Maher, Local Officials Push Back against Hochul’s High-Rise Plan

Assemblyman Brian Maher (R,C-Walden) joined his Minority Assembly Colleagues and local officials, including Chris Mathews, Town of Neversink supervisor and Rich Cocchiara, Town of Hamptonburgh Councilman, to show opposition to Gov. Hochul’s high-rise plan that would seek to enable multi-story, high-density development in the suburbs and rural regions of upstate New York. Her plan would force communities to meet her goals or face state override of local law to force these types of high-density developments in single-family neighborhoods.

“As a former village mayor and town supervisor, I worked with local stakeholders to develop two comprehensive plans that included supporting housing developments in areas where it made sense and was most needed. The notion that Albany should be making decisions for local municipalities is dangerous and shortsighted,” said Maher. “Countless local communities already have plans in place to ensure housing stock increases by far more than 1 percent. However, cookie-cutter approaches won’t solve the housing problem because no two communities are alike. I welcome a real conversation on how we can work toward solving the current housing crisis. Housing is essential to keeping our talented citizens working here at home and to prevent them from fleeing the state in record numbers.”

“Gov. Hochul’s proposal to allow the state to overrule local zoning laws is a full frontal assault on home rule. When it comes to zoning involving development, each community should be left to choose what best suits their own unique needs. Some communities may well indeed have housing needs, but others may have concerns about the economic or environmental impact. Let local communities decide what is best for them and their future,” said Supervisor Mathews.

“The Town of Hamptonburgh, like other towns and villages, has worked very hard to create zoning that meets the needs of our residents who elected us. The proposed legislation will disenfranchise our voters and take away their local voice. I applaud Assemblyman Brian Maher for advocating on behalf of our local communities,” said Town Councilman Cocchiara.

Gov. Hochul’s plan would force upstate communities to increase new housing by 1 percent of existing housing units and by 3 percent in the Metropolitan Transportation Commuter District (MTDC) over three years. If a community fails to meet this mark, the governor would have the state assert undue authority over the locality to override local zoning laws.

Editor’s note: Comments from Maher are available for download here: