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May 22nd - 28th, 2016

Ah, beach weather... at last.

Regional Updates

Zodiac Title Services

Zodiac Title Services LLC is a national title agent providing commercial and residential title insurance products and services to real estate and lending professionals. Known to their clients as Z title, they dedicate each day to being a best in class title insurance company delivering exceptional service to their clients and achieving trusted partner status with our customers and underwriters.

As an agent for the largest underwriters in the marketplace, they have the resources, knowledge and experience to work with investors, bankers, loan servicers and homeowners to meet deadlines and see that transactions close promptly and accurately. Their parent company, C-III Capital Partners LLC, is a leading real estate services company with principal offices in Irving, Texas and New York City. C-III Capital Partners is engaged in a broad range of activities, including principal investment, loan origination, fund management, realty brokerage services, and primary and special loan servicing.

“The bottom line is it will help restore 10 miles of bay area in Nassau County between Jones Inlet and Rockaway Inlet. That’s critical to storm protection and our economy. We’re all for it. It would be a huge win for everyone on the island that uses the beaches and the bays.” - Rob Weltner of Operation SPLASH speaking on Bay Park outflow pipe moving one step closer to fruition

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Please join us for the 15th Annual Long Island Smart Growth Awards Friday, June 10th 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.

These last few years has shown tremendous progress with over 12,000 units of transit oriented housing approved, over a billion dollars of Federal and State funds invested in our sewage treatment plants and nearly 60 communities working on varying placemaking principles of Smart Growth. 

We have received over 40 deserving nominations and the winners start with a Regional Leadership Award to Scott Rechler , Chairman and CEO or RXR Realty for his progress in and longstanding support of creating mixed use, downtown destinations on Long Island.  The groundbreaking for Garvies Point in Glen Cove is imminent and puts an exclamation point on his leadership. 

The project and organizational honorees have just been awarded and include Hon. Don Barbieri for walkability in New Hyde Park; Alma Realty Corp & the Village of Valley Stream for a mixed use project in Valley Stream; Conifer Realty & Town of Babylon for housing choices in Copiague; Patchogue Chamber of Commerce for “Live after Five” in Patchogue; Town of Islip & Greenview Properties for a Pedestrian Plaza in Bay Shore; LI Building Trades Council & LI Federation of Labor for job development; Lalezarian & Village of Mineola for two redevelopment projects in Mineola; Beechwood Organization & Village of East Rockaway for a waterfront TOD in East Rockaway; Bartone/Terwilliger & Village of Farmingdale for a TOD in Farmingdale, the Gitto Group & Village of Port Jefferson for a TOD in uptown Port Jefferson; and East End Arts and the Westbury Arts Council for creating a sense of place providing arts, music and culture in our downtowns. 

Our keynote speaker is NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.  Comptroller DiNapoli works with local municipalities to keep them financially healthy while he has been a fiscal watchdog and steward of New York State funds.  As a former Long Island Smart Growth Award winner and advocate for local communities up in Albany we look forward to his economic message. 

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

The Sponsorship levels for the event remain the same at $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and a lead sponsorship of $15,000 (only one). All sponsorships come with a table of ten tickets, banner display and logo display on all materials. Higher sponsorship levels include seats on dais at lunch, additional tables, video sponsors, journal ads etc.  Journal ads are also available as well.

Download registration forms here. For any questions please contact our offices at, 631-261-0242 or contact me directly 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!

Announcing our Keynote Speaker:

Hon. Thomas DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller

Congratulations to this year's Honorees:

Regional Leadership

Scott Rechler
President & CEO, RXR Realty


Hon. Don Barbieri
Village of New Hyde Park

Mix of Uses

Sun Valley Towers
Alma Corp. Realty & Village of Valley Stream

Housing Choices

Copiague Commons, Copiague
Conifer Realty & Town of Babylon

Citizen Participation

Alive After Five
Patchogue Chamber of Commerce

Sense of Place

East End Arts

Sense of Place

Westbury Arts Council

Sense of Place

Bay Shore Pedestrian Plaza
Town of Islip &
Greenview Properties

Compact Building Design

Mineola Village Green & One Third Ave
Lalezarian & Village of Mineola

Transit Oriented Development

Marina Pointe, East Rockaway
Beechwood Organization & Village of East Rockaway

Transit Oriented Development

Cornerstone, Farmingdale
Terwilliger & Bartone Properties & Village of Farmingdale

Transit Oriented Development

The Hills, Port Jefferson
Gitto Group & Village of Port Jefferson

Strengthening Existing Communities

Opportunities Long Island
LI Building Trades Council & LI Federation of Labor

Join eight to nine hundred business, community and government leaders. Consider sponsorship with levels at $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000. All sponsorship levels come with a table of ten tickets, banner display and logo display on all materials. Higher sponsorship levels include seats on dais at lunch, video sponsorships, journal ads, etc...


Sponsorships and Journal Ad Space are available! To RSVP or for more information, contact us at 631-261-0242 or

[ ] Platinum Sponsor ($15,000) [ ] Gold Sponsor ($10,000) [ ] Silver Sponsor ($5,000) [ ] Sponsor ($2,000) [ ] ___ seats ($125)
Ad size: [ ] Full page color (8” x 10.5”) ($1,000) [ ] Half page color (8” x 5.25”) ($500) [ ] Quarter page color (4” x 5.25”) ($250)
Method of Payment: [ ] Check enclosed [ ] Check sent (faxed replies only) [ ] Pay at the door [ ] Credit Card 

Attendee Name(s): ____________________________________________________________________________________________


Address: ____________________________________________________City, State, Zip: ___________________________________

Email: _______________________________________ Phone: ____________________________ Fax: ________________________

Credit Card: [ ] Visa [ ] MasterCard [ ] American Express Name, as it appears on card: ____________________________________

Credit Card Number: __________________________________________________ Expiration Date: ___________________________

To RSVP or for more information please contact 631-261-0242, or fax 631-754-4452.

Nassau County’s Pipe Dream Closer to Becoming Reality

Nassau County’s “pipe dream” of diverting to the ocean rather than Reynold’s Channel continues to flow, with the possibility of pumping treated sewage from the newly reconstructed Bay Park sewage treatment plant through a six foot pipe in an aqueduct built in 1908. “This will save the Western Bays,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Unequivocally, without a doubt. It’s the best environmental news we’ve gotten in two decades.”

The Bay Park plant has been sending treated sewage out of a cement pipe since the 1940’s into Reynold’s Channel just north of the Long Beach fishing pier. Increased nitrogen in the bays has led to degradation of coastal wetlands which help protect against storm surge.

The new proposal is estimated to cost far less than the projected $450-600 million for an outfall pipe directly from Bay Park to stretch 2 ½ miles into the Atlantic Ocean by utilizing 10 miles of county-owned aqueduct that runs under Sunrise Highway. The aqueduct used to send water to Brooklyn from Hempstead Lake and manmade ponds along Sunrise Highway. Taken out of service in 1966, the pipe has not been inspected in 45 years; however requests for proposals are about to go out to hire a firm to check the structural integrity of the pipe.  “A feasibility study will determine if existing infrastructure can support a connection to Cedar Creek ocean outfall pipe,” said County Executive Ed Mangano during a news conference in Mineola late last week. “To strengthen our shoreline, protect our marine life and improve our environment for decades to come, it’s critically important to connect Bay Park to an ocean outfall pipe.”

The new proposal would have a smaller pipe laid inside of the existing pipe, with two connecting pipes of about two miles each being built between the aqueduct and the two plants. The Bay Park plant, which will be undergoing further upgrades for denitrification of treated sewage, will continue to ship treated effluent through the pipes to Cedar Creek. Both Cedar Creek and Bay Park’s effluent would then be sent through the existing outfall pipe three miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Two pumps, one at Bay Park and one at Cedar Creek, would push the treated wastewater through to Cedar Creek. The feasibility study will see if additional pump stations would be required.

Cedar Creek’s outfall pipe can handle a maximum flow of 200 million gallons per day. The Bay Park flow would bring the total at Cedar Creek’s outfall pipe to between 100 and 140 million gallons a day according to County Executive Mangano and Michael Martino of Suez Water, well below the capacity of the outfall pipe. “The bottom line is it will help restore 10 miles of bay area in Nassau County between Jones Inlet and Rockaway Inlet. That’s critical to storm protection and our economy,” said Rob Weltner of Operation SPLASH. “We’re all for it. It would be a huge win for everyone on the island that uses the beaches and the bays.”

Some were more cautiously optimistic of the plan, which has an estimated price tag of $200-$300 million. “I don’t think it should be done haphazardly,” said Claudia Borecky of North Merrick. “If [the pipe] leaks underneath Sunrise Highway, that could be disastrous.”

At the same time, Borecky wondered about Long Beach’s sewage treatment plant, which was included in earlier plans to construct an outflow from the Bay Park plant across the Long Beach barrier island. “I think you need to look at the whole picture when you do this,” she said, quickly adding that the county’s plan “looks like it’s going to cut the nitrogen.”

You can read more about the proposal in the LI Herald and in Newsday

Third Track Proposal Raises Questions at Initial  Public Meetings

Vision board, staff and community partners were out in support at 5 of the public scoping sessions over the last 2 days listening to the feedback on the proposed Third Track.

While there were largely local opponents and regional supporters of the concept the main issue that was raised was the lack of information to comment on. Local officials urged the MTA to delay the third track hearings until there is more information. Regardless there will need to be another round of scoping meetings for the public to weigh in on an actual proposal. Despite the lack of information local residents raised some excellent questions for study among them: 

1) Questions related to the need for the project included: Is the expansion for freight, reverse commute, east side access, safety, or standard system improvements? What are the studies that assess the need? NYMTC, FTA and academic groups like RPA all have plans for expanded freight rail - where does this project fit in with the myriad of those regional plans?

