Smart Talk header

December 22nd, 2018 - January 11th, 2019



For nearly forty years, Zyscovich Architects has strived to create projects with purpose, bringing new life and vibrancy to cityscapes through integrated urban planning, architecture and interior design. To this day, Zyscovich Architects has remained true to the original concept: design projects that have purpose and meaning.

““The size and the expanse of this project have created more issues that the initial project proposed.” -Hon. Dominick Longobardi, Village of Floral Park
“Some of the areas of great concern are traffic and transportation, a full-time station was promised and to ask thousands of drivers to come to the games on already crowded roads is going to create a major problem and that’s why having a public transportation option for Long Islanders is critical.” -  Hon. Todd Kaminsky, New York State Senate
“The State may benefit, the County may benefit but if the surrounding community is significantly impacted we all lose.” – Carrie Solages

icon Like us on Facebook

icon Follow us on Twitter

icon Watch us on YouTube

Join us on LinkedIn icon

View us on Instagram

Visit our website icon


Public Comment Period Open for Belmont Arena DEIS

Vision was out this week with over 400 residents and local business owners at the first public meeting on the DEIS for the Belmont Arena. The bulk of the crowd included neighbors from Elmont and Floral Park but some were also residents from neighboring Queens communities.

There were 52 speakers registered for the meeting: 1 spoke in favor, 46 spoke against, 3 professional testimonies (including Vision's) had hard questions and concerns, and 2 were generally supportive however they did have questions and were seeking mitigation.

It is our understanding that no elected officials that represent the area are in support of the project in its current form. 900 letters against the project were generated in one week and submitted.
It is also interesting to note that no Islander fans were identifiable and out in support though a game was being played at the Nassau Coliseum.

Issues raised included traffic concerns, economic impacts, public safety, lack of public process, viability of proposed retail, viability of the arena, effects on property values and the overall massive expansion of initial proposals. It is worth noting the many speakers recognized and in most cases supported some form of development on the site, just not the excessive proposal that is being presented.

New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky - choosing to be at the hearing instead of in Albany at pre-swearing in events - said he could not support the project in its current form. He is seeking a full-time railroad station, good local jobs, a community center and environmental issues addressed.

Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages testified that with the proposed project, the State may benefit, the County may benefit, but if the surrounding community is significantly impacted in a negative way, we all lose. Village of Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi stated, “today this project has spread out to encompass retail stores…. No infrastructure improvements to the main arteries of Hempstead Turnpike and the Cross Island Parkway, two LIRR trains for events instead of a full service train station that project participants said was essential to moving forward with the project.”

No Town of Hempstead elected officials were in attendance.

Preliminary thoughts that we shared in our initial testimony were as follows:

Vision Long Island supports common sense redevelopment of the parking areas surrounding Belmont Racetrack based on Smart Growth principles and planned with the surrounding communities and the local municipality. The DEIS for the proposed Belmont arena, hotel and mall presents numerous concerns and questions about their suitability for the site. The current proposal is possibly the maximum potential development that could be accommodated on the site and does not appear to adequately mitigate the potential negative impacts that it is likely to generate.

1) Transportation

The existing road network is at or above capacity at peak times under current conditions. The nature of this development will generate large traffic demands at the beginning and end of arena events rather than spread out over the course of the day which is likely to lead to significant congestion. Due to the location of the site, the majority of visitors will be arriving by automobile since there is not significant transit access. According to the DEIS document, the primary mitigation for these traffic surges appears to be signal timing at a number of intersections near the arena, not any physical changes to the roadways. While the improvement of signal timing may create some improvement, it is unlikely to make a significant difference.

The proposal doesn’t even attempt any improvements to the Cross Island Parkway which is likely to be the primary access to the site from all directions. Assuming that drivers will simply change their driving patterns to other north south routes such as the Meadowbrook or Wantagh Parkways is not reasonable given that those roads are eight and ten miles to the east.
The 47,000 additional cars per day will overload local roadways as well and the concern for pedestrian and bicycle safety for families will be very important to address as well.

