for the greater good, of Riverhead. 

We will look forward to your response. Thank you for your consideration and for all you do for our town.  

Respectfully, 

Heart of Riverhead Civic Association

Wading River Civic Association

Greater Jamesport Civic Association

The Board of Trustees of the Northville Beach Civic Association

Toqui S. Terchun, Calverton

Steve Gessler, Calverton

Janice Sherer, Calverton

Pat Aitken, Calverton

Karen Kemp, Calverton

Linda Nemeth, Calverton

Joe Graziano, Calverton

Kathleen Madonia, Calverton

Steve Mandresh, Baiting Hollow

John Cullen, Northville 

Kathleen McGraw, Northville

Lorraine DeArmitt, Riverhead

Carol Denys, Riverhead

Mitch Hagler, Riverhead

Steven Kramer, Riverhead

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