2) Questions related to the economic, physical and environmental impact to the local communities included: Are they studying the economic impacts to the host communities along the line? What are the impacts from construction to the local business districts and residents? How long will construction take for each phase of the project? How are traffic patterns impacted throughout the duration of the project? What is the impact to existing rail service and for how many years? What are the noise, environmental and other physical impacts of the project?

3) Questions related to the benefits to local communities that bear the impact of this project included: What are economic benefits if any? What are the environmental benefits if any? What are the ridership improvements if any? Are there any public benefits to the host communities? Grade crossings have been proposed - are there others?

A coalition of Village Mayors from Bellerose, Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Garden City, Stewart Manor, Mineola and Westbury made a statement that praised the Governor for direct contact and follow up to their concerns but had questions and reservations on the project. Some of their recommendations included moving the grade crossings forward on their own merit, electrify the Port Jefferson branch, complete the Second Track to Ronkonkoma, upgrade switches, implement hi-speed signaling and switches and complete East Side Access before you move forward with the third track.

Labor unions were also out in force, including the Laborers and Carpenters and the LI Federation of Labor who clearly and understandably want the jobs associated with this proposal. Folks like the LI Railroad Commuters Council who want to see system improvements throughout the service territory spoke out.

Select outside regional interests also attended the sessions and championed the project as well: Planners from Suffolk County weighed in with ideas - farmers from the North Fork talked about freight rail improvements - the Rauch Foundation talked about brain drain etc. Some of the unfortunate marketing in the run up to the hearings included a claim that the folks opposed in the host communities will be "mildly inconvenienced" and encouraging leaders from non-impacted communities to turn out and essentially drown out, minimize and divide local voices. This strategy, where it was employed, is sad and ineffective at best and counterproductive to unity and a project approval at worst.

NYS Senator Jack M. Martins stated the process at this point: "Without facts, without details, without accurate data, how do we expect communities to be able to not only pose the questions, but provide the comments necessary to have a proper scoping review and environmental impact study?"

To be clear Vision Long Island testified in support of a Third Track but a plan that is negotiated with the communities most impacted from the construction project not the interests of folks outside (including Vision).

All told it appeared that close to 1000 people attended the six sessions with about 60% opposed and 40% in favor. The formal organized speakers may have been more in a 50-50 balance. The level of opposition is down from the past proposal in 2006-7 that had over 1000 people at some of the meetings.

Long Island Business Council tackles Storm Resiliency and Early Childhood Education

On Thursday, May 19th, the Long Island Business Council met to discuss disaster prevention in the form of ocean gates for Nassau County as well as the importance for business of early childhood education.

The meeting began with updates from Julie Marchesella of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce on the proposed parking fees in the Town of Hempstead.  Next, Gina Colleti from the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers spoke on the topic of raising minimum wage in the County and local business’ opposition to it.  Finally, Robert Fonti, Suffolk County Co-chair of the Long Island Business Council, spoke on an initiative being spearheaded by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, who will hold a small business summit to encourage communication with local government.

After the updates, the first presentation was by Freeport Village Mayor Robert Kennedy.  Mayor Kennedy spoke on Freeport’s recent move to offer better resiliency against flooding and storm damage.  The plan includes a $3 million feasibility study, which will be paid for with both local, state, and federal money, on the possibility of a rebuilding barrier islands and installing ocean gates.  These gates, which would be installed at Jones and Debs inlets, would be closed for several hours during high tide each date to help eliminate nuisance flooding as well as during devastating storms.  Mayor Kennedy pointed out that these gates have been in use with great success in places across America and in the Netherlands.  He closed by emphasizing the need for the gates as a way to protect Nassau from future devastation and noting that modern gates have the potential for a 100 year lifespan.

Next up, Freeport Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez introduced Bill Millet from Scope View Strategies to speak on the importance of quality early-age learning and how it can improve business.  To begin, Mr. Millet drew a direct line from our education levels as a country to our ability to compete on a global level.  Countries with lower education levels trend downwards with their ability to innovate and market.  By providing support and early learning in both the home and childcare settings, we can improve the education levels of an entire generation.  He noted that within the first five years of life, children’s capacity for learning and education grows exponentially, and that higher education both raises quality of life while lowering criminal activity in kids.

In order to help combat this, Mr. Millet spoke on the need for small business to get involved and engage the issue to provide adequate educational infrastructure for all children in our region.  As a final point Mr. Millet spoke on how education improves business as a whole by providing more educated workforce who can provide greater resources for business and higher income for themselves.  Numerous members of the Business Council signed up for a task force to assist working on this issue. 

Stay tuned for the next meeting of the Long Island Business Council in September.

Bills Direct MTA Payroll Tax Funds for Local Transportation Needs

Vision joined various community organizations including SILO and FREE in Albany this week in support of NYS Assemblyman Phil Ramos and NYS Senator Jack Martins’ bills to reallocated funds from the MTA Payroll Tax to reinvest in local transportation service.

