April 24 - 30th, 2016
Albanese and Albanese
Albanese & Albanese LLP is one of the region's preeminent full-service firms, providing its clients with specialized and diverse legal services. Their reputation for excellence derives from their commitment to deliver high quality legal services and individual attention while maintaining efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
“Our communities are paying a big price when people lose their homes. We must continue efforts to help homeowners and implement solutions that support local governments’ economic recovery.”
"Effectively, we need to build out a quality of life ecosystem that connects people, particularly young people, to the things that they want and need to be connected to without having to have to get into a car every single time... we can't build in a way that simply going to add more cars to the roadways... "
"You need the people after the 9 o’clock rush hour... By having housing here, you have people morning, noon and night. You have this whole new exciting hub here."
Standing Room Only at Hempstead IDA Hearing on Renaissance Downtowns Project
Vision Long Island was out in the Village of Hempstead before the Hempstead IDA in support of the first phase of the Renaissance Downtowns downtown redevelopment. Over 100 local residents were out in force to support the $2.5 billion investment to the Village that has been promised for decades but has remained undelivered. The broader plan will provide a 28% increase in the Village's economic base.
Starbucks Opens at Jefferson Plaza in Downtown Farmingdale
Vision was in downtown Farmingdale Thursday to celebrate the opening of a Starbucks in a mixed use building at Jefferson Plaza by the train station. Jefferson Plaza at Farmingdale Station is located diagonally across the street from the Farmingdale train station and is also one block away from Main Street in downtown Farmingdale.
Joining in the celebration was Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Eckstrand, Trustee Cheryl Parisi, developer Anthony Bartone, Starbucks principals and operators, the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, Nassau Legislator Rose Walker, Town of Oyster Bay Clerk Jim Altadonna and NYS Senator Michael Venditto along with many local residents.
This was not a housing story but a message that anchor tenants like Starbucks can help make the retail thrive on Main Street and in TOD redevelopments. The housing brings built in customers for independent and chain retail which adds to the vitality of the downtown. Folks who choose to live downtown are of all ages not simply millennials but GenXrs and baby boomers. What they all agree on is a healthy mix of restaurants, bars and places like Starbucks are an amenity and help rejuvenate the downtown.
Developers and City Officials Plan Kickoff of Garvies Point Project
After more than 13 years, a $1 billion mixed-use project in Glen Cove will have a kickoff event next month, celebrating the opening of its welcoming center.
Suffolk County Executive Delivers State of the County Address
Vision was out this week to hear from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone delivering his 5th State of the County address in Hauppauge. The County Exec touched on the budget, pledging to not raise taxes more than the State imposed tax cap, provide reforms to transparency in the police department, public safety improvements with crime down 5%, savings from not building a jail, raising money for veterans through the Suffolk Marathon, initiatives to address the heroin crisis and the new hotline to combat illegal drugs.
DiNapoli Report Looks at Foreclosure Impact on Local Governments
A recent report from the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) showed that residential property foreclosures continue to pose a serious challenge for New York’s local governments, with New York having the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation. The report analyzed data up to the end of the third quarter of 2015.
1 in 21 home mortgages are in foreclosure in New York according to the report, with Long Island and the Hudson Valley leading the state in both the number of foreclosures and the biggest hit to their tax bases in the wake of the last reception. New filings continued to rise in many parts of the State, which is the fourth-slowest foreclosure process in the nation, making it difficult for the courts to make headway in reducing caseloads. DiNapoli’s report noted that some changes made to New York’s foreclosure process to help borrowers avoid foreclosure has drawn out the process, increasing costs for individuals and municipalities for the upkeep and enforcement of vacant abandoned properties that are not yet the property of the financial institution or new homeowner, which have come to be known as “zombie homes.” The mandatory settlement conferences instituted in New York in 2008 add 110 calendar days to the foreclosure process in downstate regions. In these cases, municipalities may end up with not only delinquent taxes, unpaid water and sewer bills, but homes that become safety hazards and require demolition. Increased costs to the municipalities also include indirect costs to communities, including increased policing, fire prevention and effects of a criminal element that has increased with the higher rate of foreclosures. “Our communities are paying a big price when people lose their homes,” DiNapoli said. “We must continue efforts to help homeowners and implement solutions that support local governments’ economic recovery.”
