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May 12th - 18th, 2018


Regional Updates

Certilman, Balin, Adler & Hyman

Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP strives to provide clients with excellent, responsive legal counsel. They deliver that service in a manner free of excessive legal actions and its related expense. The law firm works hard to fully protect their clients’ interests without incurring unwarranted costs. To accomplish this goal, their attorneys take a disciplined approach to each matter, carefully measuring client costs against associated risks and rewards.

“In terms of population growth and emergency response we have seen that the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company is handling about 60% more alarms than it did in 2005, yet we have the same transportation bottle neck that existed then. This discussion of adding a railroad crossing is not about servicing a new need to this community, it is about making up for a need that has gone unserved for far too many years already. In my opinion, the fact that we have been underserved for this many years should mitigate some of the discussion about the adding of new crossings. We aren’t asking for a crossing to add to an already adequately served area, we are asking for a crossing to bring the area closer to being adequately served.” - Chief Charles Voelger of the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company

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Please Join us for the
2018 Long Island Smart Growth Awards!

Please join us for the 17th Annual Long Island Smart Growth Awards Friday, June 8th from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club. This annual event will showcase the best in class of real people and projects that represent the transformation of our downtowns and investment in infrastructure for Long Island communities.

We have received over 45 deserving nominations and the winners start with Regional Leadership Awards to John Kominicki (Posthumously) and Denise Carter of Greenman Pedersen. The project and organizational honorees includeGeorgica Green and Town of Riverhead for Housing Choices as well as D&F Development and the Village of PatchogueNassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers  for Small Business; Village of Rockville Centre for Sense of Place; Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, Hicksville Community Council, and Town of Oyster Bay for Revitalizing Communities; Kings Park Civic Association and Kings Park Chamber of Commerce for Citizen Participation; Tritec Development and the Village of Port Jefferson for Strengthening Communities; Long Island Compostfor Environmental Leadership; NICE Bus for Transportation Choices; and the Governor's Office of Storm RecoveryCommunity Reconstruction Program for Infrastructure.

Sponsorship Packages and
Journal Ad Space is Available!

To RSVP or for more information, contact us at
631-261-0242 or info@visionlongisland.org

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE

The event is annually attended by a broad array of community, government and business leaders. Last year's luncheon featured over 900 guests so secure your spot now!  

You can register online here. For any questions please contact our offices at info@visionlongisland.org631-261-0242 or contact Eric Alexander at 631-804-9128.

Thanks again for your support and know that every dollar goes directly towards our collective efforts of downtown renewal and infrastructure investment across Long Island.   We look forward to seeing you in June!

Hearing for Additional LIRR Crossing in Mastic Held

Vision was out this week at Brookhaven Town Hall in support of an additional at grade LIRR crossing for the Mastics-Shirley area.

The Mastic Beach, Mastic, and Shirley area, known by many as the Tri-Hamlet community, has only 3 LIRR grade crossings for the peninsula.  While crossing renewal work was in progress last summer, motorists were only able to use the other two area crossings at Smith Road and Mastic Road. The Long Island Railroad has rejected the at-grade crossing proposal for years, citing safety concerns for vehicles that may be struck by trains, and policies coming from recommendations from the federal government to try to reduce some of the 200,000 at-grade crossings nationally.  It was noted that the three existing crossings have had no incidents of trains hitting cars in the past 5 years, and only two fatalities at two of the crossings since the 1980’s.

The hearing was conducted by the NYS DOT and heard by an Administrative Law Judge, after decades of requests for the additional crossing being denied by the LIRR. The additional crossing will provide economic developments benefits, reduce congestion on existing crossing routes, support resilience during emergencies and assist in reduction of transport times for patients to area hospitals. The need for an additional crossing has been featured most recently in the 2004 Montauk Highway Corridor Study & Land Use Plan for Mastic & Shirley, NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program for Shirley and the Mastics, and Mastic Beach Comprehensive Plan, as well as numerous other studies dating back to the 1980’s.

