SAY NO TO Hudson River Healthcare Inc. in North Patchogue
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WHAT WE ARE PETITIONING
We object to the opening of Hudson River Health Care Inc. (HRHCare) at 501 North Ocean Avenue, a local neighborhood. We appeal to the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County and our elected officials to take action regarding our concerns and a) find an alternative location for HRH (ie: Hospital Road- Island Grill site, Sills Rd- U-Haul building) and/or b) ensure that ALL community issues around traffic, quality of life, parking, environmental/hazardous waste impacts, security and property taxes are properly addressed (outlined below). At the end of the day, this is a taxpayer funded project and the taxpayers have not yet been heard.
Hudson River Health Care is a medical center with a number of facilities on Long Island. In recent years they purchased the 501 North Ocean Avenue location (Old Verizon building) with the intent of relocating their East Patchogue facility to North Patchogue. In March 2018, HRHCare publicly announced intent to merge with Brightpoint Heath with the goal of providing a number of services including primary care, urgent care, oral and behavioral health. They currently claim that this facility will see 175 to 240 patients per day (up to 75,000 visits per year excluding staff).
Over the last 18 months, members of the North Patchogue community have made numerous efforts to work with elected officials and HRHCare. Our efforts have been met with little concern or interest in establishing HRH as an honest and valued member of the community.
Residents of North Patchogue have an additional fear of the unknown regarding future use of the property and how we will be treated as neighbors once they are in operation. Note: there has been no confirmed use of the second floor.
Our primary concerns include but are not limited to the following:
- Current potentially illegal but absolutely dangerous and difficult left turn out of proposed facility (and into the two way left turn lane) will force a large majority of traffic to turn right. The first available right is Harris St (a residential area) and next Shaber (also residential) as a pass through to 112 for all requiring to go East, West, South, including ambulances to Brookhaven, delivery trucks leaving the facility etc. Speeding and excess traffic cause significant concern. Currently Harris Street is posted as a Local Delivery Only Street. Is a reconstruction of Harris Street and North Ocean Avenue traffic pattern possible so that NO right turns can be made onto Harris and NO left turns out of Harris?
- Same left turn puts patients and residents in danger by those visiting facility and unfamiliar with the area. Is a traffic light needed?
- No bus route on residential streets -residents of Harris street went through great effort to remove bus traffic and toxic emissions off the street with a successful petition in the 1990’s- those efforts should be kept in place. There concerns about placement of any bus routes and loitering at such stops.
- HRHCare traffic review states no anticipated change in traffic from previous occupant which is incorrect. Verizon had standard 9-5 office hours at five days a week. HRHCare will have a constant flow of traffic over a longer period of time- 9-8 M-Th, 8-6 F, and 9-4 Saturday. Additionally, HRHCare is estimating 50+ employees (on the first floor only) and up to 240 visitors a day (quoted in meeting at NPFD on March 1st).
QUALITY OF LIFE
- This site is in close proximity to a significant number of homes versus other HRHCare locations- there is less than a 50 ft easement off of some properties. Concerns around foot traffic, loitering, noise and lighting also exist.
- Proposed extended hours of operation (ie: 9am-8pm most weeknights and operating hours on the weekends) will interfere with current quality of life and privacy enjoyed by our community.
- Fencing of 6 feet around only two sides of the property is currently proposed. A total 8 foot commercial fence perimeter around three sides plus locked front drive gates (in off hours) would be preferred.
ENVIRONMENTAL/HAZARDOUS WASTE IMPACTS
- There is a concern for waste water systems and ability to handle the volume of and any type of potential dangerous contaminants.
- Due to increased activity from facility, it would benefit the health center patients and the community to have a full time security guard onsite. We are aware that other locations of HRHCare provide that added security.
- It is currently our understanding that HRHCare will have locked gates at both drives and we encourage that to remain in the plan, however without fully fencing the entire property the gates are in vain.
- Addition of adequate but non invasive lighting and cameras would provide Some resident comfort.
PROPERTY TAXES/PROPERTY VALUES
- Our local taxes help fund EMS services provided by North Patchogue Fire Department. Those services will now be at the call of HRHCare. It is possible that additional taxes would be required from the local residents to fund this increased activity. There is concern that these services will potentially not be available when a North Patchogue resident is in need. It would be less detrimental to the community if HRHCare hired their own third party service provider.
- With our tax money, HRHCare is already enjoying significant grant money from Suffolk County and NYS. Why is it fair to local tax payers to allow a reduced PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) that would further increase our local residential tax burden?
- There is an overall community concern that property taxes will increase and property values will decrease.
In closing we hope you take our concerns into consideration.
Concerned Friends and Neighbors please remember to keep our comments to the Town and County respectful as we want to be heard but in the right way. Thank you.
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