Check out this week’s Smart Talk with updates on the 2016 Smart Growth Summit, Nassau Bus cuts retracted, and more…
December 4th – 10th, 2016
PSEG Long Island
PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10.4 billion and operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract.
They pledge to build a Long Island utility with PSEG’s same record of service, reliability and customer satisfaction. It will take some time to make all the improvements they’re planning, but in the end, they will create a utility of which Long Islanders can be proud. Keeping the lights on isn’t just a job for them: It’s a mission.
They manage their business for the long term, and pride themselves on being a company with strong leadership, great employees and proven processes to manage sustainability. They are mindful that the decisions they make today about energy infrastructure and policy will impact generations to come. They know that building strong relationships with stakeholders is essential to maintain a high level of trust, understanding and service.
“How many times have we heard, ‘I won’t see it in my lifetime’? Now we’re going to see it in our lifetime. It brings in people with disposable income that want to live, work, and play in the community. It’s a benefit that we’ve never had, and I expect that to really help our downtown businesses.” – Glen Cove City Mayor Reggie Spinellor speaking on the groundbreaking at Garvies Point
“Today’s groundbreaking is a milestone for the City of Glen Cove more than 40 years in the making. What long has been a hope of the Glen Cove community – a vibrant, publicly accessible waterfront – will soon become a reality.” – RXR CEO Scott Rechler speaking on the groundbreaking at Garvies Point
An update from the 2016 Long Island Smart Growth Summit
Thank you to the 1100 small business, civic, environmental, labor and governmental leaders who participated in the 15th Annual LI Smart Growth Summit.
The range of talent and experience that lent their voice to the day included 135 speakers covering 70 downtown, energy, transportation and sewer projects in 20 workshops. Over 70 elected officials joined from multiple levels of government.
The theme was how bottom up planning from local communities to the regional level is the antidote to the division in our politics today. Clearly we are seeing progress in the over 40 downtowns that have approved 110 transit-oriented developments and many infrastructure projects underway.
Nearly 100 youth joined the concurrent Youth Summit with participation from St. Joseph’s College, Suffolk Community College, Hofstra University and Amityville HS among others.
The implementation of Smart Growth on Long Island ultimately comes down to municipal officials, 12 of whom gave local updates on the State of the Town’s and Village’s panel moderated by Joye Brown from Newsday: Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Town of Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony D. Macagnone, Town of Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Glen Cove Mayor Reggie Spinello, Village of Westbury Mayor Peter I. Cavallaro and Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Eckstrand. Brandon Ray from AT&T also provided opening remarks focusing on connecting business to investments in local communities.
The luncheon was headlined by Charles Davis from Simon Properties speaking on Syosset Park formerly a disputed mall development now a planned mixed use center. Opening remarks from National Grid’s Ken Daly, PSEG LI’s Michael Voltz and NYS Senator Phil Boyle focused on infrastructure funding for our region towards local projects. Downtown redevelopment updates from historically difficult to plan and build communities included Hicksville Chamber of Commerce President Lionel Chitty, Kings Park Chamber of Commerce President Tony Tanzi, and Renaissance Downtowns Principal Don Monti speaking on upcoming groundbreakings in Hempstead Village.
The energy in the room all day was palpable with an overflow crowd of nearly 700 in the morning and 900 at lunch. Due to some efforts off-Long Island to weaken local zoning control we asked the crowd if anyone wants to see home rule curtailed or weakened in the communities that are approving downtown projects. No one at the breakfast or lunch session was aware of these off-island efforts to limit the power of municipalities and no one raised their hand to have larger entities control local zoning.
Special thanks to our workshop speakers who included:
Making Long Island More Resilient: Hon. Bob Kennedy, Mayor, Village of Freeport, Jack Schnirman, City of Long Beach, Sarah Oral, Cameron Engineering, Joe Donaghy, American Mobile Homes. Andrew Zucaro, Zucaro Construction, Gary Rozmus, GEI
Downtown Showcase – Nassau: Francesca Carlow, Nassau Council of Chambers, Hon. Laura Curran, Nassau County, Sean Sallie, Nassau County, Mindy Germain, Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, Kim Kaiman, Town of North Hempstead, Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, Jaci Clement, Fair Media Council.
Downtown Showcase – Suffolk: Tony Tanzi, Kings Park Chamber of Commerce, Linda Henninger, Kings Park Civic Association, Hon. Lori Devlin, Village of Patchogue, John Murray, Kilwins Patchogue, Gina Coletti, Suffolk Alliance of Chambers.
Retaining Youth on Long Island: Emily Rooney, St. Josephs College, Jase Panebianco. St, Josephs College, Michael Kinane, SUNY Old Westbury, Jeff Guillot. Suburban Millennial Institute, Dr. Nathalia Rogers, Long Island Youth Summit.