Chief Charles Voelger of the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company gave testimony regarding the need for the crossing to better serve residents, and some of the issues that are being faced.  “In terms of population growth and emergency response we have seen that the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company is handling about 60% more alarms than it did in 2005, yet we have the same transportation bottle neck that existed then,” said Voelger. “This discussion of adding a railroad crossing is not about servicing a new need to this community, it is about making up for a need that has gone unserved for far too many years already. In my opinion, the fact that we have been underserved for this many years should mitigate some of the discussion about the adding of new crossings. We aren’t asking for a crossing to add to an already adequately served area, we are asking for a crossing to bring the area closer to being adequately served.”

Also in attendance and in support of the added crossing were Chiefs of the Mastic Beach and Mastic Ambulance Companies, the Commissioner of the Mastic Beach Fire Department, The William Floyd Community Summit, Mastic-Shirley Chamber of Commerce, Pattersquask Creek Civic Association, Office of Congressman Lee Zeldin, NYS Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico, Chief Harry Wallace of the Unkechaug Tribe,  and former Mastic Beach Village Mayors Bill Biondi and Maura Spery.  Support by Assemblyman Dean Murray and Suffolk Legislator Rudy Sunderman were also read into the record.   Vision Long Island is in support of the grade crossing proposal which came out from the Montauk Highway project visioning and resulting plans.

A majority of those who spoke were in favor of an additional at-grade crossing, with a petition of 1149 people in favor of the crossing being submitted to the judge. Those who were opposed to the at grade crossing were residents on either Hawthorne or Madison, with concerns of decreased property values, increased traffic on their streets, and in the case of the Hawthorne resident, acquisition of her property.

The Administrative Law judge will render her decision whether or not to have the LIRR allow an at-grade crossing for the community within 90 days.

Port Jefferson Village continues its Uptown Revitalization

The Village of Port Jefferson held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a new parking lot to allow for 74 additional parking spaces in Port Jefferson.

The project will take place in three phases. Phase one of the Port Jefferson project will cost $85,000, which will be funded by grants from Suffolk County’s Jumpstart program as well as other financial options.  Port Jeff received $250,000 total from Jumpstart and has also applied for a grant for $500,000 from the Empire State Development Corporation.  The first phase will include the parking lot where the groundbreaking was held as well as sidewalk improvements leading from the train station to the recently opened The Hills apartment complex, which is a past Smart Growth Awards winner.

Phase two will renovate the parking lots located north, east, and south of the train station as well as provide for improvements to the pavement, lighting, and plaza entryway.  Phase three is the most ambitious of the project and will create “Station Street.”  This new, one-way road will provide access to the new renovated lots and should reduce congestion on Main Street while allowing easier access to train station lots.  It is hoped that these improvements will draw students from nearby Stony Brook University as well as other commuters to the area.  The increased traffic will also help to incentivize local businesses to invest in the area and reverse some of the decline on Main Street.

“The village is thrilled to partner with the county, Empire State Development and the Long Island Rail Road on improvements in upper Port to enhance pedestrian connectivity and safety, revitalize blighted commercial properties, and promote safe living and economic growth,” Mayor Margot Garant said.

You can read more here.

Developer Applies for Approval of 36 Apartments in Downtown Huntington

A Huntington developer is taking another shot at approval for 36 apartments along Main Street in downtown Huntington Village.

This marks the third time that 263-265 Main Corner LLC as applied for approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to get the project off the ground.  The proposal outlines 16,000 square feet of retail on the first floor (to be filled by current tenant Ann Taylor Loft), and around 17,000 square feet of apartments on the second and third floor.  There would be 36 total apartments evenly divided across the top two floors including 31 studios, 3 one-bedroom, and 2 two-bedroom apartments.

Town planners have deferred to the zoning board on this matter, which is considering a set of variances.  One of the holdups is the fact that such a project would require 153 parking spaces to meet town code.  One option for the developer is to request to utilize municipal parking to cover the parking requirements because the property is within 300 feet of the Elm Street Lot.

