Vision Long Island 2017 Smart Growth Summit Recap

For those of you who were unable to make it to Vision Long Island’s 16th Annual Smart Growth event, please take the time to read through our recap of the event. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s event so successful!

The 16th Annual Smart Growth Summit

More than 1,300 Long Islanders join together to address
downtown revitalization and infrastructure!

With over 1,300 business, community, and government leaders participating, this year’s event provided 16 engaging workshops, excellent speakers, timely topics, great networking and an important message for Long Island on downtowns, housing, environmental & transportation infrastructure and jobs among many others.

Opening Remarks

The 16th Annual Smart Growth Summit kicked off last week just after 8am with a crowd of over 600 attendees filling the Grand Ballroom at the Crest Hollow County Club for the Morning Plenary Session. Hundreds of business and civic leaders as well as elected officials and designees from all levels of government listened on as Vision’s Co-Chair Bob Fonti addressed the crowd, leading with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander touched on some of the recent transit-oriented development projects throughout Long Island in 40 communities with many having representatives in the room.   He continued by thanking the more than 60 sponsors, 45 board members, and staff then acknowledged the elected officials in the room.

He closed his remarks by inviting up Marissa Shorenstein from AT&T New York who shared their firm commitment to local communities during opening remarks.

State of the Towns and Villages

The State of the Towns and Villages panel featured Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town of Hempstead Supervisor-Elect Laura Gillen, Town of Huntington Supervisor-Elect Chad Lupinacci, Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Village of Westbury Mayor Peter I. Cavallaro and Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Eckstrand.

Joye Brown of Newsday, who has moderated this panel for 10 years, began the breakfast panel by remarking how encouraging it was to see three new supervisor elects on the dais.  She then noted that Long Island will die unless we have diversity in housing and asked the Supervisors to comment on what they are doing to address this and other issues.

Supervisor Richard Schaffer of the Town of Babylon replied that they have already made progress; it’s called transit oriented development.  The Town of Babylon was recently upgraded to a AAA bond rating, for the first time in the Town’s history.  Some of their achievements include 260 new residential units in the Wyandanch Rising project, Wellwood Ave corridor project, and others.  He believed that “Our efforts towards economic redevelopment was a contributing factor to Moody’s triple A rating”.  Noting that the Town of Babylon is over 98% developed, “We need to be creative and rethink how we redevelop”.

Mayor Ralph Eckstrand of Farmingdale stated that “Transit oriented development is our best friend, it redeveloped our downtown”.  There used to be 26 empty stores in the downtown, then after construction began on several multifamily projects near the train station, 24 of the 26 have been filled.  Now the village has a lively, walkable downtown, all as a result of TOD.

Mayor Peter Cavallaro of Westbury discussed the 800 multifamily residential units that have been built within five blocks of the rail road.  TOD is a way to make your individual community sustainable, but it also impacts the whole region. “The region isn’t failing, look at each individual location.”

Huntington Supervisor-Elect Chad Lupinacci spoke about the vibrant community that Huntington Station once was and how he will work to help bring back the downtown.  He wants to bring more people into the discussion about development so that people aren’t surprised. He also addressed the growth and parking issues in downtown Huntington as well as the community’s view on new developments throughout the Town.

Hempstead Supervisor-Elect Laura Gillen said she was looking forward to working with Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran to bring back downtown Baldwin and others.  Making downtowns vibrant again by bringing people back into them to support business is one of her main goals.  She touched on the type of vision she has for the Nassau HUB which includes affordable housing, booming retail, and thriving businesses.

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino spoke of embarking on a renaissance in Oyster Bay which will be led by the revitalization of Hicksville’s downtown which was the winner of this year’s $10 million NYS DRI grant.  The plan will include a “highline” and opportunities for streetscaping as well as affordable housing, mixed use development and places for empty nesters.

Joye Brown then turned to the more veteran town supervisors to describe what they have done.

Supervisor Angie Carpenter of the Town of Islip encouraged attendees to read a story about recent coverage on MacArthur Airport. She also mentioned that many downtowns in Islip were dealing with one of the problems of success; an apparent shortage of parking.  Bay Shore has been front and center and though many complain about having to pay for parking, it does keep the spots turning over.  Downtown Islip has no paid parking and many cars occupy the same spots all day long.  She discussed the town’s focus on the old NYIT property in Central Islip and making changes to the zoning along Vet’s Highway. Supervisor Carpenter also spoke about the recently approved LGBT senior housing in Bay Shore that has 100% affordable units for those making between 60-80% of median income. 