The proposal for the encouragement of carpooling and ride sharing are also not likely to make a substantial improvement. Carpooling may work for regular ticket holders, but isn’t very viable for most others, and ridesharing and taxis may reduce the parking demand on site, but does nothing to reduce traffic around the site. The DEIS also does not specify whether these mitigation measures would be financed by the developer or the public.

The most effective way to reduce the traffic demand for the project would be improvement to the transit options at the site. The DEIS acknowledges that the NICE bus system will likely modify its level of service to adjust to increased demand at Belmont. That can help with some of the local visitors to the park, but given the lack of dedicated bus lanes in the area, those buses will wind up stuck in the same traffic as the cars during peak times.

The current arena proposal states that two round trip trains to Jamaica will be scheduled for each major event. This may be useful for residents of the city, but will not help most Long Islanders access the arena. It will help for events that draw a mix of both city and island residents, but most Islander fans live east of Belmont Park and taking the train to Jamaica, then back east to Belmont is not a convenient trip. In order to maximize the benefit of the existing train station at Belmont, the eastbound track should be repaired and used so that visitors from the east can transfer at Mineola or another station east of Belmont. This can reduce travel times by fifteen or more minutes making the trip more attractive for more users which can help reduce the traffic impacts.

The two round trip trains per event can be helpful to mitigate a small portion of the traffic for arena events, but the community needs a viable train station year round. This community does not have rail service like most Long Island communities which puts its residents at a disadvantage.

Given the difficulty in accessing the site from points to the east, where most of the N.Y. Islander’s fan base live, it presents the question of how viable is this location as a long term home for the Islanders?

2) Compatibility with Local Businesses/Surrounding Community:

The Elmont community looking to revitalize their downtown area near the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and Elmont Road. The 2008 Community Vision Plan, as referenced in the DEIS, called for redevelopment of the parking areas with Belmont Park related uses such as a hotel/conference center with associated retail. However the scale of what was envisioned in the plan was not nearly as large as what is proposed here. Their proposed plan included a hotel conference center with ancillary ground floor retail, not over 400,000 square feet of a retail mall and an 18,000 seat arena in addition to the hotel.

In addition the viability of building 400,000 sf of a retail mall in a climate where retail use has diminished radically may yield either a failed project on the site or failed businesses in the surrounding community due to shrinking demand. We have not seen this size mall proposal advance on Long Island in over ten years and the last one in Deer Park has underperformed on many counts.

3) Community Benefits:

This proposal will affect several surrounding communities, but the Elmont community south of the park is likely to experience the greatest impacts. The proposed benefits to the community do not appear to adequately offset the potential impacts. The current proposal calls for 10,000 square feet of community space, potentially located in several buildings. This is less than one percent of the total proposed building area and according to the site plan, the location of the community space is in a part of the site furthest from the surrounding community. It is mentioned in the DEIS that the space would be used for job training for community members, but is this its only proposed use?
The open space on site does not appear to be designed in a way to allow it to be useful to the surrounding community. The plaza portion on the northern site may be utilized by visitors to the arena or hotel, but is unlikely to be useful to the surrounding community. Designing it in a way to maintain mature trees on the property will help to improve the quality of the space and maintain the benefits of those trees, but its location still does not allow it to be easily used by the surrounding neighborhoods.
The other open space within this proposal surrounds the southern “retail village” providing a buffer to the neighborhood to the east. Much of it is a berm or simply too narrow to be developable and is essentially leftover space. It doesn’t appear to be usable or useful except to separate the development from the community.

There seems to be little discussion and commitment of jobs for community residents. It is our understanding that to date union labor or a local workforce with prevailing wages have not been secured for the site.

As proposed in the draft are the smallest amount of public benefits we have seen for land use proposals of this scale on Long Island. It is heartening to hear there may be other public benefits that arise out of the upcoming public hearings and needed public input.