The Zoning Board of Approvals have yet to set a hearing date for the plan.

You can read more here.

North Hempstead Receives $300K in Brownfield Grants

The Town of North Hempstead has been awarded $300,000 in grants from the EPA that it will use to determine the contamination level in New Cassel.

The survey will look for petroleum as well as any other hazardous materials as it evaluates the site for future development.  This comes as part of the EPA’s brownfield program, which aims to provide assistance in helping to assess, safely clean up, and reuse contaminated properties.  The funds will be used on four phase I and four phase II environmental sites, which are still being determined.

“It will be a huge benefit to the community of New Cassel and the revitalization of the area,” said North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “Being able to conduct in-depth environmental studies and assessments is pivotal to attract both new residents and developers to fulfill the community’s vision for enhancing community facilities while creating a more attractive, walkable, and livable New Cassel.”

You can read more here.

Fresh Start for Nassau HUB

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has canceled previous agreements on the Nassau Coliseum property to allow a new RFP and more comprehensive vision to move forward. 

Curran said she hoped to bring mass transit, a major employer, housing, entertainment and retail to the Hub and has said she believes the county will be able to proceed with development of the site “without any litigation standing in the way of progress.” Nassau Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said he supported Curran’s decision to seek out other developers.  Town of Hempstead Majority Leader Erin King Sweeney has also stated her support for additional proposals at the site.

“The decision made today by the county executive proves she is focused on leading the way and bringing transformative development to the Hub,” Curran spokesman Mike Martino said to Newsday.

Vision, LIBI and many other local elected officials and community leaders were in support of this direction.

“Kudos to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for charting a new course on the Nassau HUB and allowing an RFP to move forward for a range of proposals for the site that reflect the current market. Looking forward to the next steps towards a real destination on this long delayed project.”  Eric Alexander, Director, Vision Long Island.

You can read more here and here, and two editorials on the possible future of the Hub here and here.

Long Island Affordable Housing gets $25.6M boost from New York State

NYS’s housing agency has awarded $25.6 million in funding for four affordable housing developments on Long Island.

The money is part of New York’s Homes and Community Renewal’s 2017 Unified Funding Application, which provides tax credits and low-interest loans for affordable housing developers.  The funds targeted for Long Island will go towards 239 affordable housing units located in four separate towns.

A Bay Shore development will receive $4.8 million to help create 75 senior apartments.  Port Jefferson Station will see a boost of $8.1 million for a 77 unit apartment complex, of which 45 will be used for homeless people.  $7 million will go towards a 37 unit affordable housing complex in East Hampton.  Finally, $5.7 million is earmarked for a 50 unit affordable apartment project in Greenport.

“This investment is a significant milestone in New York’s $20 billion housing and homelessness plan and a giant step forward in our efforts to increase access to homes for families, seniors and our most vulnerable men and women across the state,” Gov. Cuomo said in the statement. “These resources will help the region build affordable, stronger, better neighborhoods for our residents for generations to come.”

You can read more here.

Make Your Voice Heard on the Forge River Watershed Sewer Project

Vision attended the Forge River Watershead Sewer Project's Public Information Session this week at Mastic Fire Department. Nearly $200 million of federal money could be used towards the project, that will reduce nitrogen dumping in the Forge River.

Representivies were on hand to discuss the positive impact that sewering will have on the area, future plans for expansion, and costs that can be expected to be incurred in an upcoming referrendum.

Costs for Phase 1 & 2 of the project are expected at under $600 per property, showing a significant decrease from earlier esitmates. 

According to Suffolk representives, information provided should be available online before the public hearing regarding the project on May 22nd at 7pm at the Mastic Firehouse.

More information can be found here.

Peconic Crossing to Hold Lottery for Affordable Artist Housing, Applications Due by May 25th

The Peconic Crossing apartments in Riverhead, which is a past Smart Growth Award Winner, will be holding a lottery for their new artist’s housing this June.

