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April 16th - 22nd, 2017

Regional Updates

Ruskin Moscou Faltischek

Founded in 1968, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has consistently evolved and expanded to meet their clients’ changing needs. As specialized as they are diverse, they have built cornerstone groups that represent all major practice areas of law including: corporate & securities, financial services, commercial litigation, health care, real estate, employment, and trusts & estates. Their clientele is diverse, sophisticated and includes large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions and individuals. With more than 60 attorneys, superior knowledge of the law, polished business acumen and proven credentials, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has earned a reputation for excellence and success. It is this ongoing achievement that makes them an acknowledged leader among their peers and the preferred choice among Long Island business leaders.

“We’re literally pricing young and old people off the Island. I believe we could use two or three more of these in Copiague.” - Paul Westphal, one of 90 lottery winners for tenant applications to Copiague Commons

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Over 500 Apply for Affordable Housing at Copiague Commons

The Town of Babylon recently held a lottery for 90 affordable housing units in downtown Copiague that received more than 500 applicants.

The Copiague Commons, a $33.5 million mixed-income development, is considered the centerpiece of Babylon’s efforts to revitalize Copiague.  The development will rent one- and two-bedroom units that range in cost from $1,169 to $1,850.  Applicants for the available units were placed in a lottery that determined order of processing for applicants, but priority will be given to Superstorm Sandy victims.

This development represents a variety of opportunities to local residents with some citing cost of living on Long Island and others proximity to local transportation as reasons for applying.

Paul Westphal was a longtime resident of Amity Harbor until Superstorm Sandy hit.  Since that time he has come to the decision that he would move off the water, but finding affordable housing had been a struggle until he was named one of the 90 initial applicants drawn in the lottery.  “We’re literally pricing young and old people off the Island,” he said.  “I believe we could use two or three more of these in Copiague.”

Julia Meszaros and her fiancé were prompted to apply because of long commutes in and of the city complicated by a lack of access to their local train station.  “It’s going to relieve my stress levels a lot with the commuting we have to do,” she said, noting a 2 ½ hour commute each way for her fiancé.

Babylon Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez is optimistic that new tenants will provide new customers to local businesses in Copiague, which was rezoned in 2015 to spur transit-oriented development.  “I think we’re going to see a lot of things happening this year in Copiague,” according to the Deputy Supervisor.

You can read more about this here.

Town of Babylon Hosts Public Forum for East Farmingdale

Last Wednesday, the Town of Babylon hosted their second public meeting for the form based zoning code for the East Farmingdale train station area.  The design team of Dover Kohl & Partners along with Alta Planning + Design, Urbanomics and others put together a draft zoning code to shape future development.  The project centers around the former Republic train station at the intersection of Route 110 and Conklin Street.  The station is proposed to be reopened and the site will be a connection between the LIRR and the planned bus rapid transit route along 110.  The draft code proposes a network of walkable streets and numerous park spaces with buildings that range in height from 2-5 stories immediately adjacent to the train station to 1-3 stories in areas further away. 

The draft code addresses buildings, streets and public spaces to ensure a walkable place with character.  Important locations for architectural landmarks are indicated to create terminated vistas adding to the character of the place.  Architectural proportions and details are specified so that there is flexibility for developers while maintaining a high quality of design.  Issues such as street design and stormwater management are planned so that they help to shape the character of the place.

The Town is seeking input on the proposed code by May 1.  The draft code can be reviewed here. The presentation from last week’s meeting can be viewed here. All comments should be sent to Amy Pfeiffer in the Department of Downtown Revitalization at

Islip Looks to Expand Parking Meter Program

The Town of Islip has begun discussing plans to expand its parking meter program from Bay Shore into the Islip Hamlet and various Long Island Rail Road station parking lots.

The Town began by meeting with the Islip Chamber of Commerce to discuss the downtown area and reaching out to LIRR.  Meters for station lots would be installed at the Islip, Great River, Oakdale, and Sayville station parking lots.  The Town has an agreement to share maintenance of the lots with the LIRR and will require approval for the meter plan to move forward in those locations.

The Bay Shore meters begun the phase in process in 2015 starting at the Maple Avenue docks.  The final phase of installation were municipal lots located behind businesses on Main Street.  However, the dates to turn those machines on have been pushed back while the Town and local businesses hammer out final details.

You can read more on this story here.

Funding to be Made Available for Alternative Septic Systems in Suffolk

Late last month, civics, environmentalists, labor leaders, and members of government announced funding opportunities to replace aging and antiquated cesspools in Suffolk. Non-sewered areas in Suffolk are the leading cause to nitrogen pollution that harms waterways.

