Smart Talk September 7th – 13th, 2019

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we look in on the Village of Floral Park’s lawsuit seeking further review of the Belmont Arena, proposed changes to C-6 zoning for the Town of Huntington, and more…

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September 7th – 13th, 2019


COMMUNITY UPDATES

Beatty Harvey Coco Architects

BHC is an Architecture, Planning & Interiors firm covering the Northeast and Mid Atlantic, and offering personal service that only a mid-sized architectural firm can provide. Established in 1880 the firm has wide experience in mixed use buildings, residential, hospitality, office and public projects with a specific emphasis on libraries and educational buildings. They also have technical expertise in the detailed requirements for each of these building types and have completed examples that will allow projects to be unique yet enduring. 

Over the last twenty years they have completed 150 public library projects and designed over 5,000 residential units in varying stages of completion.  They have experience in hospitality projects ranging from the Four Seasons in Baltimore, MD; Boutique Hotels such as the Sagamore Pendry Hotel and the Hotel Madison and James Madison University as well as numerous other hotel projects.

There is also a strong background in ‘Smart Growth’ projects that reflect ‘New Urbanism’ and encourage green planning to provide transit oriented development.  This includes Wyandanch Rising, Copiague Commons and Peconic Crossing. They are also involved with the harborfront development called ‘The Shipyard’ and the Golf Course development called ‘Residences at OHEKA, both on Long Island.   

“We have heard the concerns of our residents who have questioned the impact some development has on our traffic patterns and congestion, on our water quality and our quality of life.. It is our goal to preserve the historic character and suburban charm of our town, while simultaneously supporting economic development and protecting our natural resources.” – Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci speaking on proposed C-6 zoning changes
“The town should be looking for ways to simplify and reduce the cost of building much-needed housing, not looking for ways to raise additional barriers.” – Roger Weaving, president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition
“We understand the Town of Huntington effort in C-6 zones to reign in some aspects of development in commercial and downtown zones. Minimal effort has been made in recent years from many proposals to work with the project’s neighbors, respect historic preservation or hear very local community input.   It is important that deserving larger projects that provide public benefits, affordable housing, quality architecture, conform with historic preservation guidelines and those that have local support be allowed to move forward by variance.” – Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander

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Village Floral Park Files Lawsuit Challenging Belmont Arena Project

The Village of Floral Park has filed a lawsuit challenging state approvals for the Belmont Park redevelopment project that was given the green light over the summer.

The Article 78 lawsuit was filed in NYS Supreme Court and claims that Empire State Development (ESD) failed to address the concerns of the local community.  The lawsuit also alleges that the State failed to mitigate the negative consequences of the mega-project to the surrounding neighborhood.  The suit will seek to halt construction and force new environmental impact studies for the project.

Site work has already begun at the location of the project by developers New York Arena Partners.  The plan before filing of suit was for groundbreaking to take place within the next month.  But local Village officials have long pushed back against the project, which they say did not take into account the needs of their residents.

“We are firm in our conviction that the commencement of this litigation now was unfortunately our last recourse and is required to ensure that the suburban character of our community is not negatively impacted for decades to come,” said Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi. “While the village remains willing to work cooperatively with the state to address our residents’ legitimate concerns, promised initial meetings with the state have been continually held off while construction of the project moves forward.”

Officials and residents both are worried about how the project will affect traffic in the local area and feel as though their concerns were not met in spite of numerous voices calling for it.  NYS officials have countered that the process was transparent and incorporated numerous comments from the local community.  The ESD declined to comment on the litigation.

Vision was not a surprised to see the first lawsuit of what may be many on the Belmont mall and arena project.  While bulk of the community members in Elmont and Floral Park are opposed to this plan, many have voiced support for redevelopment on the site.  The key questions are the potential negative economic and traffic impacts and scale of the project.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Huntington Announces Proposed Changes Aimed at Reining in Development

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Councilmen Eugene Cook and Ed Smyth have announced proposed restrictions will be placed on C6 zones to reign in some aspects of development in commercial and downtown zones.

The proposed changes will affect C-6 zoning across the entire Town and not just in the Village.  The changes will limit height on mixed-use buildings to 38 feet, reduce the floor-area ratio for new developments to 1.5, and eliminate the use of newly acquired municipal parking lots.  The changes will also create new requirements for site plan review and will include traffic and sewer impact along with storm water pollution prevention and design consistency.

“We have heard the concerns of our residents who have questioned the impact some development has on our traffic patterns and congestion, on our water quality and our quality of life,” said Supervisor Lupinacci in a town statement. “It is our goal to preserve the historic character and suburban charm of our town, while simultaneously supporting economic development and protecting our natural resources.”