Supervisor Ed Romaine of Brookhaven spoke about a number of projects going up in the Town.  The Concern for Independent Living’s project in Middle Island has recently been completed and a number of housing units have been built in Port Jefferson as well.  The proposed East Yaphank project will relocate the current Yaphank train station further east and electrify the tracks.  A rezone will allow for mixed use around the station.  He also advocated for a people mover or other connections between the Ronkonkoma Hub and MacArthur Airport as an example of how we need to reach across political lines and geographic boundaries to get things done.

Mayor Eckstrand noted that the Village of Farmingdale is planning to change development incentives to an increase of affordable units to 20% instead of 10%.

Mayor Pontieri spoke about the 900 units of housing that have been built in Patchogue since 2004, 700 that are walkable to Main Street.  Many of these developments have a significant percentage of affordable units.  He also mentioned the parking study they recently completed and their parking management including the “five dollar all evening parking” which is expected to bring $500,000 of revenue into the Village.

Supervisor Schaffer mentioned the Copiague Commons project which has 20% affordable units for those making 60% of median income.  Schaffer, Carpenter and Gillen discussed the importance of outreach and having factual information about projects to counteract online rumors.

Joye asked what they were doing to help young families in their communities.  Mayor Cavallaro focused on jobs and legalization of accessory apartments to add more affordable housing. Supervisor Carpenter discussed townhouses with accessory apartments for seniors. Supervisor Saladino spoke about the revitalization of downtown Hicksville and the multifamily housing for millennials that’s expected.

Finally, two representatives of the Youth Summit, Wes and Karina from Amityville High School spoke of the need for affordable housing for young people, the value of diverse communities and that new housing should have racial and demographic equity.

At the end of the session Vision’s Director asked the audience if anyone had participated in the recent Regional Plan from Manhattan and two people from the crowd of 650 raised their hands. It was understood that the Smart Growth movement needs to do a better job communicating with the diversity of interests from off Long Island to help these folks see the progress that is being made and to better understand our local communities.

Special thanks to the New York Youth Summit led by Dr. Nathalia Rogers from Berkeley College and assisted by Gail C Lamberta from St. Joseph’s College who had over 80 students tackling issues related to jobs, housing and challenges to life on Long Island.

Check out part 1 of the Morning Plenary Session here and part 2 here.

Jobs and Youth:
Connections to Keep the Next Generation

The Jobs and Youth on Long Island Panel featured a range of experts and recent graduates who have work in local industries. The discussion focused on entry level positions and how young people can find well-paying careers on the Long Island regardless of education level and background. The panelists included Xzavia Miles and Michael DeCicco who are recent graduates from St. Joseph’s College, as well as Paul Trapani of LISTnet, Jamie Moore of LI Manufacturer’s Association, Ryan Stanton of Opportunities Long Island, and moderator Dr. Nathalia Rogers of Berkeley College and the NY Youth Summit.

Jamie Moore was the first to speak, giving an overview on how the Manufacturer’s Association is working to connect young people on the island with well-paying careers that do not require the highest education level. He spoke on the need for young people to find a career that can help lift them even if a college education is not part of their future lives.

Paul Trapani spoke next noting that LISTnet is working to build a strong technology sector in our region that will help to create a pipeline between companies looking for new talent and schools producing the talent. They are also striving to provide an incubator system with event space for startups looking to expand. 

Michael DeCicco and Xzavia Miles spoke next, giving a brief overview of how they made the decision to stay on Long Island after graduation. A big part of their stories involved interning for school credit that translated to direct experience and job hirings. 

Finally, Ryan Stanton spoke on Opportunities Long Island, a program created through local unions aimed at giving young people with less prospects a chance to be an apprentice and learn a trade in local industries. Mr. Stanton held up as an example, an individual who went from working at a liquor store to apprenticing for a steel worker now making over $100,000 a year. He further noted that apprenticeships and programs such as this lift people out of poverty and help grow local industry.

The panelists next took a series of questions from the audience of educators and students. Questions ranged from how local students could find out about available programs to what incentives students have to stay on Long Island. Panelists also took time to discuss how they were able to make industry connections and how important it was to do your own legwork in order to find available jobs outside of the usual paths. The speakers made a point to note that higher education was important but the lack of degree was not a dead end that a lot of students tended to believe it was.

The Changing Retail Landscape:
Opportunities for Redevelopment

The Changing Retail Landscape panel included a collection of professionals who talked about the need to bring real change to our local economy through support for small retail in our downtowns. The panel was made up of Larry Rosenbloom from Zyscovich Architects, Russel Helbling from Sabre Realty, Joe Deal from Bohler Engineering, Francesca Carlow of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, Dustin Downey from the Southern Land Company, and moderator Gina Colettifrom the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers.