4) Land Use Precedence & Community Process:

A project of this scope managed by a New York State agency creates a very bad precedence impacting the Home Rule of local Towns and Villages. The Town of Hempstead should be lead agency on the EIS and brought into the process to ensure compatibility with local community needs.

The process that created this DEIS should be managed in coordination with local community and small business leadership along with the local municipalities. Vision has been listening to neighbors in Elmont, the Village of Floral Park and adjoining communities across the Nassau/Queens border who have not been engaged to date.

5) Smart Growth Impact Statement:
The Smart Growth Impact Statement in Appendix H describes the project as a Smart Growth project however its design and location makes that a difficult case to make. It is redeveloping previously developed property in an area already served by existing infrastructure, which is beneficial, however it is not well served by transit, nor is it in a downtown center or walkable to one. As previously stated, the proposed two trains per event is not enough to make this project "transit-oriented."

The Smart Growth category of “Compact Land Use” is not intended to jam as much development possible on a given site but to create a focused, walkable Main Street area that this development does not contain.
There are several different uses within the proposal, but is not a "live, work, play" mix of uses that allows the community to become less auto-dependent by having a range of uses nearby. Despite its size, it's not a balanced, mixed use community nor is it part of a larger one. It is primarily a regional entertainment destination that is not integrated with or supportive of the local community.

It is worth noting that Vision lobbied for the passage of the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Act which places this section of criteria in the EIS for review. It’s unfortunate to see a mall proposal rated in this section.

We are hopeful that the feedback, questions and concerns that will be generated over the three days of public hearings and the written comments that follow will be seriously considered and yield major changes in the proposal.

Additional public meetings were held this week at the Elmont Public Library where those in attendance could comment on the DEIS. Written comments for those who were not able to attend will be accepted until February 11th, and can be submitted to Michael Avalia, ESD, 633 Third Ave. 37th Floor, NY NY 10017.

You can check out coverage of the public meetings in LIBN and Newsday

Forge River Watershed Sewer Project Holds Final Public Meeting Before January 22nd Referendum

Vision was out this week for the final public Open House information session for the proposed Forge River Watershed Sewer Project at the Mastic Fire Department. About 250 residents came out the the information session, which was held in both the afternoon and evening.

Those in attendance were able to hear about cost reductions for the project, see technology that will be utilized first-hand, and learn about the positive impact that the project, whose construction will be 100% grant funded, will have on the Tri-Hamlet area.
The overwhelming majority of residents who came out were observed to be in favor of the project moving ahead, with the aspects of increased resilience, the negative environmental impacts that conventional cesspools bring to the area being reversed, and the possibility of proper economic development finally coming to the Tri-Hamlet area being realized.

Residents within Phases 1 & 2 of the proposed project are encouraged to vote in favor of the referendum on January 22nd. Without the referendum being approved, construction will not move ahead, and additional phases of the project for a large swath of the Mastics-Shirley area will not occur in the future.

Additional feedback has been given and received at recent community meetings with the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association, Pattersquash Creek Civic Association, with others to come prior to the referendum.

Those with questions or concerns can learn more by clicking here, or by contacting Legislator Rudy Sunderman's office at 631-852-1300

Funding Secured for Sewer Connections in Central Islip

The Town of Islip was recently awarded $800,000 from Empire State Development to pay for infrastructure work needed to link a 10-block radius of Central Islip to an existing sewer system, which h nicely compliment the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding received recently.

Residents and elected officials are hoping that the area, on Carleton Avenue between Smith Street at the Long Island Railroad Station, will undergo a renaissance with the connectivity to sewers, with connections currently stopping south of Smith Street “The revitalization of Central Islip will be transformational to the community and to the Town as a whole, and this project is a critical component to its success,” Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a statement.

A 17-person committee is currently in the process of working with consultants to flesh out potential projects for the funding, with ideas such as affordable housing initiatives, boutiques and restaurants being suggested at the last public input session in December. The process will be moving along quickly, with an additional public meeting coming up on February 4th at Central Islip High School to hear feedback from the community-at-large regarding potential projects that the committee is suggesting. A list of DRI projects for Central Islip which will be incorporated in the final Plan will be completed by March 2019.

