Smart Talk April 20th – 26th, 2019

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we look at progress with Grand Avenue Baldwin, another round of funding for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and more…

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April 20th – 26th, 2019


D&F Development Group

The D & F Development Group, LLC (The D&F Group) provides the highest quality combination of experience and knowledge to make certain that project goals are attained. They offer an entire spectrum of real estate expertise from a single source – including project development, construction and property management.

The D&F Group is proud to be among New York’s premier developers of affordable family and senior housing, working closely with a wide array of for-profit and not-for-profit partners. Yet, their diversity and extensive background enable them to provide comprehensive services relating not only to affordable housing but to all segments of the real estate marketplace. Furthermore, their versatility means they can handle all aspects of a project from inception to finalization. Depending on the specific project, they can provide any one or more of the individual areas of real estate services they offer.

The D&F Group brings agility, efficiency and dedication to each project … committed to ensuring that all budgetary, scheduling, regulatory, aesthetic and other requirements are fulfilled.

“The Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs are vital streams of investment that support local economic development and community revitalization. Without this non-replaceable funding, many local job-creating development projects that are revitalizing Long Island communities might not be here today. The more than $26 million in funding is a big win for Long Island and will help more communities create good paying jobs, deliver essential services to families and seniors, and support smart growth efforts. I will continue to fight day in and day out to protect this critical investment for our communities and make sure Long Island gets the federal investment it needs and deserves.” – US Senator Chuck Schumer speaking on secured funding for Long Island

“As we have already seen with 30 communities across the State, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is so much more than a $10 million prize. This critical program completely transforms downtown communities, resulting in unprecedented growth and development that leads to a renewed sense of pride in our cities, towns and villages. I look forward to seeing another 10 communities compete and prosper over the next year thanks to this critical funding.” –Governor Andrew Cuomo


“We cannot keep sending food to landfills. This bill that I’m so proud is signed into law will help feed the hungry and help reduce greenhouse gasses.” – NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky speaking on the recently passed NYS Food Waste Law

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Nassau Legislature Approves Grand Ave Traffic Calming

Vision was out at the Nassau Legislature this week testifying again in support of the bonding for Baldwin’s Grand Ave Complete Streets project.

The new road design proposed will make the area more walkable, reduce accidents and enhance local business while not significantly impacting trip time.  The plan will reduce the number of lanes on certain parts of the road from four lanes to two.  The reduction will come as part of a wider complete streets initiative that will include curb extensions and crosswalks at certain intersections.  Slowing traffic through the area will also allow for local businesses to become more visible and help improve visibility.

The road diet has drawn support from County Legislator Debra Mulé and County Executive Laura Curran.  The plan is also an effort to reduce speeding in the area and make it safer for pedestrians. Lane changes would begin around 400 feet north of Merrick Road and continue to about 480 feet south of Sunrise Highway.  North of Sunrise would see a lane reduction along the Avenue from Smith to Florence streets, though there would be a center-turn lane along the road.

The project will also work hand-in-hand with a mixed-use overlay zone district proposed by the Town.  This plan would allow for new developments with ground-floor retail and apartments on upper floors to be built without the need for a variance. 

Kudos to the longtime leadership of Legislators and now County Executive Laura Curran, current Legislator Debra Mulé the Baldwin Civic and local businesses for moving the project forward. Particular praise goes to Sean Sallie from Nassau Planning for his steadfast leadership on the planning and design end.

Baldwin Revitalization Advances

In a move meant to help move forward revitalization in Baldwin, the Town of Hempstead has adopted a resolution to take over as the lead agency in the effort as well as the environmental review process.

Hempstead will begin hosting public scoping meetings on May 6 to gather feedback from local residents on the review being conducted by VHB Engineers.  VHB was hired as a consultant by the Town for planning the project as well as an environmental impact study.

“As lead agency in the SEQR process,” said Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King-Sweeney, “the town board will ensure the community’s quality of life is enhanced by the redevelopment, and that the environmental factors associated with the project are thoroughly reviewed and shared with the community.”

This comes after years of attempts to spur development, but never materialized in the downtown.  Since then the Town has created a special Baldwin Overlay Zone meant to help attract developers for new projects in the downtown. 

After many years of false starts it is heartening to see the progress on a new zoning code for Grand Ave in Baldwin which will allow for long sought after redevelopment.  Congratulations to the local civic, chamber, the Town of Hempstead and the input from hundreds of residents for moving these plans forward. Vision has been very happy to be part of the planning team as well.

You can read more here.

$1.3 Billion Garvies Point Project in Glen Cove Moves Ahead

After an elongated planning stage that included five plan revisions, a Glen Cove Master Plan and spanning multiple builders and five Mayors the Glen Cove waterfront development Garvies Point is well underway.

