Smart Talk July 13th – 19th, 2019

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we help guide walking tours in Glen Cove and Huntington Station with AARP, attend the opening of Painting with a Twist in Baldwin, review the new Huntington Accessory Apartment law, and more…

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July 13th – 19th, 2019


Zyscovich Architects

For nearly forty years, Zyscovich Architects has strived to create projects with purpose, bringing new life and vibrancy to cityscapes through integrated urban planning, architecture and interior design. To this day, Zyscovich Architects has remained true to the original concept: design projects that have purpose and meaning. Since the firm’s inception in 1977, the goal has always been to establish a company that can provide high-value services for design-specific issues while placing “social betterment” at the core of everything they do. 

Zyscovich Architects has designed the full spectrum of projects, from transportation facilities and airports to K-12 schools and universities, mixed-use commercial and public-private partnership developments to multi-family residential high rises and master plans for cities. 

“These measures are good for property rights, families just starting out and those on fixed incomes; it opens up the affordable apartment rental supply, as accessory apartments tend to be offered at lower prices than the apartments created as part of new construction. In order to keep generations together on Long Island, the availability of affordable housing and the ability to live affordably are key. The Town’s greatest role in the creation of affordable housing is one of a facilitator. As we assess our options to increase the availability of affordable housing, we need to consider alternatives to the options that would add to an unsustainable burden on our infrastructure and find creative ways to tap into our existing housing supply to fulfill the housing needs for those who feel they can’t afford to live on Long Island.” – Town of Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci speaking on the recently passed Affordable Housing law

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Glen Cove Officials and Residents Join Walking Audit with Vision & AARP

Vision was out last week with our friends at AARP for a Walking Audit of downtown Glen Cove.

The audit was conducted with municipal officials from City of Glen Cove, AARP members, and Vision staff, who all traveled through the main areas of the downtown and connected with new development at the waterfront as well as the new construction at the piazza.

Many of the areas toured can be improved from crosswalks, mid-block crossings, lane narrowing, accessibility and speed reduction that we will delineate in a report. While the roads in the heart of downtown Glen Cove were pretty safe and comfortable, the higher volume roads adjacent to downtown were difficult and unsafe to cross. 

Some crosswalks could use simple upgrades but other areas were missing crosswalks altogether.  Street trees for both traffic calming and shade and wider sidewalks in many locations would improve the pedestrian experience significantly.

Congratulations to the City of Glen Cove for providing excellent input, representatives from RXR for helping understand the timeline of the simultaneous construction, and the members of the Age Friendly Task Force who turned out to assist for this tour.

Vision & AARP Tour Huntington Station with Town and Community Leaders

AARP hosted a walking tour for Huntington Station that included Town of Huntington staff, long time community leaders, and folks from Huntington Matters and Leadership Huntington.  The tour covered the walkability surrounding the new developments at Gateway Gardens and Northridge, as well as the train station area south to Pulaski.

Excessive speeding, dangerous crossings and a host of other design issues have plagued this area for many years mostly on the State and County roads.  Five of the intersections looked at could all be improved, and we will spell out recommendations for these intersections in a follow up report.

The progress that is finally occurring in the train station in the Huntington area needs to include pedestrian amenities, which in many cases are minor changes but some are more substantive. The good news is that New York State is looking at improvements to the roadway and the County may be taking a look at the 5 corners area as well.

New York Avenue is the spine of Huntington Station but in many areas it is dangerous and difficult to cross with up to 1/3 mile between crossings.  Narrower lanes can help calm traffic as well as allow more space for cyclists, and more frequent crossings with refuge islands can make it easier to cross. 

The five corners area is also dangerous for pedestrians with long distances to cross and only one designated crossing.  A more substantial transformation is needed here with much of the excess pavement space made into space for pedestrians instead.