Since 2009, the MTA Payroll Tax has imposed a 0.34% tax on employers within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD). To date, the counties included in the district: 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. Thanks to the efforts of suburban delegation, the tax was dramatically reduced in 2011 to the benefit of suburban communities.

Communities outside New York City pay the MTA Payroll Tax, which results in far more money coming out of these counties than benefits received. Simultaneously, the needs of local residents have been increasing as the result of more intra-county travel and a regional shift towards transit oriented developments where downtowns are being redeveloped in an effort to spur economic development and much needed job growth. The systems also provide transportation to the most vulnerable members of our society who are wholly reliant on these systems for transportation to health care and other vital services.

In addition to the MTA Payroll Tax, suburban taxpayers support the regional transit system by funding local transit operations which connect passengers to MTA bus, rail and subway stops. This is in addition to other surcharges which support the MTA system, including MTA Commuter Transportation, District Taxicab and Hail Vehicles Rides, MTA Auto Rentals, and MTA Corporate Surcharges in addition to bearing the costs of local transit systems that support the regional transit network.

Some quotes from the press conference include: 

"The MTA Payroll tax is taxation without representation. It goes against our principles. This is not republican or democrat issue - this is an issue for the people of LI." - NYS Assemblyman, Phil Ramos

"We need more public transportation throughout LI. The MTA Payroll tax is one of the best no votes I made in the NYS legislature." - NYS Assemblyman, Fred Theile

"It's time for Albany to recognize that we have our own special needs and it's time to get our fair share of transportation dollars." - NYS Assemblyman, Andrew Raia

"The MTA tax is a injustice to LI.  We give $350 million to the MTA and get very little back in the way of services." - Suffolk Legislator, Bridget Fleming

"Share the funds , share the money to help address the critical funds local communities need." - NYS Assemblyman, Nick Perry

"This bill will help create transportation infrastructure around our railroad stations." - NYS Assemblywoman, Kimberly Jean Perrie

"We all calling for road improvements. It's only right that we receive our fair share or transportation funding." - NYS Assemblywoman, Michaele Solages

The Assembly version of the bill to bring the resources from the tax to help the needs of local communities carries 8 co-sponsors, with both bills currently in their respective committees.

Two Neighboring Hamlets Work to Sewer Downtowns

With a large swath of Suffolk County not being connected to sewers, many homes and businesses have the desire but not the financial ability to receive the upgrades, including neighboring Kings Park and Smithtown, who both are in proximity of Suffolk County Sewer District 6.

An 8 year old engineering study conducted by Cameron Engineering had called for Kings Park and Smithtown to share one sewer system, Sewer District 6, by connecting to the already established wastewater treatment facility. The problem is that connecting both downtowns to the existing plant, which had a $17.1 million upgrade to improve the quality of its discharge in 2009, would limit sewer capacity for each downtown. “Under that plan Kings Park gets the short end of the stick,” said Linda Henninger, of Kings Park Civic Association and an active participant in the ongoing revitalization planning for Kings Park’s downtown. Henninger would like to see each hamlet have its own plant. “It would be better for Smithtown to have their own system so they could have more of Main Street sewered.” Smithtown ‘s Planning Director agrees with that idea; separate systems would enable a higher capacity for each downtown, with Smithtown’s business district being three times the size of King Park’s.

All options are still on the table, with designs being drawn up for independent systems for each downtown. Suffolk County will then have to decide which option would be the one to move ahead. “Once design is completed then we’ll have to make those decisions,” said Deputy County Executive for Administration Peter Scully, the county’s water quality czar. According to Scully, Sewer District 6 could handle the flows from a redeveloped Kings Park downtown and would not have to be expanded to do so.

The cost to build a system and connect it to properties along Kings Park’s Main Street would be between $17 million and $20 million, with those within the newly-created sewer district responsible for construction and maintenance costs. The more funding that would be made available through grants, the less the overall out of pocket and annual costs to those that utilize the new plant.  It would cost an additional $35 million to $40 million to hook up the No. 6 plant to properties in downtown Smithtown, with the price to build a separate sewer plant there about $15 million more. Building a separate wastewater plan there would not take away from the capacity at Sewer District 6 away from Kings Park, and allow for more other the Smithtown area to be connected to sewers.

Some in Smithtown, including Cris Damianos, who’s firm owns about 250,000 square feet of office buildings in the downtown, would like to see the separate sewer system there. “The health department wastewater standards are more restrictive than the town’s zoning,” Damianos said. “Reliance on cesspools limits what you can build on a piece of property. If we don’t build sewers the downtowns are going to die.”

The hardest part, of course, is how to fund any of the potential projects, with a planned November referendum on a Water Quality Protection Fee that would add a surcharge of $1 per 1000 gallons of water used and raise nearly $75 million annually for various sewage treatment systems. The cost to sewer all of Suffolk County’s 360,000 properties currently using cesspools would be $6 billion. Kings Park’s sewer design is nearly complete, and does not want to have downtown revitalization plans postponed or scrapped if the referendum does not get passed. “The burden shouldn’t just be on the county,” said Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island, which is wrapping up its visioning work on the Kings Park revitalization effort. “New York State has set aside infrastructure funding for Long Island in their most recent budgets and there’s a potential to bring those resources to Kings Park and Smithtown.”