The panel started with Larry Rosenbloom, who spoke on the effort to bring opportunities to local brick and mortar stores as opposed to the big box stores. Mr. Rosenbloom talked about the need to focus on placemaking in our downtown areas as well as what can be done to improve zoning laws. He spoke about town centers being the prime piece of the puzzle as a place with ongoing activities at all hours of the day and night. Next up, Dustin Downey from Southern Land Company spoke about a ground-up approach to developing mixed use. Using his national experience, he talked about examples ranging from North Carolina to Dallas to Las Vegas. Mr. Downey talked about the need for proper, smart development in order to ensure that a retail boom does not become a bust and how it starts with the right kind of zoning and building plans.

The next speaker was Russel Helbling of Sabre Realty, who’s portion of the panel addressed the proper marketing and perspective in order to sell the retail vision. He talked on the how the landscape in our region has changed in recent memory, with big box stores drying up and smaller businesses moving back in to claim the void. Mr. Helbling talked about, going forward, it would be necessary to present projects to the public in a way that shows how it all works together. Francesca Carlow, the current president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, reflected on her own experience as a small business owner over the last 57 years. Ms. Carlow also talked about how retail is not dead but has changed with the rise of larger, online retail chains such as Amazon. Such entities are making it increasingly difficult for smaller businesses to compete due to a lack of oversight, regulation, and taxation on the online entities. She closed her portion of the panel by speaking on the need to shop local and support small communities.

The final speaker was Joe Deal from Bohler Engineering. Mr. Deal talked about how retail can be made stronger once again and that local stores were not dead. He went on to speak about Long Island’s abundance of downtown centers, which provide the framework for businesses. However, mixed use and zoning changes were necessary in order to maximize their potential. He also talked about how ideal Long Island is to implement this but that there would need to be a re-investment of funding for the stores.

The panel offered a glimpse at how improvement can come from the ground up with retail and help to breathe life back into downtowns in the region while providing future generations with a sense of community and local pride.

Smart Cities:
Using Technology for Downtown Renewal

The downtown ecosystem can benefit from the integration of a wide array of technologies that have been evolving rapidly. Attendees of the workgroup were able to hear discussion regarding systems to benefit our downtowns such as those to increase energy efficiency, connected and autonomous vehicles, communication technologies to enhance connectivity, and apply them to our downtowns to make them more efficient and state-of-the-art. Panelists Chris Fisher, NYS Wireless Association; Jason Whittet, AT&T Smart Cities; and Barry Dynkin, American Cyber Institute, and moderator Jaci Clement from the Fair Media Council, described what a Smart City might look like in our own back yards and how we can achieve them.

Chris Fisher mentioned how Smart Cities gain their intelligence by using data collected from the Internet of Things (everyday items equipped with connectivity to send and receive information) to improve quality of life. Objects like street lights or telephone poles might be adapted with sensors that enable us to use them more efficiently. Fisher suggested implementing small cells in towns, which are low-powered radio access nodes that can be affixed to lamp posts and phone poles. He explained that internal and external investments, infrastructure and high-speed broadband are the future and that technology follows development

Jason Whittet talked about how conversions to LED is a viable option, as it is not only attractive, but it’s safer, especially for parking lots. The switch also has the potential to save 20% on the electricity bill. Whittet explained that with a digital photocell, local law enforcement can control the lighting powering up or down when necessary or to check that they are working. Though standardization is important, Whittet pointed out that smart cities are all uniquely local. It’s about what wireless assets are available, local bids, economic development, chambers, digital inclusion, education and better connectivity.

Dynkin recognized that Smart Cities can be an advantage for retail as well by blending online shopping with a physical space. Even the possibility of self-driving cars could be seen in our lifetime, about two to three decades out, Dynkin estimates, saying that he believes autonomous vehicles could decrease fatalities by approximately 90%. Though there are concerns that risks of personal data being collected and used for nefarious purposes, Dynkin assures that smart projects have cyber security in mind from the get-go. He noted that security is involved from the earliest stages, but policy makers and officials also need to adhere to standards.

Jaci Clement, Fair Media Council and panel moderator, stressed that the need for broadband is critical. Although there’s no “playbook” for designing the perfect smart city, it was noted for stakeholders to all of their community leaders to talk about their town’s specific needs and that planning, zoning and broadband are all integral parts for future growth.

Community Solar:
Upcoming Clean Energy Opportunities

The Community Solar panel centered around the discussion of where Solar power fits into the future for renewable energy on Long Island and solutions to today’s problems in the industry. The panel featured David Schieren from SunPower by EmPower Solar, Anthony Bartone from Terwilliger & Bartone, Mike Passantino from Trinity Solar, Mike Voltz from PSEG Long Island, and was moderated by Neal Lewis from the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College.