Painting with a Twist Opens in Baldwin, Marking new step in Revitalization

Vision was out this week at the grand opening of a new business in downtown Baldwin – Painting with a Twist.
Katherine and Joanne Bove, along with their family, kicked off the opening of their new painting and wine pairing establishment with support from Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Legislator Deborah Mule, NYS Assemblywoman Judy Griffin, members of the Baldwin School Board and Baldwin Civic Association’s Karen Montalbano.

The retail location offers customers an opportunity to enjoy painting sessions with family or friends.  Participants receive easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to get them working on some art.  They can also purchase some light refreshments as they work.  The Boves have noticed that the business tends to draw “Girl’s Nights Out” as well as couples looking for a fun new date night.  Parent-and-me classes have also drawn customers.

The new location is a franchise, with the original Painting with a Twist located in New Orleans.  The Boves opened the new store after experiencing another one while on vacation.  Vision was happy to see a packed house for this participatory and fun downtown business. The new business is available for parties, corporate events, and daytime family painting lessons.

This store represents just one of many steps in Baldwin’s revitalization.  Vision previously testified in favor of this application at their hearing before the Town of Hempstead.

You can read more here.

Huntington Township Expands Access to Affordable Housing

The Town of Huntington has officially voted to expand access to affordable housing with changes to their Accessory Apartment Law.  Vision Board and staff were happy to see passage after giving testimony in support, along with our friends from the Smart Growth Award winning group the Huntington Township Housing Coalition.

The most significant accessory apartment code change allows the property owner to live in the accessory dwelling unit of their primary residence; a measure that will help offset the cost of living for many residents by allowing the rental of their home’s main dwelling unit. The code changes also reduced the minimum lot size requirement from 7,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet and reduced the lot frontage requirement for an accessory apartment from 75 linear feet to 50 linear feet, helping more property owners qualify for an accessory apartment on their property.

The accessory apartment code changes were enacted July 16, cosponsored by Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci and Councilwoman Joan Cergol, after the Town Board held a public hearing on the resolution May 29.

Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci stated that “These measures are good for property rights, families just starting out and those on fixed incomes; it opens up the affordable apartment rental supply, as accessory apartments tend to be offered at lower prices than the apartments created as part of new construction. In order to keep generations together on Long Island, the availability of affordable housing and the ability to live affordably are key. The Town’s greatest role in the creation of affordable housing is one of a facilitator. As we assess our options to increase the availability of affordable housing, we need to consider alternatives to the options that would add to an unsustainable burden on our infrastructure and find creative ways to tap into our existing housing supply to fulfill the housing needs for those who feel they can’t afford to live on Long Island.”

Councilwoman Joan Cergol noted “The accessory apartment amendments are a win/win/win as they will make it possible for our older residents to age in place, allow our younger residents to attain the dream of homeownership, all while giving the Town a means by which to directly regulate, in many cases, previously illegal rental housing. My prior sixteen years in Huntington Town government specializing in economic and community development have deeply sensitized me to the very real financial challenges and housing needs our residents face every day. I am very proud to be a co-sponsor, together with Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, of these long overdue amendments.”

Check out the story in LI Business News here and Huntington Now here.

Valley Stream BZA Mulls Approval for Rejected Apartment Buildings

A three-story, 18-unit apartment complex being proposed in Valley Stream at the corner of Roosevelt Ave and Cochrane Place has gone before the Valley Stream BZA seeking approval.

The plan was originally rejected by the Nassau County Planning Commission due to a lack of affordable housing, which is required under the 2008 Long Island Workforce Housing Act.  This law requires any development with more than five housing units to include 10% of the apartments at affordable housing prices, or create another affordable housing development in the same neighborhood.  However, the law is considered cumbersome and difficult to enforce.  Planning Commission members also expressed concerns on the project’s density and parking requirements.

The developer, Kay Development, has taken the plan before the Valley Stream Board of Zoning Appeals to request a supermajority of 4 members overturn Nassau County’s decision to reject the plan.  A representative from Kay confirmed that the developer does not intend to include affordable housing units in this luxury apartment complex.  Instead, Kay Development has offered to providee Valley Stream funds that will be earmarked for affordable housing in the area. 