You can read more about the work of two neighboring hamlet’s sewering needs in LIBN.

Town of Hempstead Proposes Parking Fees for New and Expanding Businesses

The Town of Hempstead held a public hearing this week, hoping to pass a new local law requiring new businesses and some expanding businesses to pay a fee for parking spaces.

The proposed change would have had new or expanding businesses that require additional parking spaces above what is allowable by code to be paid for with a fee, with $3,000 per additional space over 5 spaces that would be required by the town’s Board of Appeals. So, for example, if a new or expanding business sought a parking variance for 30 spaces, the property owner would be required to pay a $75,000 fee if the business was in the town’s Places of Public Assembly category, which would include restaurants, theaters, bars, and a variety of other uses. Councilman Edward Ambrosino felt that the new fees would be a benefit, with the money collected being used towards the town’s municipal parking needs, noting that if the town “had more parking we wouldn’t have to do this.” Ambrosino felt that since the property owners of the new or improved properties would know the cost of the additional parking needs upfront, that it could be rolled into the overall cost, saying that “it’s not that exorbitant.”

Many were opposed to the measure, including property owners, business groups, and advocates, who felt that the action will only create a ripple effect of higher rents which will be passed to consumers, while slowing down revitalization efforts underway and upcoming. “It’s not good for a commercial property owner who owns property in downtowns,” said Julie Marchesella, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. “This is going to be a deal breaker for new development. It will severely hamper downtown areas that are undergoing revitalizations in the Town of Hempstead.”

Jeffrey Pliskin, a principal of Garden City-based Pliskin Realty & Development, which owns and manages 1.5 million square feet of retail real estate in the New York area, including some in Hempstead Town, said real estate taxes in Nassau County are already “crushing” business and he’s against the new fees.  “What’s the logic behind it?” said Pliskin. “The town’s going to end up making less money because there will be less leasing and more blight. The consumer will end up paying for it.”

Vision is also opposed to the move as written. “In a Town as large as Hempstead impact fees of this type, no matter how well intended, have unintended consequences for the diverse business districts they seek to manage,” said Vision’s Director Eric Alexander. “Other strategies could include localized parking management plans, shared parking, signage, munimeters, and very selective impact fees. Many Villages and Main Streets across Long Island have employed some or all of these approaches; and while there is never an easy answer, the economic hit on local businesses is mitigated”.

The proposed local law was postponed until an upcoming meeting. You can read more about the proposed ordinance in LIBN.

USDOT Announces 7 Finalists for $40 Smart Cities Grant

Seven finalists have been selected for the United States Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge for medium-cities.

The USDOT has pledged up to $40 million to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City” and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies- self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors- into their transportation network in order to showcase how the integration can improve safety, enhance mobility, and address climate change. USDOT’s Beyond Traffic 2045: Trends and Choices study examined the long-term and emerging trends in the nation’s transportation system and the implications of those trends, analyzing how people move, how we move things, how to move it better, and how to adapt. While USDOT acknowledged that cities of all sizes will be impacted by changing trends, the goal was to implement and fund a program in a medium-sized city as they have the newest and fastest-growing urban areas that will soon be facing the same challenges that large cities face, and to address the challenges now, before conditions get worse.

Twelve elements were judged regarding technology elements, innovative approaches to urban transportation, and underlying Smart City elements such as architecture standards and smart land use. To qualify for a chance to obtain the $40 million award, the population would be between 200,000 and 850,000 people with dense urban population, an existing public transportation system, and a commitment to integrating transportation services within the sharing economy- as well as other factors. Funding would be broken up over three years.

The cities of Pittsburgh (PA), Columbus (OH), Austin (TX), Denver (CO), San Francisco (CA), Portland (OR) and Kansas City (MO) all were visited by USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx last week to meet with mayors and other local leaders as they worked to complete their final proposals.” The creativity and determination of the applicants to envision a greener future represents the best of American ingenuity,” said Barbara Bennett, President and COO of Vulcan, Inc., Smart City Challenges philanthropic partner. The seven finalists came from 78 applications for the Smart Cities Challenge, and  300 companies have expressed interest in partnering.

The winner of the $40 million grant will be announced in June. You can read the seven finalists’ Vision Statements here, and also check out representatives of the City of Columbus talking about the grant process and some of their plans here.

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.

Topics such as fair housing requirements, affordable housing planning, zoning, land use and design techniques, affordable housing financing and community economic benefits will be covered. As part of St. Joseph’s Center for Community Solutions, the Institute of Attainable Homes aims to support the growth of sustainable communities through intentional development and revitalization of homes, neighborhoods and communities in order to meet the needs of new residents, and ensure access to a good quality of life for all Long Islanders.