There is a little bit of good news, however. Thirteen mortgage companies which represent 70 percent of the New York mortgage market, have agreed to follow a set of “best practices” including inspecting, securing and maintaining zombie homes with delinquent first-lien mortgages. The banks are also supposed to report vacant and abandoned properties to a State registry that can be shared with local governments in order to help the municipalities identify lien holders and hold them accountable for zombie home maintenance. Also, in a recent report by CoreLogic, the Long Island foreclosure rate was down in February 0.64 percent compared to last year’s rate, the lowest rate since July 2010. This bring Long Island’s average one-tenth of one percent lower than the state average at the end of Q3 of 2015, but still about 4 times the national average. The highest rate of foreclosures that Long Island experienced was 7.09 percent in August of 2012.
Bellone Proposes Water Usage Fee to Combat Nitrogen Pollution
Vision was out in Yaphank this week to hear Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone outline his proposal for nitrogen reduction including a water fee that, if passed in the Suffolk Legislature and the NYS Legislature would be put before the voters in November as a referendum.
How the plan is presented to the public may make all the difference and the effort would benefit by a grassroots push that included local civic organizations, chambers of commerce and local municipalities. Initial questions that Vision has heard to date regarding the proposed plan include whether or not the proposal is a water, sewer tax, or a user fee; what is the positive or negative impact to the small business community; what local communities will benefit from the fund; is there a delineated project list for communities, Towns or the County that spells out the projects the fund will provide; how much of the fund will be spent on administration costs; can the fund be used for other purposes, and if not, what are the “lockbox” provisions to ensure that the collected funds are used only for the intended purpose in the proposal.
Vision is in support of infrastructure funds and financing for water and sewer improvements for communities that want to see these systems come online, and praises the County Executive for coming forward with a proposal.
You can check out some of the media coverage of the proposal from LIBN, News 12, FIOS1, CBS, and Newsday
USDOT Releases Final Truck Size and Weight Study
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration released its long-awaited Final Truck Size and Weight Report to Congress last week and concluded after more than two years of study by many of the nation's foremost truck size and weight experts that there should be no changes in current truck size and weight limits.
The study was to provide and compare data on accident frequency and evaluate the risk of crashes for vehicles over the federal size, evaluate infrastructure in states where oversized trucks are allowed, look into the cost and benefits of the impacts, and evaluate the frequency in violations of size and weight. The effect on public safety, fuel efficiency, the extent of likely diversion to arterial routes and environmental concerns were also undertaken. The DOT created a website to publically share information, including the ability to accept comments, and held four outreach sessions with stakeholders via internet or telephone.
The report ultimately concluded that there is not enough reliable data on which to base any increases in truck size or weight. While the report stresses the scarcity of data from which conclusions can be drawn and that no definitive results were produce, the study found certain points to support not allowing a policy change to allow changes in the current truck size and weight limits. The study did find that heavier trucks had alarmingly higher crash rates and out-of-service violation rates in the three states where the data was available; that longer double-trailer trucks have stopping distances 22 feet longer than today's twin-trailer configuration; and both heavier and longer trucks cause significant bridge stress, costing billions of dollars in immediate bridge strengthening or reinforcement. Sixty five percent of Long Island’s bridges are deemed either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient according to NYSDOT. The report also noted that with a shift to larger trucks, less vehicle miles would be travelled, and fuel costs and emissions would be lower. The study concluded also that “in many ways, this study produced more questions than it sought to answer. Another study effort, with more time and more money, would not at this point yield more reliable results.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently marked up its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill. While there were no amendments offered during committee, advocated in favor or not allowing increased truck weight and sizes are concerned that amendments may be offered on the Senate floor for heavier trucks, including 91,000-pound single-trailer trucks.
You can read the full report here
Car-less LI's First Annual Bike-to-Work Fashion Parade
Car-Less Long Island invites all to join for the First Annual Bike-to-Work Fashion Parade, in celebration of National Bike-to-Work Month.
Freeport Cares' 7th Annual Peace March
Freeport Cares, a collaboration of the Freeport Schools, the Village of Freeport and various community-based organizations invite all to attend the 7th Annual Peace March.