About 360,000 homes in Suffolk use traditional septic systems and cesspools to get rid of waste since they are not connected to sewage treatment facilities. The cost to sewer all areas of Long Island is estimated to cost over $7 billion. By using innovative alternative septic systems, homeowners can reduce the amount of nitrogen contributed to groundwater and waterways dramatically. A new cesspool costs about $5000, while the alternative septic systems can cost about $18,000, making it cost-prohibitive for many to switch.

Once approved by the Legislature, the program can allow for grant funding up to $11,000 for an alternative system, with low-interest loanshelping to make the remaining cost affordable. Grant funding parameters are expected to be quite accommodating, with those households with an adjusted gross income of up to $300,000 a year being eligible for 100% of the grant, and those earning $300,000 - $500,000 a year being eligible for 50% of the grant.

Suffolk tested 19 systems using 6 different technologies in 2 rounds of lotteries in the past 2 years, where homeowners received a free system and maintenance. As of right now, three manufacturer’s systems have been approved, with a fourth likely being approved within the next few weeks.   “The four we are looking at over six months of operating data show they treat down to below 19 milligrams of nitrogen per liter” said Deputy County Executive Peter Scully. “That’s a significant reduction compared to cesspools; they are at 65 to 70 milligrams of nitrogen per liter.” Only single-family, owner-occupied, non-commercial properties will be eligible for funding. Also, County employees, elected officials, political party officers will not be eligible, and properties with tax liens will not be eligible.

Homeowners will be able to apply beginning July 1st, with homes within a zero-to-two year groundwater travel time to surface waters having higher priority, and those within 1,000 feet to an enclosed water body getting preference as well. This may be especially attractive to those in the Town of Brookhaven, where a new law was enacted mandating those within 500 feet of a waterway to install alternative septic systems when there is a new construction or a rehabilitation of over 50% of their property.

You can read more about the opportunity in Newsday and from CBS

Bisnow Releases List of Long Island Places Becoming More Walkable

Bisnow, a website focused on commercial real estate and what’s working for local communities in that regard, reached out to Vision staff for help in publishing a list of Long Island places becoming more walkable.

Bisnow made note of Modera Mineola, with 275 units and six stories located two block from the LIRR station.  Developed by Mill Creek Residential, the building features a variety of studio, one and two bedroom apartments and is LEED certified.

Valley Stream was also mentioned, with two new complexes in walking distance of its train station.  Hawthorne Apartments has 90 rental units surrounding a central courtyard and is also located near Rockaway Ave, the main downtown drag of Valley Stream.  On the other side of the rail station is recently opened Sun Valley Towers, a 72-unit complex with a gym located conveniently on the first floor.

The article also looks at Cornerstone, the new development in downtown Farmingdale by Terwilliger & Bartone.  The 42-unit apartment was built in 2016 with 10% of units designated for affordable housing.  The local LIRR station is so close that residents can wait in the lobby of the building for arrival of trains.  The local downtown is also within easy walking distance of the apartments.

Patchogue was also on the list, with a focus on New Village, a 291-unit apartment complex located a short walk from the local LIRR train station.  The development also includes 36,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the same lot.

These sites all represent steps forward on Long Island to bring more Transportation Oriented Development to our region.  You can view these projects more in depth here.

Former Sears Headquarters Finds Second Life as Affordable Housing

For over 30 years the Sears, Roebuck & Co. complex had sat abandoned and crumbling in Homan Square on the West Side of Chicago.  However, that all changed in 2007.

In 2007 development started on the site of the former headquarters as developers began a $40 million redevelopment on the former power plant complex.  A technology-focused high school was opened two years later in its place.  In 2010 work started on the original 14-story Sears Tower.  Now named Nichols Tower, that portion of the complex was completed in 2016 at a cost of $17 million and is the home of nine not-for-profit offices.

Finally, in 2015, the former printing press portion of the factory was redeveloped into 181 units of affordable housing.  Run by the nonprofit Mercy Housing Lakefront, the development cost $65 million to redevelop the factory portion of the complex.  The majority of funding was procured from the Chicago Housing Authority along with federal tax credits that were granted due to the restoration of a building with historic significance.  Mercy Housing will use this funding to provide services such as child daycare to tenants, which is made possible by the enormous size of the building.

The units range from one to four bedrooms and are specifically for low-income residents.  Rents start at $785 for one bedroom units and go all the way up to $1,210 for a four-bedroom.  Since opening in February 2017, 30 units have been occupied with the remaining 151 expected to be filled by September.

You can read more on this development here.

