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Laura Jens-Smith


Why Riverhead must update its master plan — now

Will Riverhead be a town dominated by more big box stores, when we know retail is retreating? Will our hamlets become a litany of faceless strip malls, when we know there are already too many vacant storefronts? Will we value open space, or cut down every last tree in the name of “progress”? Guest column by Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith

Riverhead needs a movie theater and Riverhead will continue to push for one

Supervisor: Theater company representatives have said Riverhead's demographics don't yet support development of a movie theater in Riverhead. But we are not giving up.

Supervisor: This is a ‘pivotal’ time for Riverhead

"Progress can sometimes be a bitter pill if not metered with a larger vision." Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith argues for master plan update.

Supervisor: Main Street zoning needs changes and we want your input

It is time we implement zoning that allows for smart development. We need development that encourages mixed-use buildings and supports both commercial and residential development and enhances the feel of our downtown. Column by Laura Jens-Smith

Supervisor candidate calls for dissolution of Riverhead IDA

Eventually you have to ask yourself who is going to pay the taxes in this town? And that finger seems to point directly to the already-overburdened homeowners and small businesses of Riverhead.

Opinion: Main Street, meet Queens

The widespread negative reaction to an architect's rendering of apartment buildings planned for downtown made it perfectly clear: Riverhead residents don't want our historic downtown to be turned into Queens.
2013 1030 downtown lights

In My Opinion Why Riverhead is still missing the mark on downtown revitalization

Smart growth is needed. This takes planning and a strong commitment to encourage development that provides a variety of housing types, not just rental apartments.
Traffic on Route 58 near Kroemer Avenue this past weekend. (Photo: Peter Blasl)

Opinion How one little word change undid years of work that went into town’s master plan

Several years after the Town Board adopted the master plan, it quietly changed one word, creating a giant loophole that effectively unraveled the result of years of planning.

Downtown redevelopment: Let’s get this right

Democratic town board candidates urge care and thoughtfulness moving forward with downtown redevelopment. If we rush and make the wrong choices, they argue, Riverhead will be forced to live with the consequences for many years to come.
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