November 6th - November 12th, 2016
Harras, Bloom & Archer
Throughout the New York metropolitan area Long Island attorneys of Harras Bloom & Archer LLP handle a wide range of real estate law, real estate litigation, land use and zoning and business litigation matters.
There are many stages to any business and real estate endeavor, and each stage requires a thorough understanding and consideration for legal issues. Harras Bloom & Archer LLP handles matters from start to finish and can enter into the project at any stage, whether helping with initial planning of a project, addressing denied zoning grants, assessing the environmental impact of a project or litigating a dispute.- See more here.
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Kings Park Downtown Revitalization Visioning Plan Moves Forward
While other nearby downtowns like Northport and Smithtown have become centers for dining and entertainment, Kings Park has remained quiet with numerous vacancies along Main Street. The Kings Park Chamber of Commerce and Kings Park Civic Association, with the assistance of Vision Long Island, have come together in an effort to bring vitality back to downtown Kings Park.
The commercial area, the ‘downtown,’ which includes parts of Main Street, Pulaski Road, Indian Head Road and Meadow West, is the focus of this revitalization visioning, targeting the portions of the commercial district that are walkable to the train station and historic Main Street buildings. Connections from the downtown to area attractions and recreations facilities, employment centers, and transportation nodes are also part of the study area.
Almost 300 residents took part in the visioning process last month, bringing in residents, business leaders and other stakeholders to define what they would like to see in Kings Park in terms of land use, transportation, and identity. "For a plan to be successful, it requires input from everyone," said Anthony Tanzi, president of Kings Park Chamber of Commerce. "If everyone is vested in the process, it will garner a lot more community support." The breakout groups were tasked with defining their desires for land use, with some wanting mixed-use on in the business district with apartments above retail, with others suggesting repurposing the old Petro Oil storage site hosting apartments. The relocation of the Fire Department further east was also suggested by one group in order for a developer to allow for apartments at the present site. Parks were also suggested on Main Street, as well as revitalization near the train station, and bicycle paths being built to the nearby Sunken Meadow Park which hosts over a million people annually. Enhanced streetscapes and addressing aesthetic issues were suggested for the commercial core in order to improve appearance, as well as burying utilities.
Some of the items of most importance in the visioning for Kings Park’s future included things for teens to do, new apartments for the area, burying utilities, a new location for a theater, and better walkability/bikability for the downtown and to recreational activities, while maintaining green space in the area. It was noted in the visioning that changes in zoning as well as sewering would be key to make the revitalization of Kings Park take off. Sewering is possible by connecting Kings Park to the existing Suffolk County waste water treatment plant 6. Currently both Smithtown and Kings Park are looking to connect to the existing plant, however it was suggested that Kings Park connect to the existing plant first. Off-mainstreet parking was also suggested to enable a better pedestrian experience, with sidewalks being widened by removing a lane of parking.
You can check out the Revitalizing Kings Park Action Plan here.
Northport Receives Much Needed Wastewater Infrastructure Funding
In Northport, wo antiquated sewer lines that are in dire need of replacement will now be replaced, allowing for the potential of more homes to get connected into the wastewater treatment system, while ensuring that there are no catastrophic failures.
A total of $5 million in state funding was made available to replace the cast-iron, Depression-era pipelines that are running under Woodbine Avenue and the Northport Harbor bed. The new lines will be 12 inches in diameter, compared to 8 inches for the old pipes, which can increase daily flows and potentially connect more residents to sewers rather than cesspools, which leach nitrogen and other undesirables into the groundwater. State Senators Flanagan and Marcellino were able to secure the funding from the New York State Municipal Facilities Program for the village to move ahead on the project, with reimbursement coming as the Village incurs expenses. “Sewers are the hidden impediment to economic revitalization and crucial to protecting our environment,” Marcellino said in a statement. “A break in this system would have resulted in roadway destabilization and runoff into Northport Harbor and the Long Island Sound.” $1,018,400 towards the project, which is running a million dollars over projection, was awarded recently by Governor Cuomo in a round of funding for Wastewater Infrastructure Grants.
The replacement of the sewer pipelines is another step in helping the Northport Harbor area, after the EPA cited the Village in 2011 for not having plans in place to manage storm water and other discharges into the harbor. Since then, upgrades to the treatment plant have taken place, as well as relining of sewer mains and manhole cover rehabilitation. The village has since reduced the plant’s nitrogen emissions from 18.5 pounds per day to 10 pounds or less daily.You can read more about the funding to help Northport Village’s infrastructure in Newsday
Long Island Real Estate Group Tackles Mixed Use Development
Vision Board and staff were out last week with nearly 300 folks at the Long Island Real Estate Group's breakfast, "Why Long Island?”, which focused on retail and commercial changes in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Ruskin Moscou Faltischek Partner and Vision Board member Eric Rubenstein moderated a panel which included Jeremy Isaacs from Ripco Realty, John Gutleber from Castagna Realty, and Josh Weinkranz from Kimco. One of the themes that came up was a limit on new big box stores and more franchises in locations with smaller square footage; this is a positive sign for our downtown business districts. After A&P, Sports Authority and other big box stores went bankrupt, Long Island has become a haven for large vacant commercial buildings. According to Isaacs, there are now more than 32 vacancies of big-box stores of at least 40,000 square feet across Nassau and Suffolk counties, many of which will likely be redeveloped. “Some of the older downtown locations will become residential,” Isaacs said. “Landlords are dividing a lot of 60,000-square-foot stores. They’re dinosaurs.” Isaacs also mentioned that the flagging Source mall in Westbury is up for sale and will probably be redeveloped into a mixed-use property with residential and retail.