The proposed changes come as some residents are growing concerned with overdevelopment in the downtown and a loss of identity got Huntington.  However, there are others who are concerned about the restrictions placed on new development that could provide affordable housing in the downtown area for younger residents.  The parking restrictions as written in these proposals will most likely make new developments unfeasible in C-6 areas without subsidies or variances.

“The town should be looking for ways to simplify and reduce the cost of building much-needed housing, not looking for ways to raise additional barriers,” said Roger Weaving, president of the Huntington Township Housing Coalition.

“We understand the Town of Huntington effort in C-6 zones to reign in some aspects of development in commercial and downtown zones,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.  “Minimal effort has been made in recent years from many proposals to work with the project’s neighbors, respect historic preservation or hear very local community input.   It is important that deserving larger projects that provide public benefits, affordable housing, quality architecture, conform with historic preservation guidelines and those that have local support be allowed to move forward by variance.”

Huntington residents and business owners should attend the public hearings on the proposal on October 16th at 7pm.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Affordable Housing Units in Roslyn to be Rebuilt and Expanded

An affordable housing complex in Roslyn Heights has been marked to be razed and rebuilt, adding 8 more units to the site.

Developer Georgica Green will start the three-phase, $44 million project this winter on behalf of the North Hempstead Housing Authority (NHHA).  The project is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months complete.  In addition to new buildings and units the project will create upgraded infrastructure including a new community building and additional parking.

“This is the last of the North Hempstead Housing Authority communities to be upgraded and we are very excited about transforming Laurel Homes into a beautiful and safer community,” said NHHA’s executive director Sean Rainey.

The NHHA will provide housing for residents displaced by the construction.  The current Roslyn complex, built in 1958, has rents ranging from 40 to 60 percent of the area median income.  This project represents the newest one that Georgica Green has undertaken for the NHHA and is currently wrapping up construction of a new 77-unti affordable senior housing development.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

Lynbrook Begins LIRR Station Renewal

Work crews have begun the process of renewing the infrastructure and upgrading amenities at Lynbrook’s LIRR station.

The pre-war station, composed of a concrete viaduct with two island platforms, will undergo $17.9 million in renovations in two separate phases.  The first began this past September 3rd, and is expected to be complete in the second half of 2020.

This first phase will consist of a modernization of platforms that includes new canopies and waiting rooms.  The existing platforms will also be repaired and sealed including the yellow tactile safety strips found along the edge of the platform, which will also be repainted.  There will also be some weatherproofing and repainting for other components of the station.  Other features installed will include new signage, LED lighting, outdoor speakers, CCTV cameras, and free Wi-Fi. 

Phase Two is expected to begin in 2020 as part of the next capital program and is expected to focus mainly on street-level improvements for the station.  The bridge from Broadway to Atlantic Avenue will be repainted and sidewalks will be repaired as well as asphalt and curbs.  Floors and walls in the station itself will be replaced and bathrooms will be installed during this phase as well.  New signage will also be installed and the station will be washed and repainted.

Many of the announced renovations were part of recommendations from Vision that came from a walking audit conducted with AARP.  This process is part of a wider effort by the LIRR to improve conditions at local stations.  These will help to strengthen both reliability and resilience of LIRR infrastructure and support growth in local downtowns.

You can read more on this at the MTA website, A Modern LI.

Westbury BID Holds Annual Street Fair

Vision Long Island was happy to be in Westbury this past weekend to join in on the Business Improvement District’s Annual Street Fair.

The event featured great turnout, games, food and of course weather. Cool to see Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro out with trustees including William Wise, Steve Corte and Vincent Abbatiello. Great to also see Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Clerk Wayne Wink.

While the Street Fair has been underway for a lot of years you can see the event as a complement to the coming train station area revitalization work.  Congratulations to the Westbury BID’s Vanessa Esposito and their board for yet another successful event!

New Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea to Open in Smithtown

Long Island’s first Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea is expected to open soon on Main Street in Smithtown.

The new café will be located 200 West Main and will have both indoor and outdoor seating as well as a drive-thru.  They will offer coffee, frozen drinks and desserts, and a fresh-whipped “Pup Cup” for customers who bring along their dogs.

This will be the first Sweetwaters of what will eventually be 3 on Long Island.  Local franchisees Lou Puleo and Chris Varvaro will announce the opening date in the coming weeks and have pledged a portion of the proceeds from the grand opening to a local Long Island nonprofit.  They will name the recipient of the proceeds in the coming weeks as well.

You can read more at Long Island Times.

Verizon Fios Announces Partnership with Altice to Offer News 12

After announcing the abrupt ending of their flagship news channel, Verizon Fios has announced that it will partner with Altice to offer local channel News 12 to its subscribers.  The service will be available beginning in November and viewers can tune into Channel 535 to watch the local programming. 

Verizon announced the move to shutter its Fios1 News back in August, naming November 15th as the final day for the news channel.  This came as Verizon was ending its contract with RNN News, which prompted the loss of 150 jobs.  The initial announcement caused concern for the loss of a local voice and Verizon responded by announcing that it would replace the coverage.