Local residents were also present at the meeting and expressed concerns over density and parking as well.  Kay Development has made some concessions to address concerns on traffic flow for the area.  The Zoning Board is currently considering the project and is expected to announce its decision in the coming days or weeks.

You can read more here.

Extreme Heat on the Way, Cooling Centers to Open and Some Tips from PSEG LI

Temperatures are expected to soar to dangerous levels this weekend.  In response, both Nassau and Suffolk Counties will be opening cooling centers to help keep people cool.  The centers are:

Nassau County

Always call before you go to make sure the cooling center is open.

  • Baldwin Senior Center, 1810 N Grand Ave, Baldwin, 11510, 516-546-7110
  • Bellmore Senior Center, 2000 Bellmore Ave, Bellmore, 11710, 516-221-9696
  • Bethpage Ice Center, 1001 Stewart Ave, Bethpage, 11714, 516-433-7465
  • Cantiague Park, 480 West John St, Hicksville, 11801, 516-571 7058
  • Clinton G. Martin Park, 1601 Marcus Ave, New Hyde Park, 11042, 516-869-6311
  • Elmont Senior Center, 138 Elmont Rd, Elmont, 11003, 516-354-4777
  • Franklin Square Senior Center, 1182 Martha Pl, Franklin Square, 11010, 516-328-3010
  • Grant Park, 1625 Broadway, Hewlett, 11557, 516-571-7821
  • Green Acres Senior Center, 400 Flower Rd, Valley Stream, 11581, 516-872-8810
  • Levittown Senior Center, 555 N Newbridge Rd, Levittown, 11756, 516-433-5454
  • Marjorie Post Rink, 451 Unqua Rd, Massapequa, 11758, 516-797-7990
  • Merrick Senior Center, 2550 Clubhouse Road, Merrick, 11566, 516-868-4777
  • Michael J. Tully Park, 1801 Evergreen Ave, New Hyde Park, 11040, 516-869-6311
  • Mitchel Field Complex, 1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Uniondale, 11553, 516-572-0400
  • Oceanside Senior Center, 2900 Rockaway Ave, Oceanside, 11572, 516-766-8888
  • Rosa Parks Senior Center, 2 Babylon Tpke, Roosevelt, 11575, 516-867-1612
  • Salisbury Senior Center, 460 Salisbury Park Drive, Westbury, 11590, 516-333-5440
  • SYO Woodbury Ice Rink, 7900 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, 11797, 516-677-5990
  • Uniondale-Hempstead Senior Center, 840 Uniondale Ave, Uniondale, 11553, 516-292-1313
  • Uniondale-Merrick Senior Center, 750 Jerusalem Ave, Uniondale, 11553, 516-538-5050
  • Wantagh Park Community Center, 1 King Road, Wantagh, 11793, 516-571-7460
  • Wantagh Senior Center, 1150 Seamans Neck Rd, Wantagh, 11793, 516-785-8505
  • Yes We Can Community Center, 141 Garden St, Westbury, 11590, 516-869-6311

Suffolk County

Always call before you go to make sure the cooling center is open.

  • Brookhaven Gym at SCCC Ammerman, 533 College Rd, Selden, 11784, 631-451-4000
  • HSE Center at SCCC Grant Campus, 1001 Crooked Hill Rd, Brentwood, 11717, 631-851-6700
  • SCCC Eastern Campus – Peconic Building, 121 Speonk Riverhead Rd, Riverhead, 11901, 631-548-2500

PSEG Long Island has also put out a list of tips to help people beat the heat during the extreme weather this weekend.  You can read their full sheet here, but here are some brief tips:

  • Run major appliances such as washers, dryers, dishwashers, and pool pumps in the morning or late evening to avoid peak demand hours of 2 to 8 p.m.
  • Put air conditioners on timers and don’t let them run when not at home
  • Set air conditioners at 78 degrees or higher if health allows
  • Use fans to circulate cool air, which helps cut air conditioner use
  • Make sure you have replaced filters and that A/C coils are clean
  • Set refrigerators and freezers at most efficient temperature

Operation SPLASH is Keeping LI Waterways Clean this and every Summer

A team of volunteers from local not-for-profit Operation SPLASH is out on patrol to keep local waters clean this summer.