Weinkranz said some of the non-traditional tenants for larger retail spaces, which include boutique fitness clubs and walk-in medical clinics, are driving more traffic to shopping centers than grocery stores have. He said the larger vacancies are also presenting opportunities for retailers that haven’t been able to establish locations here. “There are always other tenants looking to come into the market,” Weinkranz said. “They look at these empty boxes and it gives them an opportunity to break into the market.”
While some of the smaller vacant sites have been easier to lease to places such as Home Goods and the smaller Target stores that are growing on Long Island, some of the larger spaces remain vacant, or have been subdivided to fit the needs of potential tenants. Other tenants taking advantage of the vacant spaces are franchise restaurants. “We’re seeing a lot of that,” Weinkranz said. “We’ve added more restaurants.” He said that the burger and yogurt concepts are “played out” and will eventually be replaced with other franchises like boutique fitness businesses, which are the “next hot thing.”
You can check out more coverage of LIREG’s “Why Long Island?” event in Long Island Business News.
81% of 1-2 mile Trips in the US are Taken By Cars
Recent data shows that of all trips taken by U.S. adults that lead to or from somewhere other than work, either by bicycle or by other means of transportation is strikingly similar- with 78 percent using any sort of transportation to places other than work, and 79 percent using bicycles to places other than work.
At total of 81 percent of the country’s one-to-two mile non-work trips, according to data provided by the National Household Travel Survey, take place by using vehicles. By making bicycles a more useful tool for all purposes, not just commuting to work, safe bicycle usage can increase. Historically, North American cities have placed their bike routes on side streets rather than main streets, forcing a problematic choice between comfort and convenience. This places an unintended emphasis on longer, faster commutes to work; when – with cycle tracks on corridors people want to visit – many more could be convinced to make the slow, short jaunt to the supermarket, cafe, or doctor’s office. In The Netherlands, for example, cycling acts as an extension of walking rather than driving, with the vast majority of bike trips less than two miles or 20 minutes. In fact, in Rotterdam, people equally utilize walking, bicycling, public transit, and driving when the trips are .6 miles to 1.6 miles.
The data provided by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration allows users to see what mode of transportation is used, and see who the user is, what their age and gender is, what mode of transportation is used, for what purpose they are traveling, and how long of a distance they are travelling. There is data for three sets of years; 1995, 2001, and 2009. You can check out that data here, as well as view a blog posting about the usage of bicycles nationally, and compared to other countries here.
Sign the Petition: Add LIRR Shuttle for Roslyn/Port Washington
The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union is asking Long Islanders to help Amsterdam at Harborside as well as other destinations push for added NICE bus service along West Shore Road in Port Washington and Roslyn.
Public bus service on West Shore Road, Port Washington/Roslyn can be accomplished by a shuttle from Roslyn LIRR station to North Hempstead Beach Park. Alternatively the present NICE N23 bus route could be extended north on West Shore Road to the North Hempstead Beach Park.
You can sign the petition to help add bus service to these locations and share via email and social media by clicking here.
6th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival November 10-15
An absolute must for movie buffs, the Gold Coast Arts Center is excited to announce the Sixth Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival returns to the Great Neck area on November 10th through November 15th, kicking off a six day celebration highlighting the importance of film and the arts in eight locations.
Meetings for Sunken Meadow Parkway Operation Study
The New York State Department of Transportation is conducting an operational study of the Sagtikos and Sunken Meadow State Parkway corridor. The department held two previous public meetings regarding the study in April 2015 and is holding two more in November 2016 to outline proposed short and long term improvements that would enhance safety and reduce congestion along the corridor.
NYSDOT encourages public participation and welcomes comments on the study and proposed improvements and project alternatives. Department representatives will be available at the upcoming open house meetings to discuss the study and accept comments.
The meetings will be held on:
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
A Spanish Language Translator will be available for the meetings. To provide written comments, or for information about the public meeting, you can contact the Sagtikos State Parkway Study Team, referencing Project Identification Number 0339.09, NYS DOT Region 10, Room 5A-16 250 Veterans Memorial Highway Hauppauge, NY 11788. You can also email them at R10-RPIC@dot.ny.gov or call 631-952-2051 (English) or 631-952-2052 (Spanish). All comments must be received by December 31, 2016.