Public Input Wanted for Proposed SEQRA Amendments

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes to amend the regulations that implement the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The principal purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQRA process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review.

Although the DEC has not identified any potentially significant adverse environmental impacts that will result from the proposed amendments, the DEC has chosen to use a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) to discuss the objectives and the rationale for the proposed amendments and provide opportunity for public participation. The DEC has also combined the GEIS with the impact statements required by the State Administrative Procedure Act to reduce duplication.

There will be 4 public hearings, with the one being held on Long Island being held on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the Suffolk County Water Authority, 260 Motor Parkway, Hauppauge, with a public information session from 3:30PM-5PM before the public hearing. The purpose of the public information sessions will be for DEC staff to answer questions regarding the amendments.

The public can speak and or provide written comments at the public hearing. Comments on the proposed amendments may also be submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Permits, Attn: James J. Eldred, Environmental Analyst, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1750 or by email. Comments will be accepted until the close of business on May 19, 2017. Emailed comments should be provided in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word document format.

For more information, including proposed amendments and additional public meetings locations and dates, click here.

Building “Solar Ready”- How and Why? on April 28th

The Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, along with Sunpower by Empower, NY Building Technology Group and Vision Long Island will be hosting a free two-part workshop on how and why building Smarter looks better, costs less, and saves more. 

April 28th 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Sustainability Institute at Molloy College
7180 Republic Airport Farmingdale

Part of Vision Long Island’s mission is to promote smart growth in all areas, inclusive of all environmentally responsible building practices. While solar may not make sense for all Transit Oriented Developments today, electric rates and renewable policies change quickly and our energy future is unknown. It is extremely important to plan now and design current projects to accommodate energy projects later on.
Designing “Solar Ready” from the beginning ensures the most energy production, the most savings, and an aesthetically pleasing solar PV system that blends in with the design of the building. Some municipalities on Long Island have even adopted codes that require a Solar Ready design to receive proper permits.
1:30pm - 2:30pm Part I: Why Solar Ready?
General overview for builders, developers, municipal leaders, policy makers, more.
2:30pm - 4:30pm Part II: How Solar Ready?
Technical overview & Continuing Education credits for Architects and Engineers
Course provided by: Greg Sachs, PE. and Tom Baccarella, NY Building Technology Group

The event is open to the public, but registration is required. You can register online here
For questions email Tara Bono, or call (516) 837-3459

2nd Annual Bike-to-Work Parade and Festival at Hofstra on April 29th

Car-less Long Island invites you to join them for their 2nd Annual Bike-to-Work Parade and Festival on April 29, 2017 at 9 AM to show your support for a more walkable and bikeable Long Island!

Prizes will be given for the most impressively decorated bikes and best costumes. So have fun and be creative! Free tee-shirts for the first 50 registered attendees.
The parade is perfectly free, but there is a suggested $10 donation to help defray expenses.

The parade is a 6.5 mile loop, beginning and ending at Hofstra's North Campus around Eisenhower Park.  There will be a police escort for safe riding. There is a shorter walking route for those who want to see a more walk-able and bike-able Long Island, but do not want to bike themselves or are not ready to bike a 6.5 mile loop.

Those attending can stick around afterwards for the bike to work festival with music, speakers and prizes.  It will be fun for the whole family!

For a map of the parade route, to register or to donate, and for a printable flyer to help get the word out, please go here. If you are interested in volunteering to help or in sponsoring the parade (with money or donated prizes and registration gifts), please contact Sylvia.

Scott Martella Scholarship Fund to hold Benefit Concert on April 30th

The Scott Martella Scholarship Fund, in conjunction with Long Island Cares, will be holding "The Concert That Has It All" on April 30th, a benefit concert aimed at raising funds for the Scott Martella Scholarship Fund as well as Long Island Cares. The Concert will have 3 hours of cover music featuring Joplin's Pearl with Amber Ferrari, Street Fighter, and Dear Prudence. The event will take place at the Emporium, located at 9 Railroad Avenue in Patchogue.

Tickets for this concert will be $50 in advance or $65 at the door and will include a free buffet as well as 2 free drinks. You can register at or call 631-582-3663 x 104.

APA Long Island to hold Annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast on May 19th

On May 19th, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast at Molloy College’s Suffolk Center at Republic Airport in Farmingdale (see A healthy breakfast buffet will be provided. This year’s program includes two panel discussions to provide additional depth and double the AICP CM credits! Both Vision Long Island's Director and Planning Director will be speaking on the panels at this year's event.