Four times a week you can find volunteers from Stop Polluting, Littering and Save Harbors patrolling local creeks and harbors looking for trash and debris.  There are currently seven boats in the organization that are used to help push back on litter in our waters.

“At Operation SPLASH, we don’t just talk about problems, we actually get off of our couches, put down our remotes and go out and work on solving the problem,” said President Rob Weltner.

Opertaion SPLASH has been working to pull trash from the water for 29 years now and has collected nearly 2.5 million pounds of garbage from the South Shore.  All of that is thanks to the hands of around 3.500 members including 300 to 400 active volunteers.

Operation SPLASH was a past recipient of a Long Island Smart Growth Award.  Vision Long Island recognizes the important work they do in keeping our bays clean from pollution for all residents to enjoy.

You can read more about Operation SPLASH and volunteer here.

Coltrane Day Coming to Downtown Huntington on July 20th

The fifth annual Coltrane Day on July 20 will celebrate music ranging from jazz to rap to electronic music and beyond.

A salute to the late jazz legend John Coltrane, the free family-oriented 10-hour festival is packed with workshops, performances, artistic and environmental exhibits, food and raffles.

A full lineup of workshops will teach musical skills to people of all skill levels, and includes Family Improv, led by Napoleon Revels-Bey & Premik Russell Tubbs; Brazilian drum, facilitated by Steve Finkelstein; Songwriting, by Patricia Shih; Community Jam, and more.

The festival is scheduled from noon to 10 p.m. at Heckscher Park in Huntington Village; some workshops will be conducted it the Old First Presbyterian Church or Cinema Arts Centre.

Kudos to Ron Stein for carrying the mantel of this event and the Coltrane Home’s work. Check out the story in Huntington Now.

NYMTC Now Accepting Feedback on Draft Transportation Improvement Program

NYMTC has prepared a draft Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for federal fiscal years (FFYs) 2020-2024 and a related draft Transportation Conformity Determination under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. A thirty-day public comment period for the draft TIP and Conformity Determination began Monday, June 24, 2019 and ends at 4 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

The draft FFYs 2020-2424 TIP lists the federally-funded transportation improvement projects proposed for the NYMTC planning area over the TIP period. These improvements cover various transportation modes and facilities, including roadways and bridges, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, transit equipment and services, safety improvements and demand management programs.

The draft Transportation Conformity Determination includes a regional emissions analysis for mobile sources as required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. A Conformity Determination must accompany the new TIP to demonstrate how forecasted mobile source emissions levels conform to emissions milestones established by the New York State Implementation Plan for Air Quality.

The draft documents, along with background information on development process for each and links to maps showing the locations of projects for the proposed TIP, will be available for viewing and download at https:\\ at the start of the comment period. To request a hard copy of the draft TIP and/or Conformity Determination, send an email or call 212.383.7200.

During the comment period a Public Review Meetings will be held at 3PM and 6:30PM on Long Island at the Perry B. Duryea State Office Building, located at 250 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge.  The meeting’s purpose will be to gather public commentary. Remote participation for each meeting will also be possible through webinars (see links below).  You can register for the webinar here and RSVP for in-person attendance at a meeting for 3PM here and 6:30PM here.