David Schieren of SunPower by Empower Solar kicked off the panel with a discussion about community shared solar. Mr. Schieren expounded on the industry and numerous benefits to solar for local consumers and larger utilities as well as the potential for future improvement. Mr. Schieren  feels that with a little planning, we can achieve more sola. Mr. Schieren noted the importance of the development side of things.

Next, Anthony Bartone of Terwilliger & Bartone spoke on the concept of Roof Real Estate. Mr. Bartone used the Cornerstone at Farmingdale as an example of solar on a roof that does not supplement power for tenants but rather for the community. He discussed how such projects are more attractive for younger people while also providing a return on the investment due to incentives and cost saving.

The next speaker on the panel was Mike Passantino from Trinity Solar, who contributed to the Community Solar discussion by talking about opportunities available to residents and home owners. The initiative allows consumers to be a part of a green community even if they themselves can’t put solar on their property. The feeling of being a part of a solution provides for intangible incentives to encourage people to stay in their community. 

Mike Voltz of PSEG was the final panel speaker, and he used his part of the panel to talk about Long Island’s place in New York’s solar industry. He noted that Long Island boasts more residential homes with solar than other portions of the state and pointed out that growth has continued even after rebate programs ended for most utilities. He also spoke on the NYS Clean Energy Standard, which will require 50% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. 

Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways:
Design Solutions for Complete Streets

Fixing Long Island’s Dangerous Roadways: Design Solutions for Complete Streets had a panel of engineers, planners and activists to describe projects across Long Island that are making our roadways safer for all users. Greg Del Rio, Director of Transportation Planning and Engineering for NV5’s Northeast region; Sean Sallie, Planning Division Supervisor for Nassau County Department of Public Works; Tra Vu, Technical Director of Modelling and Visualization at Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.; and Michael Vitti, President of C.L.I.M.B. (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists) and L.I.G.H.T. (Long Island Greenways and Trails) spoke on the panel. Brian Sapp and Imran Ansari, Long Island representatives for the Governor’s office came to bring questions and information to the Governor and Elissa Kyle, Placemaking Director of Vision Long Island, moderated.

Greg Del Rio kicked of the panel with a variety of different projects from around Long Island. A redesign of Union Boulevard eliminates an unnecessary center turn lane and reprograms the space to create protected bike lines buffered by parallel parking. On the East Setauket Greenway, trail crossings at roads are designed to automatically signal a rapid flash rectangular beacon when hikers or cyclists approach the intersection. Other projects included a signalized, single lane underpass on River Road in Yaphank, projects in downtown Port Washington and Great Neck Plaza, and a connection to the proposed BRT on Nicolls Road.

Sean Sallie described several larger projects that Nassau County is beginning for both safety and economic development and the challenge of balancing sometimes conflicting interests. In East Atlantic Beach a road diet will allow for a separate cycle track along the roadway. Grand Avenue in Baldwin will receive a road diet in the lower volume areas to allow for additional pedestrian and bicycle space. Hicksville is also about to begin a traffic study for planned revitalization near the train station.

Tra Vu discussed the disconnect between the technical details and the public and demonstrated a virtual reality model that allowed a volunteer from the audience to experience some of the proposed changes to Grand Avenue in Baldwin. Comments from the viewing were entered into the model which was communicated back to the design team in real time.

Michael Vitti described the desire to make trails across Long Island accessible by bike so that riders don’t need to drive their car to the trail. As an advocate, he fought for projects such as the River Road underpass seven years ago and it is now becoming reality. He also spoke about other projects such as the Motor Parkway trail, Ocean Parkway extension, and others that are in different stages of funding. Finally, he emphasized a need for a Long Island Bike/Ped coordinator to coordinate the many piecemeal projects around the island into an interconnected network that is useful for the public.

Financing for Small Business:
Resources to Assist Main Street

The Financing for Small Business panel featured a number of local stakeholders from utilities as well as representative from local small business. The panel featured John Keating from PSEG Long Island, David Levine from American Sustainable Business Council, Robert Fonti from the Long Island Business Council, Steve Haines from NYIT, Lyle Sclair from National Grid, and Elizabeth Custodio from People’s United Bank as the moderator.

Lyle Sclair of National Grid spoke first, giving a presentation on National Grid’s role in the community. Mr. Sclair spoke on National Grid’s commitment to providing support and relief to local communities and small business. He emphasized how National Grid is using programs to attract both customers and businesses to local regions through several programs. John Keating spoke next, talking about the strong commitment to energy efficiency that PSEG has. He also noted that both renewables and economic development programs help to create jobs and encourage growth of businesses. He spoke on how PSEG is working to promote local programs to make things simpler and faster for local businesses.