You can learn more about the funding for sewer expansion in the Central Islip area here, and can read more about Central Islip's DRI process here

Another Crash Involving Pedestrians on Notoriously Dangerous Roadway


The City of Long Beach endured a terribly tragedy last weekend when a crash occurred on one of the Long Island's most dangerous roadways.

A pedestrian was killed and another seriously injured while leaving a restaurant just after midnight when they were struck by a motorist as they were crossing East Park Avenue. The couple was walking northbound across Park Avenue when they were struck by the driver who was traveling west at around 12:30A.M.

The incident happened across the street from the Stop & Shop shopping center, which was named 10th of the Top 30 Most Dangerous Roadways presented at last year’s Complete Street summit. Though there is a street light at the crosswalk in that area, police said the investigation is ongoing and that investigators are looking for video and any witnesses

We have heard complaints about the speeds on this roadway, which is very active for pedestrians and bicyclists, for many years. There have been 18 crashes on this stretch of roadway that have involved pedestrians over the past 3 years. While design improvements cannot eliminate all crashes they can assist in reducing speed at all hours of the day and night.

You can read more about the latest crash involving a pedestrian on a notoriously dangerous roadway on Long Island here

NY Officials Sworn in on Ellis Island

Vision Board and staff headed out to Ellis Island on the first of the year for Governor Cuomo’s inaugural event.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli briefly pledged to continue his work of service to root out corruption and keep New York’s fiscal house in order. New York State Attorney General Letitia James vowed to go after corporations and officials that hurt New York’s poor and working class. New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul spoke of her years of public service traversing across our very large and diverse state. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke, after a video biography of his career in public service, to end the divisions that come down upon us from Washington and use New York’s diversity as our strength.

Some Long Islanders that joined the festivities included Nassau County Executive Laura Curran; Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone; New York State Senators Monica Martinez, James Gaughran, and John Brooks; New York State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin; Suffolk Legislators Rob Calarco, Bridget Fleming, Susan Berland, and Kara Hahn; Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen; Village of Rockville Centre Mayor Frances Murray; Hicksville Chamber’s Lionel Chitty; Hempstead Chamber’s Dennis Jones; Randi Dresner from Island Harvest; and Matthew Aracich from the LI Building Trades Council.

The event was a spirited way to start the New Year and it was good to see the values of public service ground the business of New York State government.

Gov. Cuomo said, "Let New York say that the federal government may shut itself down but it will never extinguish the Statue of Liberty's torch or erase the words of her poem, they will never close our harbor, they will never close our hearts, and they will never close this hall of dreamers or disrespect the legacy they left.

“It is New York's duty, it is New York's destiny, once again, to bring the light that leads the way through the darkness. To show the nation the way forward and upward. And we will… That is my pledge to the people of the State of New York, and we begin today," said Gov. Coumo.

For more on his inauguration, click here.

Retail Vacancy Rates in Nassau on the Rise

Vision was out in Hicksville this week with Jennifer McGlogan from CBS talking about the increased vacancy rates of retail strip malls and bigger box stores across Long Island. There are opportunities for increased development in downtown areas but what gets built outside Main Street areas should be carefully planned with local community input.

“I have noticed the vacancies of retail shops in my hometown and all over Nassau County,” homeowner Michael Murphy told CBS2’s McLogan on Monday. The vacancy rate of 7.3 percent at Long Island shopping centers represents some of the highest numbers in 18 years. Shopping centers that had big box anchors, such as Fortunoff, Sears, Mattress Firm and ToysRUs, must transition and diversify. There were differing opinions as to what is contributing to the higher vacancy rates, including online shopping being utilized more frequently than visiting brick and mortar establishments, high property taxes, strict zoning laws and high-priced square footage.