Comments may be made in-person at a meeting or via the webinar which accompanies the meeting. Written comments can be submitted at any time during the comment period by mail, fax and e-mail to: 

New York Metropolitan Transportation Council
Attn: TIP/Conformity Public Comment Period
25 Beaver Street, Suite 201
New York, NY 10004
Fax:  212-383-7244

DOS Releases RFA for Community Training Programs

The Department of State (DOS) has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) under the NY Community Greenworks initiative for not-for-profit community-based organizations engaged in community redevelopment, workforce development, and/or community revitalization. 

NY Community Greenworks will train several community organizations in effective community engagement, green-tech jobs, project development, green building/infrastructure, community revitalization and government funding strategies, ultimately resulting in a signature revitalization project in each community. 

This train-the-trainer approach provides mentoring and technical assistance among peers who are facing very similar challenges and circumstances—such as blight, vacancy, disinvestment, and disproportionate environmental degradation.   

DOS has contracted with PUSH Buffalo (People United for Sustainable Housing) to provide training for up to six community-based organizations (“Green Leaders”) that are interested in learning, adapting and applying PUSH’s innovative approach to community engagement and community development in their own communities. 

More specifically, Green Leaders will learn how to redevelop disadvantaged neighborhoods and transform them into energy-efficient, sustainable, equitable communities, with improved living conditions and a pathway for community members to secure employment in the green technology sector.  The training will produce a plan for a signature revitalization project in each community.

The RFA is available at the DOS website here and the State Contract Reporter here.

NYS DEC Providing Funding for Environmental Justice Grants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) will provide state assistance funding through the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program to community-based organizations for projects that address exposure of communities to multiple environmental harms and risks (“projects”).

Approximately $4,375,929 is available. Applicants may be awarded up to $100,000 each until funding has been exhausted.

All projects must have defined objectives, tasks, and deliverables accounted for in performance measures that can be completed and invoiced within a 36-month contract period/term. Applicants should not begin their projects or incur costs until a Master Contract for Grants (MCG) has been fully approved by DEC, and if applicable approved by the Attorney General and the State Comptroller.  Applicants should not submit an application if they do not anticipate their project can be completed within the specified contract term.

Applicants may submit up to three applications, however, only one application per applicant may be funded. Multiple applications may not be for the same project or projection location.

Projects must serve an EJ community, as defined in DEC Commissioner Policy 29, Environmental Justice and Permitting (available on DEC’s website at:

To apply for this opportunity and for more information surrounding this grant, please go here.

Round IX open for Regional Economic Development Council Competition

Announcing funding for Round IX of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, officially kicking off the 2019 competition for more than $750 million in state economic development resources. The Consolidated Funding Application is now open, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state programs, through a single application, for job-creation and community development projects.

The Regional Councils will compete in 2019 for up to $150 million in capital funds and $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects identified by the Regional Councils as priorities in their regions. All ten regions will be competing this year for designation as a Top Performer. Five top performing regions will be awarded a share of $100 million in ESD Capital grants. The remaining five regions will be awarded a share of $50 million in ESD Capital grants. Each region will also be awarded a share of $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in the region.

In addition, each region will once again receive $10 million to implement projects identified through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and projects from all 10 regions submitted through the CFA will be eligible for over $525 million in other state agency funds.

The 2019 REDC Guidebook and list of available resources will be accessible at deadline for applications is Friday, July 26 at 4 p.m. For applicants, the CFA is available at

Huntington Renames Local Street in Honor of a Woman for the First Time

The Town of Huntington has renamed a street in honor of a local woman for the first time.

The main street used for the Huntington Hospital facility will be renamed Cornelia Prime way from its current View Acre Drive.  Ms. Prime was a local heiress who donated money and land to build the hospital back in 1914, which she referred to as the completion of the desire of her heart.  She was also there for the grand opening of the hospital and would later pass in 1923.

Huntington will also designate August 1st as Cornelia Prime Day.  A ceremony is being planned for the hospital and a rededication of previously lost plaque in the boiler room from the original opening.

You can read more 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
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Northport, NY 11768 
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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