Smart Talk April 13th – 19th, 2019

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we look at the proposed TOD zoning for Westbury, help clean up in the Village of Freeport for Earth Day, see what happened at the NY Youth Summit, and more…

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April 13th – 19th, 2019


Cronin & Cronin Law Firm, PLLC

Cronin & Cronin specializes in Tax Certiorari, protesting the real property tax assessments and condemnation for commercial properties throughout New York State. They have over 75 years of legal experience in New York State.

Theirr success in the field of Tax Certiorari is due to their reputation for honesty, integrity and excellence. Because of their reputation, as well as their extensive knowledge and years of experience in property matters, they have established a positive relationship with the various municipalities.

“Westbury is the most tranquilly diverse communities in all of Long Island. That’s because we’ve been like that for many decades. We’ve had practice at it and I think it’s worked. We’re looking for the new housing to support the existing businesses here in Westbury.” – Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

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Proposed Westbury Zoning to focus on Transit-Oriented Development

After years of working towards a walkable, livable downtown, Westbury is seeking to solidify its smart growth philosophy with new redevelopment zoning for a 50-acre area near the LIRR station.

The proposed zoning, which was the subject of an informational meeting held earlier this week, will give incentives to projects that increase available workforce-priced housing or have a preference for seniors and veterans.  If a project meets that criteria, it can increase building height up to five stories with a larger density bonus.

Dubbed the Maple Unions Transit-Oriented Development Zone, the new code would also streamline the process for applicants within that area.  They will be able to appear before the board of trustees for all necessary approvals, which should help to keep the time to 6 weeks or less.

The zoning is a product of funding that came from the NYS Downtown Redevelopment Initiative grant, which awarded the village $10 million to enact changes in its downtown in a revitalization effort.  Since then Westbury has made a number of changes that were accelerated by the funding.  Efforts beyond the rezoning plan is a $3.5 million streetscape improvement program, renovations for the Community Center, acquisition of a building to serve as the new headquarters for Westbury Arts, intersection redesigns, and some other efforts.

“Westbury is the most tranquilly diverse communities in all of Long Island,” Cavallaro says. “That’s because we’ve been like that for many decades. We’ve had practice at it and I think it’s worked. We’re looking for the new housing to support the existing businesses here in Westbury.”

Peter Carbone, a board member of the Westbury BID and a principal of Carbone & Molloy Insurance, says the rezoning and expected new housing will serve as a catalyst for getting younger families into the village.   Carbone’s grandfather Joseph started the insurance brokerage in 1949 and the family owns property in the rezoning area.

“People don’t leave,” Carbone said of the many families who have deep roots in the Westbury community. “It’s a good area. The new zoning will help in getting foot traffic on Post Avenue and help the overall atmosphere.”

Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island, which is a planning consultant for the village’s downtown revitalization initiative, says Westbury’s rezoning plan takes advantage of the opportunity to redevelop around the train station while simultaneously assisting its Post Avenue business district.

“This work will complement the achievements of their arts council, downtown theater, improved crosswalks, increased parking and solid management,” Alexander said. “From the feedback we are getting, there is tremendous interest in the rezoning plan that builds upon many years of thoughtful planning and revitalization.”

A preliminary pubic meeting covering the scoping for the SEQRA process was held this last Monday evening with Village residents, local businesses, property owners and Village officials.  Support for the project included early questions on overall look and design of the developments and the process for public benefits.

The Village will hold another informational meeting on the plan this coming May.  More hearings on the plan as well as an environmental review is currently planned for the upcoming summer.

You can read more here.

Village of Freeport and National Grid clean up Local Rec Center for Earth Day

Vision Board and staff were out at the Village of Freeport’s Recreation Center for a clean-up and beautification project in celebration of earth week.

Congratulations to National Grid and their team on the improvements to the area.  Joining in the kickoff were NYS Assemblymembers Judy Griffin and Taylor Raynor, Nassau Legislator Debra Mulé, Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Village of Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy, and Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez.

Special thanks to National Grid’s Kathy Curtin Wisnewski for helping pull the event together.

We don’t see enough corporations on LI give back to local communities, and it was really nice to see this effort.

You can see News 12 coverage here.

Village of Port Jefferson mulling 60 new Affordable Housing units

Plans are currently under consideration that would add 60 new affordable housing units to Port Jefferson’s uptown area.

The proposed plans call for a four-story 60 unit building, all one-bedroom, with 4,500 square feet of retail as well.  The site is located directly adjacent to the Long Island railroad station, and will be “100 percent attainable housing” in the words of Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant.  There are also plans for an underground parking garage that would have 60 spaces for residents with a Payment in Lieu of Parking fee levied on the required retail parking spaces.

The development will be led by the Upper Port Jefferson Village LLC, which is partnered with Conifer Realty LLC, who was responsible for the Peconic Crossing development in Riverhead.  Conifer is currently working towards approval for attainable housing partnership funds from New York State.

The project would be part of a three-part revitalization initiative that Port Jefferson is currently in the midst of.  The initiative is a plan to help update and expand parking for both the local LIRR station and the uptown area, as well as to create Station Street to run just north of the train station lot.  It has been funded mostly through state grant money since starting in 2017.