First pitched in 2002, the redevelopment of 56 acres at Garvies Point has gone through changes in developers, a drawn-out environmental cleanup, a housing market crash and a few lawsuits that collectively delayed the massive project along the way. The City of Glen Cove has had five different mayors since the plan was first presented. The city signed a land development agreement with the project’s original developers in 2003 and initial approvals were granted in 2008, but the start of construction was delayed by the massive clean-up needed to remediate the once-toxic property, changes in the development team and poor market conditions.

About half of the 56-acre site will be reserved for open space, parks and recreation that will be open to the general public, not just residents. The project, which includes more than a mile of waterfront esplanade along Glen Cove Creek, is adjacent to the 62-acre Garvies Point Preserve.

“Glen Cove is a waterfront community and we’re reclaiming an area that was an eyesore for the city and was generating no taxable income,” Mayor Tenke said. “This is not an enclave for the wealthy, but rather a site where 28 acres can be used by the general public.”

Kudos to RXR and the City of Glen Cove and their teams and other funding partners for turning this polluted eyesore into a taxpaying project and future destination. You cacn read more about the project’s progress here

Southampton Releases RFP for Phase 2 of Riverfront Park

As part of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council’s initiative, last December, Southampton Town is awarded close to $800,000.00 to help fund two major projects that have long been under consideration.

Approximately $387,484.00 will help the Town proceed with design plans and construction funding for the Riverside Maritime Trail Park along the Peconic River.  The Park will improve access to the Riverfront with walking trails.  The project will advance the Town’s Coastal Resources and Water Protection Plan by improving waterfront access, removing invasive species and vegetation, protecting natural resources and supporting downtown revitalization.  “The grant could not come at a more perfect time, as we are ready to issue RFP’s for design plans for Riverside Park after months of planning with the Community,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

With competition of the RFP process for phase one, The Town of Southampton has released an RFP for phase two design of the 14-acre riverfront park. The RFP is being released as things continue to move forward with the redevelopment of the hamlet pursuant to an approved overlay district and the park is one of most important amenities for the hamlet center.

Specifications are available online at or in person at the Town Clerk’s Office, 116 Hampton Road, Southampton between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, (except Holidays).

An informational meeting will be held on May 2, 2019 at 10:00 am in the Lower Level Conference Room at Town of Southampton 116 Hampton Road Southampton, New York 11968.

NYS Passes Food Waste Bill

New York State has passed a new bill that will work to reduce the amount of food waste currently going to landfills in the state.

The new legislation will require entities that produce over 2 tons of food waste per week, mainly grocery stores, colleges, and restaurants, to begin to sort their food for donation to help feed the hungry.  They will also be required to report the amount donated to the state each year.  Food that is not wholesome enough for consumption must instead be recycled instead of going to a landfill. 

The recycling requirement will apply only if the entity is within 25 miles of a food scrap recycler with capacity.  This can include compost or to an anaerobic digester such as the facility in Yaphank run by American Organic Energy.  This will help to generate clean energy while lowering the amount of pollution generated by vehicles that would be required to haul the waste elsewhere.

“We cannot keep sending food to landfills,” said NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky.  “This bill that I’m so proud is signed into law will help feed the hungry and help reduce greenhouse gasses.”

Congratulations to NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky and leaders in the Assembly for passage of the bill and advocates Adrienne Esposito from Citizens Campaign Environment and Randi Dresner from Island Harvest for pushing this important issue forward.  This bill was a priority for Long Island Lobby Coalition, who is happy to see another support bill pass, the tenth such win this year to date.

You can see more here.

Long Island Secures $26 Million in Federal Funding for Housing and Smart Growth

Despite threats to curtail of cancel these programs it is great to see Federal funding continue in the form of CDBG and HOME funds for Long Island communities.

This year’s allocation is $26 million that is dedicated to affordable housing, downtown revitalization, infrastructure and other programs.  Broken down, it consists of $21 million in CDBG funding, and $4,8 million for the HOME Investment Partnership Program.  HOME funding is given to state and local governments for the sole purpose of creating affordable housing.

“The Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs are vital streams of investment that support local economic development and community revitalization. Without this non-replaceable funding, many local job-creating development projects that are revitalizing Long Island communities might not be here today,” said Senator Schumer. “The more than $26 million in funding is a big win for Long Island and will help more communities create good paying jobs, deliver essential services to families and seniors, and support smart growth efforts. I will continue to fight day in and day out to protect this critical investment for our communities and make sure Long Island gets the federal investment it needs and deserves.”

Funding from the CDBG grant includes $14 million for Nassau County, $2.2 million for the Town of Brookhaven, $2 million for the Town of Islip, $1.2 million for Suffolk County, $1 million for the Town of Babylon, and a little less than $850,000 for the Town of Huntington.  Recipients of HOME funding include Nassau County at $2.28 million, $893K for Town of Brookhaven, $648K for Town of Islip, $635K for Suffolk County, and $426K for Town of Babylon.