Cost for the training is only $25, and includes breakfast and lunch. To register, click here. For more information, contact Kara Felton at (631) 687-2402, or Sharon Mullon, D. Min., from the Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc. at (631) 435-4710, ext. 329.

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.

More details will be coming, so be sure to save the date! Thursday, June 16th from 6pm-9pm at 600 Albany Avenue, Amityville. $50 per person includes a casual, barbeque-style dinner.

The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Awarding $1.5 million

The Aetna Foundation, American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties will be partnering in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, which will be administered by CEOs for Cities.

The goal of the Healthy Cities and Counties will be to promote healthy behaviors; focus on community safety; provide abundant space where people can work, live and play; enable people to have enjoyable social experiences and ample work; and promote environments that are clear of pollutants and provide communities with access to healthy food and clean water.

A total of $1.5 million in prizes will be awarded to cities, counties and federally recognized tribes that are most able to show measurable changes in health and wellness over the next several years. Applications are due by May 31st.

Help Wanted

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?



Bow Tie Grand Avenue

1841 Grand Avenue, Baldwin


Bellmore Movies

222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore


Freeport Historical Museum

350 S Main Street, Freeport
Housed in a Civil War cottage, the museum chronicles Freeport's history through the 20th century. On display are a spinning wheel from the town’s oldest house, vaudeville-era items, waterfront memorabilia, a 1930s television and a 1777 13-star flag. The museum holds a collection of historic postcards and high school yearbooks from the early 1900s to present day.
Open Sundays 2PM-5PM.
For information, visit their website or call 516-623-9632

Garden City

The Garden City Historical Society

109 Eleventh Street, Garden City
Founded in 1975, The Garden City Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the historic character and ambiance of the Village of Garden City, and educating its members and the public in preservation and history related matters. The Society owns and operates The Garden City Historical Society Museum at 109 Eleventh Street, an original 1872 A.T. Stewart-era “Apostle House” listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which was deeded to the Society by the Episcopal Diocese. The Society maintains an Archive of over 1,200 artifacts and a Historic Structure Survey of pre-1935 residential and non-residential structures in the Village of Garden City. It offers periodic lectures and presentations, and publishes a newsletter. The Society’s A. T. Stewart Exchange (consignment shop) on the lower level of the Museum offers unique items for sale. The shop (516-746-8900) is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays (Tuesday is senior citizen discount day) and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

For information, visit their website.

Glen Cove

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve

50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove
The museum is a center for research on Long Island geology, Native American archeology and natural history. Current exhibits feature, “The Seasonal Round”, an exploration through Long Island Native American life throughout the seasons. Exhibits on Long Island’s glacial formation, landform change and cultural evolution are on display. Prehistoric artifacts and audio descriptions add to the story of Long Island migrants, their lifestyles and interactions with newcomers such as Europeans. The museum has special educational programs to accommodate field trips and science research on the history of Long Island.

Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
To arrange a visit, call 516-571-8011 and for information and brochures, visit their website

glen cove
Glen Cove Theatres

5 School Street, Glen Cove

Great Neck

Palace Galleries

117 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck
The museum features highly distinctive collections of antiques, artworks and fine furnishings from around the world. It is a premier art dealer dating back to 1971 and features expertise in 17th to 19th century works. The gallery experience offers the opportunity to not only view fine art but to purchase a piece which stands out.

For information, visit their website or call 516-439-5218

great neck
Clearview Squire Cinemas Great Neck

115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck


Hicksville-Gregory Museum

Intersection of Heitz Place and Bay Avenue, Hicksville
The museum includes a history of the Heitz Place Courthouse and a collection of earth science materials to describe the natural history of the area. It features one of the few remaining Long Island lock-ups and is one of the few remaining courthouses standing from before Nassau County split from Queens. The earth science exhibit in the museum has recent additions of a Mosasaur skull, prehistoric amber and the horn of a Triceratops horridus. The educational program at the museum offers experiences in paleontology, dynamic earth processes and investigating butterflies and moths.

For information, visit their website or call 516-822-7505

Long Beach

Long Beach Historical Museum

226 W. Penn Street, Long Beach
The museum, operated by the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society, is a classic Craftsman-style summer villa. The house built in 1909, features large stain glass windows which are a hallmark of classic Long Beach estates. The house and backyard are furnished with local artifacts, including an original broadwalk bench, photographs and archaeological findings. The garden features original stock rose bushes.

For information, visit their website.