Attention Baldwin Residents: Public Input Session for the Baldwin Downtown and Commercial Corridor
On November 16th, Nassau County will be holding a public input session for the Baldwin Downtown and Commercial Corridor Resiliency Study. The study seeks to improve both physical resiliency in the face of future storms as well as economic resiliency in the Baldwin community with a focus on its main commercial corridors including Grand Avenue, Milburn Avenue, Sunrise Highway, Merrick Road and Atlantic Avenue. The study is being led by VHB, with Vision Long Island on the consultant team, and the meeting will be an open house format in the Baldwin High School cafeteria from 7-9pm. For more information please visit: http://www.baldwindccrstudy.com/
Attention Hicksville Residents: Update Meeting on Proposed Rezoning Nov. 17th
On November 17th, the Town of Oyster Bay will be hosting a meeting to update the public on the proposed zoning changes to the downtown area of Hicksville. Vision has been working with the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and the Hicksville Civic organizations since 2010 to develop a Downtown Revitalization Action Plan to improve the area surrounding the train station. Revisions to the existing zoning were among the many recommendations in the plan. The meeting will be at Hicksville High School in Cafeteria A at 7pm. Click here for more information.
Upcoming Huntington Community Summit on Rental Housing
The Huntington Township Housing Coalition and the League of Women Voters of Huntington will be hosting a Community Summit on Rental Housing on Saturday, November 19th from 8:30AM-12PM.
Admission to this event, which will take place at the Cinema Arts Centre, is free.
For more information or to register, please click here.
Down Payment Assistance Program Extended for Suffolk County
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Legislator Kara Hahn and Community Development officials to announce the extension of the Suffolk County Down Payment Assistance Program this week. The financial program assists first time homebuyers with down payment funds in order to obtain homeownership.
“Having access to homeownership can be critical to the long-term stability of families and helps strengthen communities,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Yet, for many first time homebuyers, coming up with down payment funds is an insurmountable obstacle that can deny them the chance to own a home. This program helps to address that issue.”
Assistance will provide up to $10,000 in grant funding to eligible first time home buyers – helping an additional 35 Suffolk County families. A first-time homebuyer is defined by HUD as a person or persons who have not owned a home in the past three years. Since the program’s inception, Suffolk County has helped more than 1,700 families with down payments on their first homes. The area, known as the consortium area, includes all of Suffolk County, with the exception of Babylon and Islip Townships.
“It is important that we have young people stay here in Suffolk County, to work here, to live and recreate,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. ” I’d like to thank the folks from Community Development to make this a reality for individuals to stay. And it’s great to see that our residents are utilizing of this program.”
Some of the eligibility requirements outside of the “first-time homebuyer” provision include having an income of 80% or less than the area median income, having at least $3000 cash at the time of their application, a documented minimum income of at least $30,000 a year, and being able to qualify for a mortgage. The maximum purchase price for a single-family home, co-op or condominium for the program is $356,000.
Applications for the program are being accepted through November 30, 2016. Residents inside of the consortium area can download the application and view eligibility criteria and other information about the program through the Community Development tab on the County’s website, www.suffolkcountyny.gov. Applications will be accepted by mail only and can also be requested from the Community Development Office at (631) 853–5705. You can also check out News 12 for media coverage regarding the announcement.
Park & Trail Partnership Program
Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), with support from Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, are pleased to announce the second round of competitive grants through the NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program. This program is open to Friends organizations that support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites and is administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP.
$16 Million in Grant Money for Energy-Efficient Housing Construction
As a part of Governor Cuomo’s goal to reach 50% renewable energy by 2030, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is offering $16 million dollars for the design and construction of energy-efficient housing. It has been projected that buildings that take advantage of this support will see yearly savings of 9 million dollars.
"Ensuring New York's buildings are constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency is crucial to both our long-term sustainability and prosperity of the state,” said Governor Cuomo. "Smart choices about efficiency can simultaneously save money and protect the environment. This investment promotes that principle in order to build healthy communities and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars."
Half of the 16 million dollars will be offered to builders of low-rise buildings, including single family homes, and the other half is meant for builders of mid- and high-rise buildings that consist of apartment units. Applications for this grant money will be accepted through December 29, 2017, or until funding runs out.
More information about the grant and the application process can be found on NYSERDA’s website.
Intern with Vision Long Island!
Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
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Bow Tie Port Washington
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Cold Spring Harbor
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Port Jefferson Historical Society
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In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as “Armistice Day” to mark the end of World War I on that day in 1918. In the 97 years since the first Armistice Day, the holiday we know as “Veterans Day” has had other names and fallen on various dates. However, our nation has continuously thanked and honored the courageous men and women who served in the military, whether in wartime or peacetime.
New York State is home to over 900,000 Veterans, with over 633,000 having served in wartime. Long Island has the second largest Veteran population in the United States. Although Long Island officials announced the end of Veteran homelessness this year, many do still remain living on the streets, either by choice, or not being able to connect to available resources.It’s important to take time to thank our local Veterans, but to also continue to work towards assisting those who are in need in terms of housing opportunities, job training and availability, and better accessibility as thanks for putting their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy, and sometimes take for granted.
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