May 1st - 6th, 2016
Renaissance Downtowns is a nationally-renowned and exclusive leader in large-scale unified community-driven downtown revitalization.
Our success in securing $12 billion in downtown development agreements among several communities is centered on our Unified Development Approach (UDA). The UDA is a collaborative, public-private partnership-driven framework that brings together disparate groups of a community to collectively transform their downtown into a vibrant destination, adhering to the triple bottom line of being economically, socially and environmentally beneficial.
“For over a decade, $2 million in funds for the Town of North Hempstead have been under lock and key, guarded by federal bureaucracy. But now we have the means to unlock this money and FHWA and NYSDOT should allow the Town of North Hempstead to use these funds on local, critically-needed projects that are ready-to-go, like the revitalization of Port Washington’s Main Street. The bottomline is: these are the Town of North Hempstead’s dollars and they must remain the Town of North Hempstead’s to use on their projects. No ifs ands or buts about it.”
“The repurposing of federal transportation dollars for North Hempstead is essential to assist us in completing projects that benefit our residents and improve our infrastructure. The funding would also reduce the need for borrowing for the projects, and that’s great news for the Town and its taxpayers”
“I’m confident that, as in years past, generous Long Islanders will answer the call and leave food donations next to their mailboxes on Saturday, May 14. Every donation, no matter how small, helps Island Harvest serve our neighbors struggling with hunger.”
Construction Set to Begin on East Rockaway TOD Housing
The long-awaited construction of the new Marina Pointe East Rockaway is expected to begin in a few months, replacing the now demolished Davison Boatyard marina complex that was significantly damaged by Sandy. Marina Pointe will be awarded in June at the Long Island Smart Growth Awards.
“We are looking forward to Marina Pointe having a positive impact on the Village of East Rockaway,” said Beechwood’s Michael Dubb. “We are transforming an outdated and storm-ravaged boatyard and marina into waterfront homes. In addition to providing more housing options for Long Islanders of all ages, it benefits local businesses.” Six four-story buildings will go up by Jericho-based developer Beechwood Organization, offering 84 suites and villas within walking distance to the Long Island Railroad’s East Rockaway station. The units will be on the second floor up, allowing for parking on the ground level, which will also help make the development more resilient towards flooding, bringing the housing units above the flood plain. The site will also be grated to help with potential flooding issues.
Owners will have the option towards having private boating slips, and be within walking distance of local shops, beaches, and restaurants, and the Best Market that will be opening soon to replace Pathmark. The starting price for the units will be in the mid $400,000 range, with owners having the benefit of a maintenance-free lifestyle. The project’s traffic study conducted by the developers concluded that the new development would not have a negative impact to the area.
You can read more about the progress of the new development on Atlantic Avenue here
Groundbreaking on TOD Project in Downtown Copiague
This week marked the groundbreaking for a TOD project in downtown Copiague with developer Conifer Realty, the Town of Babylon, Suffolk County and the Copiague Chamber of Commerce. Copiague Commons, a 90 unit project, will provide housing options for Main Street and bring customers to local businesses.
The development will consist of apartments in two four story buildings that will rent for $1,193 to $1,850 and will be aiming to accomodate tenants earning between 60 and 100 percent of median income.
The development will be built on the site of a former commercial warehouse and is a short walk from the Copiague Long Island Rail Road station. This project is a direct result of Babylon's new zoning auimed at increasing density in downtowns. “Copiague needs an overhauling,” said Sharon Fattoruso, a resident for more than 30 years and president of the Copiague Chamber of Commerce, “This is a great day for Copiague.”Vision Long Island was out in support of the groundbreaking and Conifer Realty and the Town of Babylon will be honored for Copiague Commons at the LI Smart Growth Awards in June.
You can read more on this development at Newsday.
Initial Public Meetings to Consider Multi-Year Third Track Project
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced initial public meetings for the proposed Third Track project this week. The meetings, held over two days include expedited modifications to all train crossings along the project route, and the release of a new project scoping report, website and community center.
So far, a draft scoping document, which you can view here, has been released discussing options for crossing modifications and an outline of the environmental analysis. A website where the public can learn more about the project and provide input has also been launched at www.AModernLI.com . The MTA will also open a LIRR Expansion Project Information Center beginning May 6th on the south platform of the Mineola train station, where the scoping document can be reviewed and questions can be asked on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11am-7pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 7am to 3pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.
The resuscitation of the third track proposal was defeated 8 years ago due to poor planning, presentation and massive community opposition all along the rail line. Community meetings managed by local Mayors have been held recently and some of the feedback to date from the local residents and businesses has been:
1) To date there is no benefit to the community for this project; 2) They agree now that reverse commute is not a real demand; 3) They are opposed to increased freight; 4) They are opposed to eminent domain; 5) There are concerns of noise pollution and rail vibration; 6) The project will impede the flow of traffic through local communities; 7) They are concerned about reduced commuter parking;
Questions and concerns from a local meeting in New Hyde Park included:
1) Reduced access for traffic, cross streets and due to extended construction; 2) Lower property values; 3) Construction 24/7 including evenings; 4) Question to elevation; 5) There is already an increase in freight traffic now and they expect more to follow.