Clearview Manhasset 3

430 Plandome Road, Manhasset

Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay Historical Society

20 Summit Street, Oyster Bay
The Earle-Wightman House built in 1720, gives a picture of life in Oyster Bay during the colonial period and its transition through the mid-20th Century. It features an 18th century garden, maintained by the North Country Garden Club, holds ornamental plantings as well as herbs used for cooking, medical purposes and fragrances. Exhibited are postcard, photograph, map and newspaper collections. Current exhibition, “Women Wearing History: The Force Behind Fashion”, details women’s influence on the textile and fashion industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

For information, visit their website or call 516-922-5032

Port Washington

Landmark on Main Street, the Jeanne Rimsky Theater
232 Main Street, Port Washington

Tickets and more information available here

Bow Tie Port Washington
116 Main Street, Port Washington

Rockville Centre

Museum of the Village of Rockville Centre-Phillips House

28 Hempstead Ave, Rockville Centre
The museum is a restored 19th century Victorian home which displays life in Rockville Centre in the 19th and 20th centuries. It features furnishings, antique kitchen tools, carpentry tools and clothing of the time period. The museum is considered one of the finest small museums in the state and there is never an entrance fee for special events or exhibits.

For information, visit their website or call 516-766-0300


Bow Tie Roslyn Theatre

20 Tower Place, Roslyn

Sea Cliff

Sea Cliff Village Museum

95 Tenth Avenue, Sea Cliff
The museum presents changing exhibits on the history and culture of Sea Cliff. It strives to raise community awareness by preserving artifacts, photographs and costumes relating to the unique historical background of the village. It contains 287 photos taken by Long Island postcard photographer, Henry Otto Korten. Currently exhibited, “Then and Now…” displays a range of artifacts and costumes over a 125 year span. Exhibits include the Connor Cottage, Victorian Kitchen, and a historical town diorama.

For information, visit their website or call 516-671-0090


Seaford Cinemas

3951 Merrick Road, Seaford


The Space at Westbury

250 Post Avenue, Westbury

Tickets and more information available here



140 Merrick Road, Amityville
Tickets and more information available here

Bay Shore

The YMCA Boulton Center
37 West Main Street, Bay Shore
Big Laughs in Bay Shore Comedy Night!
Tickets and more information available here

Cold Spring Harbor

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor
The museum explores the relationship between Long Islanders and the sea through. It details the history of the regional whaling industry, whale conservation and the history of Cold Spring Harbor as a maritime port. A new exhibit, “Sea Ink” explores tattoo art and its nautical origins. Exhibits featuring New York’s only fully-equipped 19th century whaleboat, ship logs and correspondence as well as whaling and maritime artifacts. Art programs are available for all ages.
For information, visit their website or call 631-367-3418

East Hampton

Guildhall, John Drew Theater
158 Main Street, East Hampton
Tickets and more information available here

East Hampton Historical Society

101 Main Street, East Hampton
The headquarters for the East Hampton Historical Society, the house is an example of life in the post-colonial era in the East End. It features historic furnishings and crafts built by local craftsmen of the time. The Historical Society also has four other museums and town houses including one of New York’s first educational academies and a colonial town government meeting house.

For information, visit their website or call 631-324-6850

East Islip

Islip Art Museum

50 Irish Lane, East Islip
The museum is the leading exhibition space for contemporary art on Long Island, featuring work from international, national and emerging local artists. It is said to be the best facility of its kind outside of Manhattan. Current exhibits feature “Print Up Ladies” which is a survey of contemporary works created by female artists, and “Inked” by Kathy Seff. The museum’s store features one of a kind jewelry, crafts and art work. Educational opportunists are also offered at the museum through its Cultural School of Arts.
For information, visit their website or call 631-224-5402

Huntington Village

The Paramount
370 New York Ave, Huntington
Phantogram w/ Son Little
Tickets and more information available here

Heckscher Museum

2 Prime Avenue, Huntington
Located in Hecksher Park, the museum features collections of European and American paintings which spans over 500 years of Western art. Photography has become a growing part of the collection as well.

For information, visit their website or call 631-351-3250

AMC Loews Theatres – Shore 8

37 Wall Street, Huntington

cinema arts centre
Cinema Arts Centre

423 Park Ave, Huntington

Islip Village

Islip Cinemas

410 West Main Street, Islip
Showtimes at Islip Cinemas


The John W. Engeman Theater
250 Main Street, Northport
The Producers


89 North
89 North Ocean Avenue East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts
71 East Main Street, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here.

The Emporium
9 Railroad Avenue, Patchogue
Tickets and more information available here

Plaza Cinema & Media Arts Center
20 Terry Street, Patchogue

Port Jefferson

Theatre Three
412 Main Street,
 Port Jefferson

Tickets and more information available here




Port Jefferson Historical Society
115 Prospect Avenue, Port Jefferson
The Mather House Museum, the headquarters of The Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson, and features several exhibitions of local artifacts. The museum complex features the 19th century home, a country store, a marine barn, a tool shed, the Spinney Clock Museum and the Thomas Jefferson Perennial Garden. Exhibitions feature ship models, period furniture and paintings, vintage tools and clothing, antique dolls, taped oral histories, 250 antique clocks and other examples of life in the 19th century.