The new building would go on the Station Street and is required to build on a 10-foot setback in order to all the Village to develop the streetscape.  The new street will pass by the redeveloped train station parking lot on the north end and provide a new connection to Oakland Ave.

You can read more here.

Garvies Point prepares for Spring Contruction

With the weather turning warmer, Garvies Point and the City of Glen Cove are moving forward with key infrastructure improvements along Garvies Point Road.

The new project will include raising, widening, and repaving the road as well as the installation of new drainage, water and sewage systems.  Electrical utilities will also be relocated to underground and new sidewalks and curbs will be added as well as new trees for aesthetic appeal.  There will be detorues in the local area to allow traffic to visit local businesses that will remain open.  Road construction is expected to be completed by Fall 2019.

Also expected to be completed in late 2019, The Beacon condominiums recently topped out their construction earlier this month.  The site will eventually feature waterfront walkways and trails, scenic bike paths, restaurants, an amphitheater, marinas, a boardwalk, and a beach. Twenty-eight acres of open space are being reserved for playgrounds and parks as well, including one for dogs.

Garvies Point will also be an access point for Glen Cove’s Ferry Terminal, which will have space to carry residents to New York City.

You can read more here.

10th Annual New York Youth Summit Engages local High School Students

Vision Board and staff were out last week supporting the New York Youth Summit with numerous High School Students from across the region participating in the event hosted by Berkeley College. Now in its 10th year, this Summit was held in New York City for the second straight year.

The New York Youth Summit is a year-round educational program for high school students. It is a partnership between high schools, Northwell Health, and a number of other public and private organizations, including National Grid, PSEG Long Island, East Coast Energy Solutions, Vision Long Island. The first Youth Summit took place on Long Island in 2009. In 2017, the program was renamed the New York Youth Summit to reflect the participation of high school students from New York City, Long Island, and Westchester.

The program is designed to give high school students the opportunity to do research and art projects that deal with important issues impacting communities in the New York City Metropolitan area and in the United States. Students who have submitted the best projects go on to participate in the Summit’s annual conference, where they work with top experts to develop solutions to a host of socio-medical, environmental, and social issues.

The purpose of the Summit is to engage young people as early as possible in thinking about and solving the problems related to local and regional social, economic and environmental issues. The Summit aims at developing research, creative, and social skills of high school students by allowing them to work collaboratively with leaders in business, government, and non-profit sectors. The Summit also aims to bring together talented students of diverse backgrounds from different schools giving these students an opportunity to interact and propose solutions together.

The Summit featured workshops on bullying and social networks, teen substance abuse and mental health, community health, climate change, renewable energy, sustainable fashion, diversity and equality, gentrification and community development, LGBT youth, access to education, teens and criminal justice, and teens as future leaders. The 12 timely workshops were presented by professional experts such as John Keating, Manager of Economic Development and Account Services for PSEG Long Island; Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island; Christoper Kleva, Stony Brook University hospital; Robert Maguire, Berkeley College; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director of Vision Long Island, among many others.

This year’s keynote address was delivered by author Nir Eyal, as well as opening remarks from Berthe Erisnor of Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital.

The event featured an Award ceremony, with Zachary Marcone of Columbia University, and a Joint Final Session where students received awards for projects that they submitted to the Youth Summit that included art work, videos, essays and research papers, and also shared lessons learned from their research and in the workshops.

County Executive Bellone Delivers 2019 State of the County Address

This past week saw the annual State of the County speech delivered by the County Executive as he shaped a theme of safety and fiscal recovery.

The Executive talked at length about a new 311 call service in Suffolk County to help take some of the pressure off of an overtaxed 911 system.  If the plan is adopted it will make Suffolk the first suburban county to adopt such a service in NYS and hope to divert the tens of thousands of non-emergency calls that the 911 service receives each year.  There is already a similar system running in NYC.

“This new system incorporates the best elements of public safety, data management and constituent satisfaction,” said County Executive Bellone.

Mr. Bellone also talked about the County’s “steady march” towards fiscal recovery and noted that the Suffolk is no longer borrowing to pay pension costs and currently has record-low unemployment.  He would also touch on a new measure to reduce mortgage fees and freeze them in response to President Trump’s $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.

You can read more here.

Help out the LI Coalition for the Homeless with the Rely on Relief Charity Drive

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is in the midst of their Rely on Relief charity fund to bring much-needed feminine hygiene products for women who need them most.

Did you hnow that feminine hygiene products are the #1 most requested item in almost every single food pantry around the world?  Or that sanitary pads are the #1 most used feminine hygiene product?  In the year 2018, 330.25 million pounds of feminine hygiene products were sold in the United States.

Please visit LICH’s “Brighter Skies” charity and donations drive here and help them to help the community by donating needed essential items.

Westbury Arts Calling for Artists for Spring 2019 Window Painting

Westbury Arts is looking for artists to help plaint springtime floral designs on the windows of participating businesses on Post Avenue in in Westbury.  Supplies and an honorarium will be provided for each artist.  All manners of style are encouraged.  Experience painting outdoors and on windows is a plus but not a requirement.  Submit your design for consideration.  There is a $10 submission fee.  Application date is scheduled for May 4, 2019.