Bob Fonti of the Long Island Business Council followed up by speaking on the need for small businesses to control expenditures. He noted that there are organizations currently working to partner businesses in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties together to maximize political power and work on both a local and federal stage to lower costs. Steve Haines from NYIT talked next on an industry engagement initiative in place to support small businesses. The program has professors collaborating with small businesses to get a clear understanding of their needs and pair them with professors that can help provide solutions.

Finally, David Levine spoke on the ability for leaders to step up and be heard as a crucial component to the success of small businesses. Consolidation of leadership would help with access to capital and ability to compete with large organizations, who tend to soak up a disproportionate amount of tax relief and infrastructure spending. 

The panel ended with a consensus that what is needed is more programs to offer cost saving programs to small businesses and less of a focus on larger, national chains. This can be done with a mix of utility programs aimed at cost cutting and efficiency as well as through direct lobbying by small business groups looking to expand their growth.

Project Financing & IDA’s:
Investment for Successful Redevelopment

The Project Financing and IDA’s panel focused on the ability for local stakeholders to be able to acquire funds for or re-invest back into their businesses through public-private partnerships. The panel featured Nick Terzulli from the Nassau County IDA, William Mannix from the Town of Islip IDA, Sean Cronin of Cronin & Cronin, David Leno from Rivkin Radler, with Anthony Mannetta of the Town of Babylon moderating.

The panel began with Mr. Terzulli and Mr. Mannix speaking on the roles of their respective IDA’s in the day to day business of local communities. The main theme was the idea of the IDA as a tool to help advance and develop the local economy in a way to benefit residents. Part of that role includes providing incentives for private projects while guiding public policy goals. The goals should work to further revitalization in the area and provide for a public purpose. Mr. Terzulli noted the wide array of projects in recent years, especially in Nassau, and how they have covered the gambit from commercial to retail to industrial to manufacturing. They also spoke on the need for retention of good employees in the area and how the NYS Economic Development Council can help to provide that for local businesses.

Sean Cronin was the next speaker and he talked about his experience as a zoning and land use attorney and how delays, regulations, and taxes are tripping up local developments. He spoke on the need for IDAs to focus on multi-family projects in downtowns and the toolkit of PILOT programs and exemptions could help to attract these projects. He also noted the need to foster newer cottage industries popping up across the island such as food related industries and breweries. 

David Leno from Rivkin Radler spoke last and talked about uniting companies with the IDA through greater incentives in order to attract local talent, labor, and supplies. He spoke on the IDA process and a need to expedite projects to get final approval while ensuring compliance with regulations, job requirements, and accountability. Mr. Leno touched on the need to convey these benefits to local businesses while cleaning up the process to make compliance easier.

The panel covered a wide array of information related to IDA’s and what they can do in order to bring prosperity to local business owners and the region as a whole.

Upcoming Transportation Investments:
Securing Our Region’s Fair Share of Funding

The Upcoming Transportation Investments: Securing the Region’s Fair Share of Funding panel focused on long term planning and transportation projects around the region. Speakers included Gerry Bogacz from NYMTC, Kyle McGraw of the LIRR, Mitch Pally of the MTA, Mike Setzer of NICE Bus, Scott Trommer of WSP, and was moderated by Michael Harrison of Axcelsior Strategic Solutions.

Gerry Bogacz of NYMTC described the process of how federal transportation funding gets allocated. NYMTC includes county executives from each of the suburban counties in the region as well as representatives from NYC DOT, NYC Planning, NYS DOT, the MTA and the Port Authority. Every four years they develop a new plan to determine which projects get funding. Kyle McGraw of the LIRR described the numerous projects currently underway to upgrade and modernize the Long Island Railroad including upgrades to Penn Station and the Farley Train Hall, East Side Access, the third track on the Main Line and Second track to Ronkonkoma. These will allow an express lane during peak times, improve reliability, and allow reverse peak travel.

Mitch Pally disccused current projects the MTA is working on including the Second Avenue Subway, the Extension of the 7 line, elimination of toll booths at bridges and Metro North improvements under the Tappan Zee bridge. He also spoke about countdown clocks at all stations and that the LIRR will be switching the old M3 cars for newer M9 cars with more amenities. Mike Setzer of NICE bus spoke about how today’s NICE Bus is a fine 20th Century bus system, but they are looking to upgrade to 21st Century personalized service, looking to treat mobility as a service. Currently ridership and service follow the curve of funding. The system is labor intensive and they are looking to implement more “right sized” buses and autonomous vehicles in the future.

Scott Trommer of WSP spoke about funding of transportation systems around the globe. Other areas use value capture for development projects and public private partnerships to build and expand systems.

Other issues discussed during the Q&A session were ways to improve north-south transportation on the island, common fare structures between different transit systems based on software instead of machines, and the possibility of congestion pricing.