Increasing Affordability & Reducing the
Cutting the Red Tape for Mixed Use: Mitch Pally, LI Builders Institute: David Pennetta, Cushman & Wakefield, Keith Archer, Harras Bloom & Archer, Robert Fonti, Suff olk Alliance of Chambers of Commerce, Rich Bivone, Long Island Business Council.
Creating 21st Century Downtowns: Chris Fisher, NY Wireless Association: Brian Harty, Village of Farmingdale, Warren Tackenberg, Nassau County Village Officials Association, Scott Schoen, LI Business News.
Clean Energy: Solar, Geothermal & Electric Vehicles: Neal Lewis, Sustainability Institute at Molloy, Tara Bono, SunPower by EmPower Solar, Zach Fink, ZBF Geothermal, Ron Gulmi, Emerald Alternative Energy Solutions, David Schieren, SunPower by EmPower Solar.
Top Projects – Nassau: Anthony Bartone, Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, Steven Dubb, Th e Beechwood Organization, Nick Halstead, Mill Creek Residential, Chris Giovanis, Alma Realty Corp., Glen Chervany, GRCH Architects.
Top Projects – Suffolk: Robert Gitto, Gitto Group; Peter Florey, D&F Development; Allen Handelman, Conifer Realty; Ralph Fasano, Concern for Independent Living; Bruce Migatz, Albanese & Albanese.
Job & Small Business Development: Tim Williams, Nassau County IDA, Peter Goldsmith, LISTNET, Jaime Moore, LI Manufacturers Consortium, John Nader, President, SUNY Farmingdale, Elizabeth Custodio, Suffolk County National
Transportation Infrastructure – Getting Long Island’s Fair Share
Aging in Place: Bernard Macias, AARP, John Cochrane, NYS Department of the Aging, Bernadette Martin, LI Green Market, Lisa Rosenthal, Well Beyond 55, Ron Stein, the Coltrane Home.
Protecting Water & Sewer Investments: Mike Martino, Suez, Peter Scully, Suffolk County, David Berg, DB Consulting, Frank Russo, H2M Architects & Engineers, Brian Herrington, Scotts Miracle Grow, Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the
Top Energy Projects: Christopher A. Cavanagh, National Grid, John Keating, PSEG Long Island, Clint Plummer, Deepwater Wind, Ross Ain, Caithness Long Island, Richard Kessel, Moderator
Major Redevelopment Projects: Frank Haftel, Garvies Point, Don Monti, Hempstead Renaissance, Bob Coughlan, Tritec – Ronkonkoma HUB; David Wolkoff , Heartland Town Square; Joe Dowd, LIBN.
Designing Great Places I: Syosset Park: Charles Davis, Simon Properties; John Gutlieber, Castagna Realty; Todd Fabricant, Cerro Wire Coalition; Rick Parisi, MPFP ; Jason Mikrut, VHB
Designing Great Places II: White Plains, NY & Storr’s Center, CT
Regional Partnerships: Larry Levy, Hofstra Center for Suburban Studies; Carolyn Grossman Meagher, NYC Department
Special thanks to the Vision Board of Directors, volunteers, community partners and a record 80 sponsors that made the event possible.
Stay tuned for a full post-event summary with pictures, video clips, and media links, coming next week.
You can read the Long Island Business News’ write up of the event here.
$1 Billion Glen Cove Revitalization Breaks Ground
Vision Board and staff were out this week for the long-awaited groundbreaking of the Garvies Point waterfront revitalization project in Glen Cove. After 20 years of planning and 10 years with final developer RXR, this complex project finally moved forward, with Vision and local Glen Cove residents and businesses having supported the project at countless hearings through the years.
The redevelopment, situated upon nearly 60 acres, will include 555 rental apartments, 555 for-sale condos, an amphitheater, about 75,000 square feet of retail and office space almost 30 acres of waterfront esplanades and parks to the site formerly occupied by heavy industry and junkyards. The groundbreaking kicks off first phase, which includes six buildings of four, five and six stories on the eastern portion of the property that will contain the rental apartments and about 25,000 square feet of retail, and 28 acres of public open space and amenities. The first phase is expected to be complete in 2018.
At the groundbreaking Garvies Point Project Manager Frank Haftel outlined the next phase of the project along Hempstead Harbor, and Glen Cove Mayor Reggie Spinello thanked the many City staff that worked hard on processing the project and bringing it to fruition amidst several changes and the economic downturn of the late 2000’s that had many believing that the project would never move ahead. “How many times have we heard, ‘I won’t see it in my lifetime’?” he said. “Now we’re going to see it in our lifetime. It brings in people with disposable income that want to live, work, and play in the community. It’s a benefit that we’ve never had, and I expect that to really help our downtown businesses.”