The good news is that there are some scheduled and should be many more public meetings to answer these questions and properly address the local concerns from the impacted communities.
What is plainly clear is that the folks engaged in this decision are high level NYS officials, agency staff the local municipalities and the community. For the project to be successful other intermediaries will not have much of a role.
Vision was and still is a supporter of the project but learned a few things along the way....among them: 1) the need for the third track needs to be outlined by independent sources along with the economic benefits for the region AND the local communities being impacted by the proposal; 2) clear and tangible public benefits to the communities who have to bear the burden of this project are needed; 3) outreach to the local municipalities, local businesses, residents and property owners needs to commence in a transparent fashion; 4) the economics of the MTA/LIRR needs to be more transparent so folks see how this project moves efficiently without the wasted dollars and delays that other projects have been plagued with (East Side Access, security cameras that don't work etc).
Schumer Urges $2 Million of Funding to Remain in North Hempstead
This week, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to unlock $2 million in previously secured federal transportation funding for the Town of North Hempstead, by repurposing an old unused earmark.
Over a decade ago in 2005, the Town of North Hempstead was awarded a $2 million earmark for a repaving project on Grand Boulevard, Westbury, however, the project was completed using other funding and so, the money was never spent. Until now, federal rules blocked the reuse of funds even if the project was no longer needed. However, a newly enacted Schumer-backed law in the Consolidated Appropriations Act now gives FHWA and NYSDOT the authority to repurpose any unspent money to newer projects nearby that are needed. “The repurposing of federal transportation dollars for North Hempstead is essential to assist us in completing projects that benefit our residents and improve our infrastructure. The funding would also reduce the need for borrowing for the projects, and that’s great news for the Town and its taxpayers,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.
Representative Kathleen Rice agrees that the funding should be reappropriated and used in North Hempstead. “Instead of letting this money continue to go unspent or seeing it diverted elsewhere, the Town of North Hempstead should be free to invest in other important local projects that are in need of funding right now, from upgrading roads in the Garden City Park Industrial Zone to completing the Hempstead Harbor Trail.” The Garden City Park design and engineering plan would cost $300,000, making the project shovel-ready and eligible for other funding. The Hempstead Harbor Trail project will cost $700,000, extending the trail to 2 miles.
Economic Growth in Philadelphia Assisted by Bike Infrastructure
The growth of multiple transportation modes, shared use of bikes and cars, and bicycle infrastructure have been driving real estate trends in urban areas, according to experts who participated in the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Meeting in Philadelphia this month.
“High-quality infrastructure is a key driver of real estate investment,” said moderator Edward T. McMahon, a ULI senior resident fellow. Improving the quality of public transit, roads and bridges, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure is the highest priority for addressing the nation’s estimated $2 trillion transportation infrastructure deficit. “The public’s willingness to pay for infrastructure is a top factor that will shape cities,” he said. “Funding and financing are seen as resting on cooperation.”
Significant progress has been made across the country in terms of the growth of multimodal systems, with 14 cities having heavy rail or subways, 28 having light rail, and bus rapid transit systems growing to be accepted in 36 cities. A third of all Americans now live in the nation’s top-ten-population cities, and 52 percent want to live in a place where they don’t have to rely on cars, Eldridge noted. Fewer vehicle trips are happening, and millennials, in particular, are choosing transportation modes besides driving, affecting how cities are being built. McMahon felt that more will bike as bicycle infrastructure becomes more advanced as 43 percent of all trips are less than three miles away.
Tours were also given in some of Philadelphia’s hottest neighborhoods in different stages of development, which is being driven to a great extent by the boom in the city’s millennial population, the largest increase seen in any major city since 2006. Historical destinations as well as redeveloping neighborhoods were visited, highlighting the area’s rich history, while allowing visitors to look into efforts to revitalize.
You can read more about the Spring Meeting, and a recent ULI report, Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier, by clicking 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.
Island Harvest and Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger May 14th
Island Harvest and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) are again joining forces for the 24th-annual Stamp Out Hunger campaign on Saturday, May 14, 2016, as part of the nation’s largest single-day food drive. Postal carriers throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties will collect nonperishable food items left by caring Long Islanders who want to be part of the solution in ending hunger in our communities. All food collected will benefit Island Harvest in providing supplemental food support to the more than 316,000 Long Islanders at risk of going hungry every day.
Participation in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive is simple. Residents are asked to leave nonperishable food items such as canned goods, pasta, rice, boxed juices and shelf-stable milk (please, no glass items) next to their mailboxes before regularly scheduled mail delivery on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The postal carriers will do the rest.
Last year, generous Long Islanders donated 346,000 pounds of food to the Stamp Out Hunger collection event, translating into 288,333 meals to assist food-insecure residents in Nassau and Suffolk. This year’s sponsoring partners of the NALC Stamp Out Hunger collection include Stop & Shop, and the United States Postal Service.
For more information about Stamp Out Hunger, click here.
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.