Making Communities More Resilient:
Actions Underway to Prepare for the Next Storm

Creating sustainable communities by leveraging available resources is an important task to undertake on Long Island in order to better prepare for future disaster events, and to recover faster with less of an impact. Attendees were able to learn about ways that municipalities and the private sector have been able to undertake and assist in various resiliency projects on Long Island, and what else needs to be done in order to ensure that businesses and residents can get on their feet faster in the future. Panelists included Jeanmarie Buffet, Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery; Marwa Fawaz, VHB; Andy Zucaro, Zucaro Construction; Joseph Donaghy, American Mobile Home Leasing; Mike Irknowski, Institute for Building Technology & Safety; and Jon Siebert, Friends of Long Island, Moderator.

Jeanmarie Buffet discussed the federal $4.5 billion in CDBG-DR funding allocated for New York State to build resilience. Twenty-two communities on Long Island participated in the Community Reconstruction Program, a grassroots community-based planning process, with each of these communities on Long Island receiving between $3-25 million in funding for area-specific projects. $250 million in funds and 80 projects in Nassau and Suffolk are now being implemented from the Community Reconstruction Program.

Mike Irknowski talked about their firm’s expertise in HUD and CDBG facilitation. The non-profit corporation has been helping on Long Island with Sandy recovery, and currently has about 80 personnel in Houston and Louisiana assisting with recovery efforts there. ITBS goes beyond standard disaster planning by applying lessons learned from the real-world experiences of other communities, and has ensured that the funding for resiliency has been applied properly.

Joseph Donaghy discussed how their mobile homes assisted residents with housing needs after Sandy and with smaller scale emergencies such as fires on Long Island, at times within 24 hours. With the shortage of affordable housing on Long Island when there are not needs stemming from disaster, the company helps bridge that gap by providing flexible, on-site service to residents without the cost and hassle of finding short-term leases during the recovery process. He mentioned that those that did not have a mortgage after Sandy, especially seniors, were ineligible for Interim Mortgage Assistance funding through HUD, creating barriers in the recovery process.

Andy Zucaro talked about how his company bought a business based out of California post-Sandy to elevate homes on Long Island, with Zucaro lifting over 700 homes to date for residents. After the storm, he was able to reallocate employees from his construction business to help repair damaged homes, and then elevate them to prevent future flooding.

Marwa Fawaz discussed the Baldwin Resiliency Study, funded through GOSR, which focused on physical resiliency, but also economic resiliency, increased mobility and housing options. Hundreds of residents and dozens of community organizations contributed to the study, with four community-based recommendations for the revitalization and resiliency of Baldwin; a LIRR TOD District, installation of green infrastructure, storm resiliency, and economic resiliency.

Questions and comments from the audience included topics such as if communities are choosing to retreat from the waterfront in certain areas to prepare for the next storm event, how the community planning done after Sandy will open doors to other grant opportunities for resiliency, and how the communities can prepare during “blue sky days”. Suggestions for improvement during the next event included ways to streamline the funding outlets for housing recovery, incorporating more green infrastructure to help with more frequent storm surge, and ways to better provide housing affordable opportunities for those recovering.

Environmental Challenges:
Water, Infrastructure Investments 
to Help Manage Growth

The Environmental Challenges panels featured numerous Long Islanders who have spent years working towards providing a clean environment for the future while meeting necessary infrastructure needs. Experts on the panel included Adrienne Esposito from the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Michael Martino from United Water, Chris Weiss from H2M Architects + Engineers, David Berg from Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan, Heather Johnson from Friends of the Bay, and moderator Sarah Oral from Cameron Engineering.

The panel began with David Berg discussing the program and how it’s been working to affect change. Mr. Berg spoke on the mission of dealing with nitrogen issues and data collection in order to find sources. He also listed the numerous health hazards that can be caused by the byproducts of excess nitrogen such as algae blooms, fish kills, and disease among humans. He concluded his portion by speaking on possible solutions such as reducing fertilizer use, increasing shellfish population, and seaweed beds. 

Adrienne Esposito was up next and she spoke on the many issues concerning septic and sewage infrastructure projects. She noted that 74% of Suffolk is not sewered and that complications from that fact could lead to more nitrates in the ground and in our drinking water. Ms. Esposito did speak on some good news, noting that Suffolk County is working on a new, innovative septic system that should begin to be available by year’s end and will feature a grant program.

The third speaker was Michael Martino who discussed the Bay Park and Cedar Creek treatment plants. 50 million gallons of sewage runs through the plants each day, but Sandy showed that worst case scenarios must be considered. Mr. Martino also brought up the possibility of water reuse programs that may be able to help reduce wastewater. He noted that, while United is a private, for-profit company, they consider their focus to be on the environment as well as profits and that they must increase efficiency.