White it’s good to see that Verizon subscribers will continue to receive local news, it is still unfortunate to lose what was a distinct focus on the local news that came from Verizon Fios1’s coverage.

You can read more at Long Island Business News.

4th Annual LI Bike Parade to be held on September 14th

Join the NY Coalition for Transportation Safety, LI Transportation Alliance, Long Island Streets, the Ethical Humanist Society of LI, and the Village of Hempstead for the 4th Annual LI Bike Parade on Sept 14, 2019.

Participation is completely FREE. Parade follows a 2-mile loop with police escort.  There will be cash prizes for the best “bike floats”.   Those who prefer to walk can join the walking tour, located at 260 Clinton St.  That will gather at 11:30 and begins at noon.

Visit their webpage at http://litransportationalliance.org/parade2019 for a registration form and more information about the parade. Show your support for a more walk-able and bike-able Long Island!  You can email CONTACT@LITRANSPORTATIONALLIANCE.ORG for more information.

Huntington Awareness Day set for September 14th

The Huntington Township Awareness Day is set for Sept. 14, with the Unity in the Community parade that will march from Huntington High School to Stimson Middle School.

Stimson will host a fair from 10am – 3pm, which will include games, food, fun and attractions.

The event is chaired by Dee Thompson and South Huntington school superintendent Dr. David Bennardo.

2nd Annual Estuary Day to take place September 14th

The Long Island Sound Study (LISS), Peconic Estuary Program (PEP) and South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER), in partnership with The WaterFront Center and Friends of the Bay, will host the 2nd annual Estuary Day in Oyster Bay, NY to kick-off National Estuaries Week.

The event will take place on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM at Theodore Roosevelt Park, located at 25 West End Avenue in Oyster Bay.  Free parking will be available and it’s a short walk from the Oyster Bay LIRR train station.

Activities going on all day will include:
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Friends of the Bay Beach Cleanup at Beekman Beach
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Estuary Day Activities: Lecture series, beach seining, beach combing, birding, children’s activities, paddling, and crafts with your local estuary programs
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Sail aboard the Christeen with The WaterFront Center (space limited, fees apply)

For a detailed agenda, partners and additional information visit the NY SeaGrant webpage.

Farmingdale Cultural Arts Day to take Place on September 15th

The fourth annual “Cultural Arts Day” will take place on Sunday, September 15th, and feature Music and Dance performances by local entertainers, in conjunction with the ninth “Art In The Park”!

In addition to music and dance performances at the Gazebo, the Village Green will be filled with about 30 magnificent artists exhibiting and selling their artwork. So many very special, talented artists are set to exhibit, show and sell their original artwork at the event, including the Legendary Long Island artist – Elaine Faith Thompson, Emma’s Journey and more!

Farmingdale student, Emma Brussell of Emma’s Journey, will exhibit and sell her artwork, alongside Rufus, her diabetic alert dog. Emma is dedicated to helping type 1 diabetics purchase diabetic alert dogs. Many artists will be exhibiting, including Live Art with The Tiny Artist Studio, Farmingdale schools, Hardscrabble Seniors, Clothesline Art…

Come meet these special Long Island artists and enjoy their magnificent artwork displayed On the Village Green and support Emma’s Journey on September 15th, rain date September 22nd.  Art in the Park is a juried art show, featuring a wonderful array of original artwork on display – and ribbons and prizes will be awarded. 

You can view the website for updates here, or contact the group at 516-249-0093 or mailto:arodenburg@farmingdalevillage.com.

7th Annual Long Island Car Free Day is on September 20th

Leave your car home or drive it less on Friday, September 20, 2019 as Long Island celebrates Car Free Day.
Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September in which people are encouraged to get around without cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, subway or walk. This year, Long Island will once again join.  Join in this worldwide movement to celebrate sustainable transportation on Car Free Day.

In 2018, 7,325 Long Islanders pledged to be car free or car-lite, resulting in the avoidance of 145,000 miles of driving and 73 tons of CO2 emissions!

Vision Long Island is a sponsor of Car Free Day and has pledged for many years.

To participate in this event, all you have to do is pledge to be car free or car-lite on September 20th by filling out the pledge form. Once you pledge you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win great prizes as well.  People who are already car free are still eligible to enter and win.

Long Islanders Memorialize Loss from September 11th

September 11th is a time to remember those we lost to the tragic events that happened 18 years ago.  Our region was hit hard with so many people being affected by the lives lost that tragic day with too many family members and friends never coming home.

Long Island communities remembered a number of different ways this week, including Nassau County’s latest ceremony, a new memorial in Oyster Bay to mourn the loss of those who died from 9/11-related illnesses, and various ceremonies from across the region.

Smart Talk

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

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

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

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