Congratulations to Senator Schumer and other Senators and Congresspersons for keeping these projects in place.

You can read more here.

Governor Cuomo Announces New Round of Funding for Downtown Revitalization

For the fourth straight year the Governor and the Legislature have approved $100 million towards downtown initiatives across NYS.  This item in the NYS budget was on the agenda for the 100 organization LI Lobby Coalition in Albany.

On Long Island, the three past winners include Village of Westbury, Town of Oyster Bay for Hicksville, and the Town of Islip for Central Islip.  Now a new downtown on Long Island will receive $10 million in funding again this year.  The winner is selected from, on average, about 20 applications have been submitted over the last three years.

The program provides $10 million in funding to a downtown in each of the 10 economic regions in the state.  The goal is to quickly boost local economies and to help foster vibrant neighborhoods with a higher quality of life.  The winning applicant is selected by the local Regional Economic Development Council, who will thoroughly evaluate the potential of each downtown that applies.

This year the proposals are due by 4 p.m. on May 31, 2019.  Criteria for applicants include:

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

Once selected, a local planning committee is selected that is comprised of local leaders, stakeholders, and key government officials.  This group will overs the development of a strategic plan for the downtown and recommend funding opportunities for the grant money.  It is expected that the funds provided will supplement local investment and build upon itself once the process is concluded.

You can read more about the DRI process and apply 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.

Public Input Needed for Hiking and Biking Trails in Suffolk

Suffolk County recently launched a new website,, for the public to provide input on the County’s Hike and Bike Master Plan. The site is an interactive map that allows users to make specific comments or recommend routes or improvements to the network of hiking and biking trails in Suffolk County.

Using this new public input tool, residents can ‘drop a pin’ to comment on a specific location, or ‘draw a path’ to connect two points they would like to see better connected.  Comments and recommendations will be collected through May 19th, 2019.

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.

2019 Arthur Kunz Scholarship Breakfast

On May 10th, the APA Long Island Section will hold its annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast at Molloy College’s Suffolk Center at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale. A healthy breakfast buffet will be provided. AICP-CM credits have been requested! This year’s presentations will focus on New York City metro region population and employment statistical trends, and downtown economic development initiatives from across Long Island.

A presentation “THE GEOGRAPHY OF JOBS: NYC METRO REGION ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT” will be given by Carolyn Grossman Meagher, Director of Regional Planning, NYC Department of City Planning.  There will also be a panel discussion on “HOW LONG ISLAND DOWNTOWNS CAN USE THEIR ASSETS TO MARKET, ATTRACT AND RETAIN NEW BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURIAL INVESTMENT” which include panelist Jen Gravel, Director of Housing, Economic and Infrastructure Planning, NYC Department of City Planning; Larisa Ortiz, Larisa Ortiz Associates, Commercial District Advisors; Paul Trapani, President, LISTnet, and Eric Alexander, Director, Vision Long Island.

Each year, the best and brightest of Long Island’s new and future professional planners compete for the Arthur Kunz Scholarship, which provides funds to its recipients for attendance at the annual American Planning Association National Conference. This year, the Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to four planners who were selected following a competitive process. The following young planners received $1,500 for attendance at the 2019 Planning Conference in San Francisco, and each will take a few moments during the breakfast to share with you some highlights from their experiences. This year’s recipients are: Michelangelo Lieberman, Nick Shearman, Rebecca Steiner, and Simone Torre.

Friday, May 10, 2019, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Registration Costs before the event: $15 students; $20 municipal, APA members, non-profits; $25 non-APA members; ($40 at the door).

Registration information and sponsorship opportunities can be found on

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 here.

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.

Zucaro Construction is Hiring

Founded in 1978, Zucaro Construction has grown to become one of the most respected and competitive General Contractors in the Long Island, doing ground up buildings all over Nassau and Suffolk, no NYC work. They respect all of their employees and value hard work. Results count, and will be rewarded with good pay, and great career opportunities and growth.

Zucaro Construction is looking for an Experienced Project Manager and also a Super. The project manager/ super positions present an exciting opportunity to take on a leadership role in our company. They are looking for a prioritized, detail orientated, confident person who can run a busy jobsite from start to finish. For more information or to apply, visit here.

Volunteer Efforts Help Celebrate Earth Day

With Earth Day being celebrated this week, it’s important to look at what is done in our downtowns to positively influence the environment. PSEG was one of the many groups out this week lending a hand. Employee volunteers had a wonderful time planting trees + flowers, handing out LED bulbs + more in celebration in Huntington. You can check out a short video of the efforts here

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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