Deadline for submissions is April 25, 2019. 

You can submit a design here.

St. Joseph’s College to host Fair Housing Conference on April 30th

Please join Institute for Attainable Homes at St. Joseph’s College as they host a Fair Housing Conference, presented by the New York State Division of Human Rights.  The event will take place on Tuesday, April 30, from 10 am to 1 pm, at St. Joseph’s College Auditorium, 155 West Roe Blvd., Patchogue, NY.

You can RSVP for the event by email at, or by phone at (718)741-8301.  If you need an accommodation for a disability, please contact, (718) 741-8332

Old Westbury College Foundation to hold Leadership Awards on May 7th

The Old Westbury College Foundation will be holding its annual Leadership Awards Dinner this Tuesday, May 7th.  The event will take place at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury with a 5:30 cocktail reception followed by a 6:30 dinner and awards program. 

The event will honor SUNY Old Westbury Calvin Butts for his 20 years of leadership as well as Dr. Laura Anker, a professor at SUNY Old Westbury, Mr. Ravishankar Bhooplapur, who is the president of Xavier University School of Medicine, and Vision Long Island Board member Lionel Chitty, who is president of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and the SUNY Old Westbury Alumni Association.

You can reserve tickets for the event here.

Help Island Harvest Stamp Out Hunger on May 11th

The National ASSOC of Letter Carriers Food Drive is taking place on May 11th and is asking for your help in gathering non-perishable food items for the hungry.  All you need to do to participate is to leave a can of food or more at your mailbox on May 11th, and your postal carrier will pick it up for the drive.

This year they are looking for canned or dry beans, canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter (or other nut butters), nuts & seeds, canned fruit (in water or juice), canned vegetable (Low‑Sodium), low‑sodium pasta sauce, rolled oats, low‑sugar cereal, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta, popcorn (light butter or kernels), shelf‑stable milk, olive or canola oil, and low‑sodium soup or stew.

As part of this, Island Harvest is seeking volunteers to help out at their warehouse on May 11th through 15th.  You can register to volunteer at and help to #StampOutHunger.

Please help to get the word out about this important event! You can view a flyer for the event .

Highway Safety Grants now Available

The Department of Motor Vehicles, through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), is now giving out Highway Safety Grants.

The Highway Safety Grants will be used to fund projects that address a particular highway safety problem. This proposal requires applicants to submit a narrative outline of the problem in their local jurisdiction with supporting data, details of the proposed activities with milestones and an evaluation plan. Proposals must address one of the program areas included in the state’s Highway Safety Strategic Plan, which can be found online at

Program areas considered for the general Highway Safety Grant funding include: occupant protection; traffic enforcement; motorcycle safety; traffic records; community programs; programs that impact younger drivers or older drivers; pedestrian safety; roadway safety and impaired driving.

Only governmental entities, not-for-profits and tribal organizations are eligible and can apply.  There is no funding restriction; however, funding is limited and competitive in nature.  Deadline for submittal is May 1, 2019  

For more information contact Mary Montimurro by phone at 518-474-5111, email at or website:

Round 17 of Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Now Available

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Citizens Advisory Panel are pleased to announce the availability of the Downtown Revitalization Round 17 Grant Applications. Eligible applicants must partnet with a local municipality (town of village). That application incorporates the Panel’s intent to support projects that will have an important and sustainable impact on downtowns. All applications will be reviewed and scored via a merit based grading system. Applications are due by 4:30pm on Friday, May 24, 2019

You can read the guidelines for the grants here.

You can download the application here.

Opportunity Open for Public Transit Technology and Innovation Program

Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 3914, seeks proposals to develop and demonstrate innovative public transportation technologies and strategies that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and associated energy consumption of the existing bus, rail, and connected intermodal transit systems in New York State (NYS).

Proposals should focus on new or underutilized solutions that can help transit agencies make tangible improvements to their operations while achieving real energy savings, especially in bus efficiency and electrified rail. Proposals should demonstrate a feasible path to economic viability and be replicable and relevant to transit agencies in NYS. The goal of this program is to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies and operational approaches that are required for New York’s public transportation systems, while contributing to the State’s energy and GHG reduction goals. : Concept papers will now be accepted on a rolling basis through November 20, 2019 or until all funds are committed. Additional minor changes are summarized in the Summary of Revisions.

For additional details and associated documents visit: PON 3914 Solicitation Detail Page

Questions and comments can be sent to or call (212) 971-5342 x3476.

Rumor has it the Easter Bunny is coming to Long Island Downtowns

Check your community for any activities that might be going on this weekend as we’ve had a few Easter Bunny sightings in the area lately!  Notable places he could be includes the Sag Harbor Easter Bonnet Parade, the annual Port Jefferson Parade and Egg Hunt, and the Northport Easter Egg Hunt this weekend.

Vision Long Island Board and Staff wish you a Happy Easter and Passover, and we hope you enjoy the holiday weekend!

Smart Talk

Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; 
Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director; Jon Siebert, Administrative Director

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

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