LI Business Council’s next meeting, Thursday, May 19th Featuring Bill Millett on Economic Benefits of Early Childhood Education
On Thursday, May 19th, from 8:00am to 10:00am, The Long Island Business Council will be holding a worksession at the East Farmingdale Fire Department, located at 930 Conklin Street in Farmingdale. The Long Island Business Council is a group of small business leaders who are dedicated to regulatory relief, tax and utility stabilization for the average small business owner in addition to infrastructure investment towards Long Island’s downtowns.
American Planning Association Hosts Annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast
The Long Island Section of the American Planning Association is hosting its annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast on May 20th. Details at: https://apalongisland.org/. This year’s event will focus on parking technology and innovation. Panelists will provide insight on the next generation of parking technology that is being implemented throughout the region. Several municipal officials from across Long Island will also share their experience with public/private parking solutions, smart meter technology, site design, regulatory tools and other ways that communities are tackling the issue of parking management. Vision Long Island Sustainability Director Elissa Kyle will be moderating the panel on Sustainable Parking and Management. AICP CM Credits have been requested.
When: May 20th, 2016, 8am – 12pm
Fair and Affordable Housing Land Use and Zoning Training
The Long Island Housing Partnership and St. Joseph’s College Institute for Attainable Homes will be presenting professional development training in Fair and Affordable Housing Land Use and Zoning of Friday, June 3rd from 9AM to 2PM. St, Joseph’s College is located at 155 West Roe Blvd. In Patchogue.
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Hosts Grand Opening Celebration
Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is pleased to announce their Grand Opening Celebration at their new facility in Amityville. Attendees can tour the newly renovated Community Resource Center and garden while learning about the different programs and services that are offered by organizations in the building. You can visit Long Island Coalition for the Homeless’ website by clicking here.
NYMTC Seeks Input on Regional Plan for Future Transportation Funding
New York Metropolitan Transportation Council will be hosting three Long Island community workshops for the public to share their ideas and comments on Plan 2045, which will guide the future use of federal transportation funding for the region.
Those that join the meeting will be able to share ideas to shape the plan, view and comment on proposed projects, proposals and studies, review the proposed regional goals and desired outcomes, and learn more about the vision of the Council.
You can learn more about the regional plan by clicking here
NYS Grant Opportunity for Local Municipalities
Vision Long Island wants to alert local municipalities and supporters of downtown redevelopment to this grant opportunity from NYS that is due in the coming weeks. Long Island has 60 downtown business districts with revitalization plans and over 40 that have been actively redeveloping their downtowns for many years. We want to be sure that all business districts have an opportunity to complete and review this appication in a timely fashion.
As part of the 2016 New York State Budget Governor Andrew M. Cuomo included The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The DRI will invest $10 million in one community in each of the ten regions across New York State that are ripe for development in order to transform them into vibrant communities where tomorrow’s workforce will want to live, work and raise their families. The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council has been asked to nominate one downtown in the Long Island region that is best positioned to take advantage of this DRI funding.
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council next meeting will be Monday, May 9, 2016 at Hofstra University, David S. Mack Student Center where a representative from the New York Department of State will be presenting on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and will take questions from the audience. Registration for this meeting can be found athttp://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/content/liredc-meeting-may-9-2016 .
Applications must be submitted electronically to LIREDC@esd.ny.gov<mailto:LIREDC@esd.ny.gov> by no later than Friday, May 20, 2016. For more information on the criteria or application, contact the local Empire State Development office at 631-435-0717 or your local assemblyman or senator.
Full-time COC Compliance Manager Position Available in Amityville
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Continuum of Care (COC) Compliance Manager in their main office located in Amityville. This position requires a strong ability to research and understand policies and regulations; strategic planning; compliance monitoring, training and coordination of multiple groups and activities.
Interested parties should submit a resume and salary requirements via email. For more information about this position, please click here. Please do not call Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.
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.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
For information, visit their website or call 516-439-5218
For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505
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Bow Tie Port Washington
For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300
Cold Spring Harbor
For information, visit their website or call 631-351-3250
Port Jefferson Historical Society
For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665
For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770
For information, visit their website or call 631-563-0186
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For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494
For information, visit their website.
Walkability Advocate Jeff Speck Simplifies Walkability Check List
What is the next urgent battle to be fought in the name of more walkable, livable streets and communities? So many things come to mind: the value of trees, the need for parallel parking to protect the sidewalk, the epidemic of unnecessary traffic signals, the mandate for truly buffered bike lanes. . . the list goes on. But what if there were one category that managed to include all the others?
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