There are signs of prosperity, however, with some vacancies transitioning into other uses, like medical offices, restaurants, gyms and furniture stores. Vision Long Island’s Director Eric Alexander said that one vacant store in Hicksville will become multi-family housing. “Main streets, as well as retail malls and strip centers, are all transforming. Change isn’t coming — it’s here,” Alexander said.

Retailers and civic groups say they want to be flexible, and open to new ideas. They hope to work together to come up with the right fit in order to repurpose and occupy some of the vacancies, reversing the current trend.

You can read more about CBS’s look into Nassau’s retail vacancy rates here .

Long Island’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook Strong for New Year

With the New Year just beginning, Long Island’s commercial real estate market is looking healthy, with low unemployment, a strong economy, affordability in comparison to New York City, and transit-oriented development being key drivers towards the positive trend.

Long Island’s industrial market continues to be competitive, with the vacancy rate dropping from 6.5 percent for Q3 2017 to 5.1 percent for Q3 2018 – near historic lows – according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. “What’s happening is there are waiting lists for smaller tenants,” said Michelle Zere, executive vice president of Ronkonkoma-based Zere Real Estate Services, which focuses primarily on industrial real estate in Suffolk County. “There is nowhere for small businesses to go.” Tenants are pushing to renew their leases sooner rather than later, while low inventory has pushed up prices not only on the lease side, but on the sale side as well.

The office availability rate at the end of the third quarter was 11.2 percent, up slightly from the 10.8 percent rate for the second quarter but down from 12 percent for the third quarter last year, according to a CBRE report, which noted that average rent for office space increased 1 percent from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018. Overall, the office market is looked at as being stable in the coming year, with the availability rate at 10 percent in Nassau and 13 percent in Suffolk. Some in the industry feel that the growth in their portfolios are indicators of the tenants doing well, as they are requiring more space to operate even though companies are generally trending towards downsizing their required square footage due to technological changes and increased telecommuting.  “Businesses are looking to cut costs and real estate is one of the things that can be streamlined. There are fewer private offices and more cubicles, which take up less room,” said David Hunt, president and chief executive officer of Hunt Corporate Services and Hunt Construction Services, both in Plainview. 

Compared to the rest of the country, Long Island’s retail market is strong, but it still has its share of challenges as e-commerce continues to grow every year. The supermarket business has gotten challenging, with several A&P locations still left vacant. National retailers that are closing up shop or downsizing are leaving behind large buildings, with is leading to opportunities for changes of use. “We’re going to see shopping centers converted to mixed-use projects,” said Kenneth Schuckman, president of Schuckman Realty in Lake Success,  “That’s something we haven’t seen yet, but it’s coming.”

The healthcare and assisted living industries are helping to keep construction companies busy, with companies such as Northwell building new facilities and making major investments in their current ones. In addition, transit-oriented development and other multifamily projects have taken off in recent years. Rental projects have been proposed or approved in 75 communities across Long Island over the past decade, with 44 of them in downtown business districts or adjacent to transit. It’s a movement that is gaining strength across the Island.  

You can read more about the outlook of Long Island’s commercial real estate market here

Long Island Awarded Over $20 Million in Water Quality Improvement Grants

Long Island Awarded Over $20 Million in Water Quality Improvement Grants

Round 15 Awards for Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grants were announced this past December as part of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council awards for the year. The WQIP program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds projects that directly address documented water quality impairments.
Over $20 million dollars was awarded to Nassau and Suffolk counties to help reduce nitrogen from the waters of Long Island in this round. Descriptions on each project are below.

 Nassau County

Applicant Name: Nassau County Department of Public Works
Project Name: Nassau County Wastewater Consolidation and Long Beach Water Pollution Control Plant Diversion
Grant Award: $5,000,000
Description: Nassau County Department of Public Works will make improvements to its Long Beach Water Pollution Control Plant, including installing new pumping units. This project will reduce nitrogen and ammonia in the wastewater discharged to the environment.