For information, visit their website or call 631-473-2665


Suffolk Theater
Songs in the Attic w/ guests from The Billy Joel Band


Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
18 Peconic Avenue, Riverhead
Tickets and more information available here

Sag Harbor

Bay Street Theater
The Long Wharf, Sag Harbor
Tickets and more information available here

Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum

Main and Garden Streets, Sag Harbor
The museum details Sag Harbor’s whaling industry through the 19th century and its impact on the culture and development of the area. It details how the whaling industry brought migrants from all over the globe and turned the port into an international destination. Artifacts left by whalers, antique tools, harpoons, captains’ portraits, antique furnishings and children’s toys are all on display at the museum.

For information, visit their website or call 631-725-0770


Sayville Historical Society

Edwards Street, Sayville
The museum is the headquarters to the Sayville Historical Society. The museum aims to foster historical spirit, encourage historical research and to preserve historical materials. The museum features products of both Sayville and other Suffolk localities. The Society holds 4 historic buildings, 1,500 items of clothing, 1,000 photographs, a map collection and numerous classic furnishings. Its collection is ly growing and tours of the Edward Homestead offer a view at the areconstanta through its history.

For information, visit their website or call 631-563-0186

Sayville Theatre

103 Railroad Avenue, Sayville


Smithtown Township Arts Council

660 Route 25A, St. James
The Council aims to enrich the township and surrounding area’s quality of life through celebrating and supporting the arts in everyday life. It is a goal to make art accessible to people of all backgrounds. It Mills Pond House is a valuable place in its preserved traditions as well as its evolving and unique influences. Current exhibit, “Winners Showcase” displays the artistic development and achievements of the region and nation. Classes in jewelry making, poster design, scrapbooking, pottery, drawing and several other skills and topics are available. The Council has also partnered with local downtown businesses to display local artists’ work.

For information, visit their website or call 631-862-6575


Southampton Historical Museum

17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton
The Southampton Historical Society was created to preserve the town’s history as well as history from the surrounding area. Its Rogers Mansion Museum features year round exhibits, a research center and education programs for children and adults. Current exhibit: Current exhibit: “If These Walls Could Talk: Meet the Families of the Rogers Mansion”.  Its research center allows for visitors to conduct research with a professional research assistant. Collections feature antique furnishings, a classic parlor room and dining hall and photographs of the 1938 historic hurricane.

For information, visit their website or call 631-268-2494

West Sayville

Long Island Maritime Museum

88 West Avenue, West Sayville
Featuring 14 acres with 9 historic buildings on the West Sayville waterfront, the museum preserves Long Island’s maritime history and heritage. It is committed to research, preservation and interpretation of the region’s nautical history and the relationship to Long Island’s natural history. The Elward Smith Library houses racing trophies and records of over 500 wrecks and groundings in the Long Island waters. The other buildings feature rotating exhibits of maps, photos, newspapers and personal accounts of maritime history. Also highlighted are boats and materials left behind by the US Life Saving Service.

For information, visit their website.

Good News:  Support for Downtown and TOD Projects at an all time high!

There was a confusing Newsday article about one case study that painted gloom and doom about our region’s future.  We are hopeful that what will soon get reported is what we are seeing at hearings across LI - that opposition to downtown projects is at an all-time low.

Challenges exist - there are still delays that occur with development on LI compared to other regions. We still need more rental units and downtown housing stock, which Vision has made part of our mission over the last 19 years to address. There are numerous regulatory hurdles and general anti-small business climate in NYS.

The good news is that numerous municipalities have approved downtown and Transit Oriented Development projects.   In a review of the project hearings over the last four years, here are the results:

63 project hearings in 35 communities; 
50 projects had more support than opposition and were approved;
1 had more support than opposition and is pending final approval;
7 had more opposition than support and were approved;
4 had more opposition than support and were denied or withdrawn; 
1 had more opposition than support and is pending final approval.

Vision board, staff and community partners have been represented at the above hearings and along with the public records, minutes and recorded votes can attest to the shift in support. 

What should also be clear to critics of the pace of change and local land use control is that the bulk of the downtown redevelopment projects underway are initialized and advancing - at the request of the community. There are roughly 100 downtown business districts on LI - 60 have community driven downtown plans and 40 of those are actively approving projects.  Granted there are still 40 business districts that have not shown any effort to revitalize and maybe that is why some folks are frustrated in some roundabout way.

Most folks now know not to call community and local business leaders, who appropriately question and influence their duly elected Villages and Town officials, names like NIMBYs. Dehumanizing real people does absolutely nothing to bridge the gap between pro redevelopment goals and real community concerns. In fact these types of approaches only widen a divide that still exists between regional interests and local communities.

What we have said for many years is the best way to advance change in local communities is to stop the regional critique and get off the sidelines, engage with a local civic, chamber or municipality which is happening in spades.  So let’s take a moment to thank the folks that are making our downtowns better you know you are deeply appreciated and making a huge difference in communities across Long Island as the results speak for themselves.

So heading into Memorial Day weekend we hope folks enjoy time with their families and friends at barbecue’s, parks, parades and other local activities that remind us why we love Long Island.

Vision Long Island would also like to wish you and your family a Happy Memorial Day!

Smart Talk

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

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

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

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

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