Garvies Point’s economic benefits will have a tremendous impact on Glen Cove. The $1 billion project is expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, hundreds of millions in tax revenue to the City, School District, Library District and Nassau County, and create hundreds of jobs.
RXR CEO Scott Rechler commented on the many Mayors, Governors, Presidents that have come and gone as well as the over 20 boards and layers of review the project went through. On a personal note, he thanked the Glen Cove community for the support but also the trust to truly improve the area, and vowed not to let them down. $121 million had been spent on remediating the site of environmental issues, and environmental agencies have approved moving forward on the project. The first housing units should be completed in about 2 years. “Today’s groundbreaking is a milestone for the City of Glen Cove more than 40 years in the making,” said Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive officer of RXR Realty. “What long has been a hope of the Glen Cove community – a vibrant, publicly accessible waterfront – will soon become a reality.”
Community of Kings Park Presents Downtown Visioning Plan to Board
Vision Co-Chair and Kings Park resident Trudy Fitzsimmons joined the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce, Kings Park Civic Association and over 50 stakeholders to present the Kings Park community’s Downtown Visioning Plan to the Smithtown Town Board last month, to move ahead efforts to revitalize the downtown of Kings Park.
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. “We’d like to concentrate on local, and have local participation- that’s where you get the best results,” said Fitzsimmons.
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, in collaboration with Kings Park Central School District, Kings Park Fire Department, Fort Salonga Association, San Remo Civic Association, the local VFW and American Legion, Kings Park Youth, Kings Point Soccer, St. Joseph’s CYO, the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, as well as others. “Our immediate goal is for the town to accept the plan and run with it,” said Linda Henninger of Kings Park Civic Association. “Turnout and participation was tremendous… We are confident in stating that the document that we are presenting tonight represents the participation of thousands of community residents. The process was transparent, engaging, and very positive.”
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, 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.
“This was a grassroots effort,” said Tony Tanzi of the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce. “One of the things that this process has shown, without a shadow of a doubt, is that Kings Park has a lot of potential.” Tanzi went further to clearly state that the community is not asking for the Township to undertake the task of revitalization alone, but is willing to help with the backing of the community.
Nassau Bus Cuts Not Moving Ahead for Now
Vision testified at preliminary hearings in Mineola this week along with about 50 bus riders and advocates to stop Nassau’s NICE system from cutting 9 routes in January. Nassau Legislator Carrie Solages and Laura Curran spoke in full support of maintaining existing service.
Nassau County bus riders are able to take a breath, if at least for now, in knowing that proposed cuts to the NICE system slated for January are on hold, thanks to advocacy and a tie vote by the Nassau County Bus Transit Committee. Testimony from some of the 50 bus riders at the hearing included seniors, folks with varying disabilities, employees seeking to get to work and health appointments. In a 3-3 vote after 2 public meetings held on the same day, the committee effectively denied 9 proposed cuts to the NICE system that were to take effect in January.
Cuts to ridership will hurt a slew of present and future development projects in Nassau County. Unfortunately, NIFA won’t let the County access some funds that could be used to plug the holes with a multimillion dollar budget deficit looming. The $3.8 million in cuts that were reflective of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s amended budget mirror the projected profit obtained by NICE last year. “Nassau County must to hold NICE Bus accountable for the service they have agreed to provide; since 2012 we have seen fares increase annually, routes have been cancelled and shortened, and ridership is down from 120,000 to 91,000 daily rides,” said Anita Halasz of Long Island Jobs with Justice. “NICE Bus needs to uphold their end of the bargain, which is to provide and expand bus service for working people on Long Island. A 25% loss in ridership is devastating and should not be overlooked.”
“For 5 straight years NICE Bus has not been unable to balance its budget without raising fares or cutting service, yet the county nor NICE has found additional revenue to prevent those fare increases or route cuts,” said Aaron Watkins-Lopez from the Long Island Bus riders Union. “Instead, every year we watch NICE Bus walk away with a profit while riders are either stranded at the side of the road or priced off the bus! It’s high time NICE Bus picked up the tab and was held responsible for the state of our bus system.” Vision testified for a three point plan towards remedying some of the issues with funding for the bus service; a full County contribution to maintain existing service, NYS legislation pulling in operational dollars from the MTA payroll tax to pass in Albany, and lastly, future growth that has smaller fleets and on-demand service.
NICE CEO Michael Setzer said that the cuts were in fact due to a substantial decrease in County funding towards the system, saying further that making cuts now could stave off larger cuts in the future. On the decision by the Nassau County Bus Transit Committee, Setzer said, “I hope they’re right, I really hope they’re right. We boxed ourselves in now, and we don’t have those $2 million in savings from the January cuts, so that’s a little more money that need to be found.” NICE’s contract, which was renewed until 2021, states that the budget must be balanced, so if funding is not found, there will be cuts upcoming.