Applicant Name: Town of Hempstead
Project Name: Town of Hempstead Cherrywood Yard Green Infrastructure Stormwater Improvements
Grant Award: $ 306,000
Description: The Town of Hempstead will improve onsite drainage and reduce stormwater runoff to a nearby stream by installing and implementing multiple green infrastructure stormwater management practices. The project will reduce and treat stormwater entering the stream, improving the water quality and preventing further streambank erosion.

Applicant Name: Town of Hempstead
Project Name: Town of Hempstead Roosevelt Highway Yard Green Infrastructure Stormwater Improvements
Grant Award: $1,000,000
Description: The Town of Hempstead will install and implement green infrastructure practices to reduce and treat stormwater runoff from the Roosevelt Highway Yard. The project will help protect the adjacent wetland and improve nearby surface water quality.

Applicant Name: Town of Hempstead
Project Name: Town of Hempstead MS4 Mapping and Vacuum Truck
Grant Award: $599,860
Description: The Town of Hempstead will work with the other 15 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) communities in Nassau County to create a full digital stormwater network in GIS format, which will include gathering additional data and converting paper maps into digital form. A vacuum truck will also be purchased, use of which will improve water quality by removing sediment and other pollutants that would otherwise enter waterbodies via the storm sewer system.

Suffolk County

Applicant Name: Suffolk County
Project Name: Suffolk County Sewer Extensions
Grant Award: $5,000,000
Description: Suffolk County will provide connections to sewers for nearly 7,500 unsewered parcels along four river corridors on the south shore of Suffolk County, replacing the use of cesspools and septic systems. This project will make the area more resilient to storm surges and reduce nitrogen impacts to groundwater, nearby rivers and coastal wetlands.

Applicant Name: Town of Brookhaven
Project Name: Town of Brookhaven Davis Park Marina Permeable Reactive Barrier
Grant Award: $313,401
Description: The Town of Brookhaven will construct a permeable reactive barrier at the Davis Park Marina to remove nitrogen from groundwater before it enters surface waters. The project will reduce nitrogen entering Long Island coastal waters, which can lead to eutrophication, hypoxia, marine harmful algal blooms and marine fauna mortality.

Applicant Name: Village of Westhampton Beach
Project Name: Village of Westhampton Beach Sewer Extension
Grant Award: $5,000,000
Description: The Village of Westhampton Beach will construct sanitary collection and conveyance infrastructure within the Main Street business district of the village and connect the infrastructure to the wastewater treatment facility at the Suffolk County Sewer District No. 24-Gabreski Airport. This project will reduce nitrogen loading to groundwater and surrounding waterbodies from inadequate onsite systems in this area

Applicant Name: Peconic Land Trust
Project Name: Regional Aquifer Protection Land Acquisition Program Phase II
Grant Award: $3,000,000
Description: Peconic Land Trust is beginning Phase II of their source water protection program that acquires land within regional Special Groundwater Protection Areas and/or in close proximity to public water supply wellheads. Phase II of this program has prioritized land acquisition in the Towns of Riverhead, Southold, and Shelter Island to protect land within the Peconic Estuary and Long Island Sound Watersheds. The project will protect watersheds, groundwater recharge areas, and drinking water for public water supply wells.

Applicant Name: Town of Brookhaven
Project Name: Town of Brookhaven MS4 Vacuum Truck
Grant Award: $300,000
Description: The Town of Brookhaven will purchase a vacuum truck to be used as part of its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program. Use of the truck will improve water quality by removing sediment and other pollutants that would otherwise enter waterbodies via the storm sewer system.

You can check out all of the projects that were awarded for this round here


King and Suozzi Propose Bill to Restore SALT Deductions

Congressmen Peter King and Tom Suozzi  have introduced bipartisan legislation that would retroactively restore the full State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction that was capped as part of the GOP's 2017 tax reform measure.

The King-Suozzi bill, introduced Friday on the second day of the 116th Congress, would repeal the $10,000 cap on SALT deductions, which the two lawmakers called "unfair" to Long Islanders who pay disproportionately higher property taxes than other parts of the country.