Chris Weiss spoke next, discussing the Riverhead reuse facility, which he said was the most advanced facility in the state. Mr. Weiss went on to talk about how the reused water is irrigated into public lands and used to run local plants. This was a particularly relevant case because Riverhead did not have water reuse standards before the facility and had to develop them in real time. The end result is a saving of 550,000 gallons a day from the aquifer.

The final speaker was Heather Johnson who talked on their mission to monitor water quality, educate the public as well as officials, and the importance of water quality. Some of the issues her organization faces today include finding the right type of personnel and preparing for weather incidents that can affect the health of the bay. She ended the panel by talking about how necessary it is to provide funding for groups such as hers and others looking to create a clean and sustainable environment.

Increasing Supply of Affordable Housing:
Strategies for Successful Redevelopments

The Increasing Supply of Affordable Housing panel featured a number of local developers and activists who are working to provide housing for those most in need within our region. The panel featured Peter Florey from D&F Development, Ralph Fasano from Concern for Independent Living, Arthur Krauer from Conifer Realty, Jack Kulka from Kulka Construction, Paul Llobell from the Long Island Board of Realtors, and Joe Sanseverino from the Long Island Housing Partnership moderated.

Paul Llobell was up first, and talked on the focus of the LI Board of Realtors and how the industry, as a whole, is strong right now. However, affordable housing has become few and far between according to numerous points of metrics and stats. Median prices of homes have been increasing rapidly recently, making it more difficult for affordable to be considered as such under the current definition. This has led to growing number of people being unable to afford affordable housing regardless without having a higher than usual income. 

Peter Florey from D&F spoke next, talking about his company’s efforts to provide affordable housing in newer developments in order to help expand opportunities for young people to stay on Long Island. He pointed out the Highland Green Residence had opened in December of 2016 after sitting vacant for 15 years. He also touched on the Islip LGBTQ development that will feature 75 senior units and a community center. Ralph Fasano discussed his organization’s efforts to provide homes and stability for aging Long Islanders. He spoke on the need for housing policy that includes mixed-use supportive housing, community case management, single site supportive housing, apartment treatment residences, and community residences. Mr. Fasano concluded by stating that it’s important to pressure public officials to move projects forward in order to provide these opportunities for local communities.

Next was Jack Kulka, who runs Kulka construction spoke on the aggravation of wasted time and money for projects that don’t happen and the need to find a way to move them forward. Mr. Kulka called for a need for educate communities on projects and not get hung up on small details that might derail a much-needed development for the sake of a few angry voices.  Arthur Krauer of Conifer Realty spoke last concerning his company’s efforts to provide affordable housing. He used his personal experience as someone who left the island for 30 years after graduation and returned to make his home community better. He stated that there were 5 important tenants of affordable housing: zoning, site control, infrastructure, money, and market & people. He ended the panel by noting that it’s important to educate the state and the community or the process will always be slow and never improve. 

Aging in Places:
How to Create Vibrant Livable Communities for All Ages

More than 90 percent of older adults would prefer to age in place rather than move to senior housing; however, a gap exists between their desire and the reality of the modifications their home may require as well as the affordability for empty-nesters and seniors on Long Island. About 76 million people were born between the years 1946 and 1964. And now, they’re all retiring – about 11,000 of them will turn 65 each day until 2029.  Workshop attendees were able to learn how Long Island is aiming to bridge this difference between supply and need in an inclusive environment. Panelists included Dom Marinelli, United Spinal Association; Rebecca Miller, Dept. of Services for the Aging, Town of North Hempstead; and Larry Levy, Hofstra University, Moderator.

Rebecca Miller said that in North Hempstead, they are ahead of the game, and that aging in place is very doable. Smart Growth was inevitable in an area where there are so many hospitals and health care centers. Seniors require access to doctors, food and transportation. Project Independence is helping them fulfill that need. Miller explained that a phone call to 311 puts any senior 65 and over in touch with a call center that can help answer questions and provide needed services. There is no charge or income level required to access 311. Whether it’s reduced taxi rates or information about Tai Chi, this resource is an asset to allowing seniors to remain in their familiar surroundings and get the assistance they need for a better quality of life. A program called C-GRASP offers Caregiver Grandparent Respite and Support, and is designed to assist those grandparents who have had to take on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren due to a number of often unexpected challenges.

Dom Marinelli mentioned that in order to make things accessible to seniors, modifications are required to buildings and public transportation, such as larger doorways and ramps for wheelchairs. He noted it’s all about codes. His organization has done the research to see what the disabled need in our community. They have trained officials, architects and enforcement. There are requirements for accessible parking, signage, sidewalks, bathrooms, entrances and more but he believe that any existing buildings need to comply with those standards.