Breakfast will be available for attendees. As a member of the Long Island Business Council you can pre-register at any time, at no cost. The fee for non-members is $45.00.
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
Sustainable Living Film Series Presents- Live and Let Live
All are invited to join the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College and Open the Cages Alliance for a screening of the award-winning documentary Live and Let Live, part of the Sustainable Living Film Series.
Live and Let Live is a 2013 feature documentary examining our relationship with animals, the history of veganism and the ethical, environmental and health reasons that move people to go vegan.
Food scandals, climate change, lifestyle diseases and ethical concerns move more and more people to reconsider eating animals and animal products. From butcher to vegan chef, from factory farmer to farm sanctuary owner – Live and Let Live tells the stories of six individuals who decided to stop consuming animal products for different reasons and shows the impact the decision has had on our lives.
Vegan hor d'oeuvres will be served at 6PM, with the program beginning at 7:15PM on Thursday, May 26th at the Madison Theater at Molloy College Center, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre. Admission is free, with a $5 suggested donation at the door. You can check out the trailer here. For more information, please call (516) 323-4510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Support NYS Amendments to the “MTA Payroll Tax” provide needed local transportation funding
A constant struggle for communities on Long Island is the fight to have New York State bring back a portion of the MTA tax that employers are paying without receiving any local benefits.
Attached are two proposed companion amendments to the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax, also known as the “MTA Payroll Tax,” that have been introduced in Albany this year, Senate Bill #7294 introduced by Senator Martins (2015) and Bill #9725 introduced by Assemblyman Ramos and sponsored by Assembly members Solages and Thiele.
These changes to the existing MTA Payroll Tax structure would provide Long Island with significant new funding for vital transportation investments, helping to alleviate the burden of tight budgets on municipalities. To date, employers in the counties of New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), Queens, Nassau, Orange, Suffolk, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester, have contributed nearly $1.5 billion dollars to the MTA. Communities outside of New York City do not receive a proportionate benefit for the contribution paid by local employers.
The amendments call for using MTA Payroll Tax dollars to bring the downstate counties to a 50% local match of the operating costs of public transportation. This will address some of the existing inequity in Nassau and Suffolk without hurting the other counties. Both County Executives, as well as a large and growing number of local elected officials, employers, local chambers of commerce and residents strongly support this change.Please contact your New York State representative in the Senate and Assembly, urging them to support these amendments.
Applications Being Accepted for Housing Lottery in Melville
Applications are now being accepted for entry into a lottery for 1-,2-. and 3-bedroon Limited Equity Co-ops in Melville.
The newly constructed two- story townhome buildings are located on Ruland Road in Melville, NY. They will include one, two, and three bedroom units with a veteran’s preference, as well as mobility and hearing impaired units. The property is located in the highly ranked Half Hollow Hills Central School District with retail shops and transportation nearby. The project amenities in each unit include Energy Star appliances, central air systems, and accessible parking for tenants. The project also will include a tennis court, clubhouse, outdoor play area, and garden space.
To be eligible for Limited Equity Co-ops, all prospective owners’ incomes must be verified and certified by onsite housing staff. Monthly Maintenance ranges between $1106 and $2063 a month, with annual income ranges between $37,920 and $92,400.
Applications must be postmarked no later than May 20th, 2016, with the lottery being help early June 2016. For an application, you can click here, or call (516) 437-0900 x 20
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
USDA Announces Conservation Innovation Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications for their Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). The CIG focus for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 is Water Quality and Conservation Finance. The total amount of funding for the program will be up to $20 million.
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. CIG uses Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, American Indian Tribes, or individuals. Producers involved in CIG funded projects must be EQIP eligible. 10 percent of CIG funding will be set aside for projects benefitting historically underserved producers, farmers or ranchers who are military veterans, or organizations comprised of or representing these individuals.
Applications are due May 10th. For more information, click here.
Federal Transit Administration Announces Bus Grant Program
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now accepting applications for the grant funded Bus and Bus Facilities Program. A total of $211 million will be available for this year’s grant opportunity. Tribal, state, county, city and township governmental entities may apply.
The purpose of the Bus Program is to improve the condition of the nation’s public transportation bus fleets, expand transportation access to employment, educational, and healthcare facilities, and to improve mobility options in rural and urban areas throughout the country. In accordance with the statutory requirement that FTA must “consider the age and condition of buses, bus fleets, related equipment, and bus-related facilities”, FTA will prioritize projects that demonstrate how they will address significant repair and maintenance needs, improve the safety of transit systems, deploy connective projects that include advanced technologies to connect bus systems with other networks, and support the creation of ladders of opportunity.
Applications are due May 13th. For more information, click 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 at http://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.
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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
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For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032
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
For information, visit their website or call 631-862-6575
For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494
For information, visit their website.
Time to Shift from Regionalism to Local
As a movement, folks who support smart growth and downtown redevelopment on Long Island have been shifting away from regionalism for some time largely because consensus can be and is achieved on a local level. The public trusts their neighbors, small businesses, local mayor or municipality at higher levels than the divisiveness and chaos on the national level or other big governments, entities and interests. Downtowns are best planned and managed locally - not from afar.