Located on Main Street in downtown Riverhead, the apartments are a blend of energy-efficient one and two bedroom units.  Residents will also be able to utilize available gallery space in a move to promote the idea of Create-Collaborate-Live in a self-sustained artist community.  Preference will be given to artists for this reason, as well as victims of a Covered Storm such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, or Tropical Storm Lee.

The date for the lottery is scheduled for June 1st, 2018 at 10 am at Riverhead Town Hall.  Interested parties can submit a completed application before May 25th, with applications available at the Crossing’s website here.

Riverhead Holds Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival on May 27th

A Memorial Day Weekend tradition where families and friends enjoy the creative spirit together. Join all the artists, musicians, and lovers of the arts, young and old, who gather on the grounds of East End Arts and along the Peconic River for this day-long celebration of the arts, centering around the Street Painting Festival, fashioned after the Italian street painters "I Madonnari", a street chalk art form dating back to the 16th century, as well as activities and entertainment for everyone. Street painting squares sponsored by businesses, families, and individuals are used as a canvas for inspirations in chalk.

Admission is FREE!

The event will take place on Sunday, May 27th and will be located in Downtown Riverhead on East Main Street between Roanoke Avenue and East Avenue and on the grounds of East End Arts

Downtown vs. Out of Town Debate Sponsored by SMPS-LI on May 30th

Where do you stand? Industry experts on both sides of the conversation tackle the question by focusing on their own experiences and projects. They will discuss current developments and persuasively debate their perspective on the future of Long Island Development.  This robust conversation will challenge your ideologies and provide both pros and cons from each perspective of development. Experts will discuss their insights on what works on Long Island, challenges that developers face, what leads to opposition, funding, environmental sensitivities and how to solve key issues faced.

The event will feature a panel discussion with Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Anthony Bartone Managing Partner at Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, Joseph Deal Principal at New York Metro Region Bohler Engineering, Joshua Weinkranz, the President at Northern Region Kimco Realty, Brian Ferruggiari the Director of Public Affairs AVR Realty Company, and Jim Powers the Director of Operations and Business Development Bohler Engineering moderating.

The event will take place on May 30th, begins at 3:00 pm and is located at Carlyle at the Palace, 1600 Round Swamp Road, Plainview, NY 11803

You can find more information on speakers or register here.

NYS Launches Third Round of Downtown Revitalization Initiative

This week saw the launching of the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which is a $100 million investment in 10 downtowns across New York State each year.

The program enters its third year as an investment program aimed at investing in local economies in order to better create vibrant neighborhoods and raise quality of life across the state.  The program selects one community in each of the ten Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) zones to receive a $10 million grant.  Criteria for selecting nominees include:

• The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries;
• The municipality, or the downtown's catchment area, should be of sufficient size to support a vibrant, year-round downtown;
• The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas;
• There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable;
• The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, including existing residents, millennials and skilled workers;
• The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development;
• The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a DRI strategic investment plan; and
• The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.

The program has previously awarded both the Village of Westbury and downtown Hicksville a grant to help with revitalization efforts in those communities.  It is also a priority for the Long Island Lobby Coalition, who has supported funding for revitalization for years. 

Interested municipalities can get more information and apply through New York State’s DRI page, located here.  June 1st is the deadline for submissions.

Smart Growth Action Grants Available from National Association of Realtors

Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Smart Growth Action Grants support a wide range of land-use and transportation-related activities. These activities must support REALTOR® engagement in land-use and/or transportation-related community issues with the primary goal of affecting public policies that support development that meets one or more of the 10 Smart Growth Principles. The project should also raise the profile of REALTORS® as community leaders and enhance REALTOR® relationships with local elected officials. There are no program prerequisites to applying for or being awarded a Smart Growth Action Grant.

You can see the different types of grants available and how to apply here.

“Our nation spends more on jewelry and shoes than higher education.” - Kennedy Smith, Community Land Use + Economics Group

Smart Talk

Editor:
Eric Alexander, Director

Contributors:
Christopher Kyle, Communications 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 info@visionlongisland.org 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.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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