NCCC Reminds Shoppers to Support Small Business for Holiday Shopping
Vision Long Island Co-Chair Trudy Fitzsimmons joined elected officials from Nassau County, the Town of Oyster Bay, and members of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce this week at Bayview Florist in Massapequa to remind shoppers to support small businesses by shopping in downtowns and on Main Streets for the holiday season.
With 96.3 percent of Long Island’s nearly 100,000 businesses being designated as small businesses that employ less than 50 people, supporting local businesses during the holiday season is crucial; retail experts say that holiday shopping accounts for 20 to 40 percent of retailers’ annual sales. “Before you click on an internet sale, go out and see, hear, taste, smell your friends’ and neighborhood businesses right here in Nassau County,” said council president Francesca Carlow, also co-owner of Trio Hardware in Plainview.
Some of the benefits to shopping locally include a boost to the local economy, increasing sales tax revenue, supporting local schools and government and a personalized shopping experience for holiday shoppers. Nationally, small businesses have generated 64 percent of new jobs, and have paid 44 percent of the total United States private payroll, according to the Small Business Administration. Studies also show that locally owned businesses are linked to higher income growth and lower levels of poverty, while big-box retailers, particularly Walmart, depress wages and benefits for retail employees. Studies of wage and benefits and small businesses also quantify the costs of these big companies’ low wages to state healthcare programs and other forms of public assistance.
NCCC is an umbrella group of over 60,000 small businesses. You can check out Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce’s website with a link to your local Chambers of Commerce here.
Vision’s Assistant Director Named as Top 40 Under 40 Honoree
Vision Long Island’s Assistant Director Tawaun Weber was recently named as one of Long Island Business News’ Top 40 Under 40 for 2017.
Since 1998, Long Island Business News has taken nominations for outstanding members of the business community on Long Island who are 40 or under. These future leaders of Long Island have already begun to distinguish themselves in business, government, education and the not-for-profit sector. They have a proven track record of career success, are involved in mentoring and promoting their profession and find time to give back to their communities.
This year’s honorees will be awarded at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Westbury on January 19th, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are still available for this event. To see a list of all of this year’s honorees and for more information or to register, click here. Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees!
Governor Cuomo Pledges to Sue EPA Over LI Sound Dredging Disposal
This week, Governor Cuomo announced that he will make good on his promise to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to stop the designation of a long-term dumpsite for dredge material in the eastern Long Island Sound. The new disposal site is in the eastern part of the Sound, less than a quarter of a mile out of New York waters.
The Army Corps of Engineers dredges silt and sand from rivers and ports to keep them navigable. Most of that dredging takes place in Connecticut. The EPA approved a plan in November that allows dumping in the Connecticut portion of the waterway that separates the two states. In 2005, New York State opposed a plan to continue dumping dredge material in the Long Island Sound. This led to the historic agreement between New York, Connecticut, EPA and the Army Corps mandating a focus of beneficial reuse of dredged material and the reduction of open water dumping. However, EPA is ignoring the 2005 agreement and moving forward with expanding additional long term dump sites in the eastern portion of LIS. Cuomo also says that the EPA’s decision is in direct violation of the 1972 Ocean Dumping Act, which outlaws dumping that could affect human health or the environment.
“EPA’s expansion of dumping in the LI Sound is a reckless plan that will damage this estuary,” said Adrienne Espositio, Executive Director of Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment in a statement. “Long Island Sound is an ecological gem that should not to be used as a dump site. The Sound is an extension of our backyards; a beloved waterway for fishing, swimming, clamming, boating, kayaking, and more. We are grateful that New York understands the economic and environmental value of this precious resource and is willing to fight to protect it. We have made great strides in restoring the health of the Sound, seeing dolphins and whales return. Continued dumping thwarts this progress. Long Island Sound cannot and should not be taken for granted. We are immensely grateful for Governor Cuomo’s continued commitment to protect and restore our waters: he is a true Water Warrior.”
Under federal law, New York has to wait 60 days before it can officially sue, which would be sometime in January. The ruling allowing as much as 20 million cubic yards of dredged waste to be dumped off Fishers Island over the next three decades can begin this month. The two open-water dump sites that are currently authorized to operate in the eastern region of the Long Island Sound are only authorized for use until December 23rd of this year, with no other long-term disposal sites available to accept dredged material in that area after they close.
$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 rememberence of those who sacrificed all
This past Wednesday, December 7th, marked the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. It is important at times like these to remember those who have put themselves in harm’s way and sacrificed everything that we may have comfort and safety in our every day lives. Vision Long Island urges you to take time to remember those who were lost and give thanks to those who continue to put themselves at risk for country, family, and community. And to those who do and have done so, we say thank you for your service and sacrifice.
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