King charged that New Yorkers already get "short changed" by federal government, getting 79 cents back from Washington for every dollar they pay in taxes — or a shortfall of $48 billion annually. He called the SALT cap a "disgrace" and unfair to residents who purchased homes on Long Island expecting to utilize the deductions. "We are subsidizing the rest of the country," King said. "This deduction is one of the few breaks that New York does get to partially offset what we provide other states."

King and Suozzi's districts are among the top 25 nationwide for SALT claims. Over 450,000 homes in the two districts have claimed SALT deductions of around $20,000, far higher than the $10,000 allowable with the 2017 tax bill. On Long Island, where residents pay among the highest property taxes in the nation, roughly 530,000 homeowners, or 36 percent of all tax filers in Nassau and Suffolk, are affected by the cap.

The bill must pass the House Ways and Means Committee before going to the floor for a full vote. You can read more about the move to restore the deductions to hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders here

Motown Concert by Ronkonkoma Chamber for Charity

The Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce will be hosting Motown in Our Town, a tribute to
The Temptations& Gladys Knight & The Pips starring Shadows of the 60’s.

Tickets are $39.50, with proceeds helping students in the community. The Chamber also plans to make a donation to the Andrew McMorris Fund.  Andrew is the Boy Scout that was killed in October by a drunken driver.

The event will be held on February 16th at 7:30PM at Connetquot High School, 190 7th Street in Bohemia.  You can buy tickets here, or call 631-698-9696 for more information

Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Applications Being Accepted

The Long Island Section of American Planning Association’s NY Metro Chapter is pleased to announce that they will be awarding up to three Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarships for attendance at the APA National Conference in April 2019.  
The scholarships will provide $1,500 to awardees for attendance at the APA National Planning Conference that is being held in San Francisco, California, April 13 thru April 16, 2019.   
Arthur H. Kunz was a Long Island planner who was committed to preserving and enhancing Suffolk County by balancing its growth and development with environmental protection and played an integral part in Suffolk County’s development for almost 30 years.  He worked for the Nassau County Planning Commission from 1958 to 1969.  In 1969, he became Assistant Planning Director for the Suffolk County Department of Planning and Director in 1989.  Arthur Kunz was a straightforward and highly regarded man whose planning knowledge, commitment to public service, and professionalism improved the quality of life in Suffolk County.  Since 1994, the Long Island Section has been awarding planning scholarships in his memory.
Eligible applicants include Long Island based entry-level planners (five or less years out of college or five years or less in a professional planning position) and students from Long Island enrolled in a planning-related program (undergraduate or graduate studies).  
The $1,500 scholarship will cover the majority of expenses related to the conference registration, APA membership for one year for non-members (and non-students, as APA student membership is free), and some additional expenses.  Mr. Kunz spent most APA conferences attending as many mobile workshops as possible and believed in the value of seeing planning in action in other parts of the country.  Therefore, a portion of the scholarship is to be used to pay for participation in least one mobile workshop. 
If you are a new planner working on Long Island or a student of planning (or in a related field) and are from Long Island and wish to apply for a scholarship to attend the 2019 APA National Conference, please send a letter of interest and a copy of your resume (pdf format preferred) to LI Section Treasurer Kathy Eiseman at with a copy to Sean Sallie, Section Director, at  The letter of interest should include your interest in the planning field, goals for a career in planning on Long Island and what you hope to gain from attendance at the National Conference and participation in a mobile workshop.

Lindenhurst Village Creates to New Video to Highlight Downtown


Proudtown has spent the last several months in the Village of Lindenhurst, NY. They have been exploring its downtown, its beaches, its parks, its resources, but, most importantly its people. What they found is definitely a Village that is moving forward, and they’ve created this short video that showcases what this wonderful community has to offer

Smart Talk

Eric Alexander, Director

Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Jon Siebert, Administrative Director

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

Home | Contact Us | Donate | About Us