This year’s panels will focus on the revitalization of downtown Hicksville and the opportunity for smaller-scale multiple-family housing development on Long Island. Speakers will provide an update on the collaborative planning effort is underway by the Town of Oyster Bay and the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. The LI Section is also happy to host a panel of distinguished professionals who will discuss the gaps and opportunities that exist for small scale multi-family housing options.

Panel #1 [1.25 CM Credits Requested]
Downtown Hicksville Revitalization
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKERS: James McCaffrey, Deputy Commissioner of Economic Development, Town of Oyster Bay; Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce; Eric Alexander, Executive Director, Vision Long Island

Panel #2 [1.25 CM Requested]
Incremental Development – Delivering Big Change with Small Pieces
MODERATED BY: Wes Sternberg, AICP, Planner, Town of North Hempstead
FEATURED GUEST SPEAKERS: Padriac Steinschneider, President, Gotham Design & Community Development, Ltd.; R John Anderson, Principal, Anderson|Kim Architecture & Urban Design; Founder & Instructor, Incremental Development Alliance; David T. Kim, RA, Principal, Anderson |Kim Architecture & Urban Design; Instructor, Incremental Development Alliance; Elissa Kyle, Planning Director, Vision Long Island

To REGISTER for this event and pay online, please visit Or, send a check payable to “LI Section” to: Kathryn Eiseman, APA LI Section Treasurer, c/o Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, 572 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747. (If paying by check, please also send an email confirmation to Kathy Eiseman at A REGISTRATION link can also be found on

Apply for Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Grant by May 26th

The Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning has released the new set of guidelines for Round 15 of their Downtown Revitalization Grant Program.  The grant will be made available for downtown and downtown-adjacent capital improvement projects.

Guidelines include:

  • Projects must be downtown or downtown-adjacent
  • Projects must be a capital improvement plan and funding must be at least $10,000
  • Applications must be submitted by a Chamber of Commerce or comparable organization, or a civic beautification organization in partnership with a municipality
  • Projects must be located on municipally owned property
  • Applicants must be partnered with a municipality in Suffolk County and include a government resolution
  • Projects must comply with SEQRA

You can review the guidelines in full as well as the scoring system here.  A sample resolution and the full Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizens Panel for 2017 is also available at the link.  Questions concerning applications and eligibility can be forwarded to Heidi Kowalchyk at 631-853-5925 or by e-mail at

Applications must be received by 4:30 pm on Friday, May 26, 2017 by the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning.

Technical Assistance Grants for Affordable Solar Projects Available

NY-Sun is now accepting applications for the Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance program. This new funding opportunity supports the development of solar projects for multifamily affordable housing and community solar projects serving low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, with up to $200,000 for each approved proposal.

Many LMI households are unable to access benefits from conventional residential solar installations. To help expand access to solar benefits for LMI households, NYSERDA is seeking proposals for projects leading to:

  • The implementation and operation of solar installations for multifamily affordable housing buildings
  • Shared solar (community distributed generation) installations that will provide the benefits of solar to LMI households

Projects related to on-site solar installations for owner-occupied houses are not eligible for funding through this solicitation. However, NY-Sun provides support to LMI homeowners through the Affordable Solar Program.

Applications may be submitted by local governments, affordable housing, community organizations and service providers working to make solar accessible to LMI communities in New York. NY-Sun will accept and review applications on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted. Visit the program webpage for more details and the application.

If you have questions about the solicitation, please email

Help Wanted

Full-Time Case Manager Wanted in Amityville

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH) is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Case Manager (CES) for their main office in Amityville. 

This position requires an ability to understand policies and regulations; work with clients and the LICH Coordinated Entry Team to gather required documentation; manage record keeping and reporting duties; utilize Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Bilingual (English/Spanish) strongly preferred. A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a Social Work or a related human services field plus two years’ experience or a minimum of five years’ related experience in human services arena is required.

Local travel will be also required for this position.  Benefits after probationary period will be available. These include paid time off (vacation, holiday, sick, personal), medical insurance for the employee (premium paid by LICH), and Simple IRA plan (with employer match). LICH must conduct criminal background checks on candidates prior to offering employment for this position.

Interested parties should submit a resume and salary requirements via email to . You can learn more about LICH by heading here

Intern with Vision Long Island!

Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.

Happy Earth Day!

This Saturday, April 22nd, Long Island and people around the world will be celebrating Earth Day, a time to reflect on the precious resource that is our planet. There will be numerous activities across Long Island ranging from cleanups to outdoor recreation, some of which you can check out here. At the very least take the time to maybe go for a hike or visit your local parks or beaches and enjoy some of what the outdoors has to offer this weekend!

Smart Talk

Chris Kyle, Communications Director

Newsletter Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

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.

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