In its Save Open Space ("SOS") Bond Act, authorized by voter referendum in 2004, Suffolk County took the bold step to meet the complementary goals of preserving critical open space and creating needed workforce housing. The SOS program provides the ability for the county to strip so-called development rights from non-farmland open space purchases and direct these credits in support of increased sewage flow capacity of a particular workforce housing site.
The SOS Bond Act mandates that the Transfer of Development Rights Program be established solely to provide affordable ownership and rental workforce homes as defined in Article 36 of the Suffolk County Administrative Code. The County Department of Planning established criteria for the use of these development rights to meet these requirements and other county-wide policy concerns. These are:
- The use of development rights generated from this program is for the sole purpose of permitting the development of affordable rental and ownership workforce housing to individuals.
- Only the construction of homes with a maximum purchase price of $250,000 and affordable rental units will be eligible for the transfer of development rights generated from this program.
- Where a for-profit developer is to be used, any profit realized shall be in accordance with New York State Affordable Housing Corporation guidelines.
- The workforce homes created through the use of development rights generated from this program shall remain as workforce homes in perpetuity within the requirements of Article 36 of the Suffolk County Administrative Code.
- The development rights generated from this program shall not be used on properties:
- Contained in the Master List of Proposed County Open Space Acquisitions,
- That have received an authorized planning steps resolution, or
- That have been identified for acquisition, protection, or preservation on another state or local government approved and adopted plan or list.
The use of development rights will continue and/or expand groundwater preservation initiatives
Additionally, for the initial stages of the program, development rights are to be utilized intra-Ground Water Management Zone and intra-Town only. Utilization of development rights between Ground Water Management Zones or between Towns may require approvals of other jurisdictions and may not be construed "as-of-right". Request for use of the development rights will be screened by the Affordable Housing Director in consultation with the Departments of Planning and Health Services and eliminated from consideration if any one of the above goals are not achieved.
For more information on this program and to inquire as to the availability of development rights, please call Jason Smagin, Acting Director of Real Estate, (631) 853-4836 / firstname.lastname@example.org