Larry Levy talked about his quest to find a new home, with aging in place in mind. What aids in a happier home life? Proximity to downtowns, walkability, diversity, and social activities nearby.  He explained that he wanted exactly what millennials want, a smart downtown. He noted we need to bring together the two, millennials and seniors.

The group concluded with saying what compliance creates is a better environment for everyone, not just those in retirement. This universal design makes the entrance to the restaurant easier for those using a walker or pushing a stroller. It’s an age-friendly approach that will truly blend the generations and providing a safe space to age or age in place.

Long Island’s Energy Future:
Projects and Policies that Drive Our Energy

The panel discussing Long Island’s Energy Future featured a set of experts who have spent years working to bring efficient and inexpensive energy to Long Island’s residents. The panel featured a presentation by Tom Falcone of LIPA, Frank Wolack from FuelCell Energy, Richard Kessel, and was moderated by Kathleen Wisnewski from National Grid.

The panel began with a presentation from Tom Falcone who spoke on how LIPA has been working to shore up the existing system and bring down debt in order to provide relief for local electric rates. Part of that process has included an investment in renewable energy sources for local customers as well as research into the feasibility of emerging fields to help transport energy. LIPA has also been working to improve customer satisfaction with programs to help lower income individuals as well small businesses. Mr. Falcone also noted that a big part of the public debt is tied up in property taxes for power generators, which have grown out of whack recently and could see some correction going forward. He also mentioned that electric transportation is becoming more and more of a reality and that electric companies will need to improve efficiency in order to meet the growing demand.

Frank Wolak spoke next on Fuel Cell technology and how it’s affecting transportation of energy in the region. Mr. Wolak talked about how fuel cells are undergoing almost constant improvement as an efficient means to transport energy. They also work as an important resource for renewable energy since they are modular and can plug in to traditional solar and wind power. The panel also heard from Richard Kessel, who spoke on past and future LIPA policies. He noted that efficiency has become more and more important, that storage of energy will be a critical new field going forward, especially when grouped with renewable energy. He ended by stating that integration of varying forms of energy generation will be key moving forward.

The panel tended to agree that energy generation as well as storage are on an upward path for improvement. The outlook seemed to be that customers will be able to enjoy relatively flat energy costs for the time being as technology becomes cheaper, more efficient, and easier to transport to the local customer.

 Networking Luncheon

Nearly 1000 people filled the ballroom for luncheon portion this year. Vision Co-Chair Bob Fonti, kicked off the lunch with the pledge and introduced Vision’s Director Eric Alexander who thanked the many who helped support the event. 

Rich Cave of 1st Equity Title and, spoke about how the organization he founded has helped to raise money for local breast cancer charities. After losing an aunt to breast cancer, he founded the “extreme networking” organization to network for a cure. In addition to fundraising, they highlight local organizations that do great work on the island. In the past five years, they have grown over 500% and have raised millions for the cause and are looking to create a movement of conscious capitalism on Long Island.

Following Rich, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone spoke about the many incredible things happening across Long Island, but reminded the audience that vibrant, sustainable economic growth in itself is not enough and that every community must be able to take advantage of that growth. He spoke of the goals of vibrant downtowns with innovation jobs, affordable housing, connections to transportation and access to shops and restaurants. He thanked Governor Cuomo for his leadership driving large projects forward such as East Side Access, third track and double track projects with the LIRR that can help support the many downtown projects across the island.

County Executive Bellone appealed to President Trump to stop the tax reform plan underway. While Long Island sends millions more to Washington than we get back each year, the tax plan increases the taxes of most Long Islanders to give tax cuts to other parts of the country. He appealed to the President as a New Yorker who should understand that being middle class on Long Island is different from being middle class in other parts of the county.

Next, Don Monti of Renaissance Downtowns spoke about opportunities for Long Island moving forward in a positive way. He reflected back on a feature Newsday ran in 1978 about Long Island at a crossroads and remarked about how we face many of the same problems today. He spoke of a need for certainty for businesses to stay and expand on the island. He then spoke about what millennials are looking for today and how they seek out where they want to live before finding a job. Look at ways to make government more efficient and provide incentives for development.

Next Nassau County Comptroller-Elect Jack Schnirman spoke about getting Nassau County’s house in order then opening their doors to other Nassau communities looking to make things more efficient

Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran reflected on first being introduced to Vision Long Island four years ago when elected to the Nassau Legislature and appreciated the bipartisan approach to getting things done. She described transit-oriented development as her passion and the key to unlocking our growth potential. She plans to work across party lines and municipal lines to build communities where it makes sense, near train stations. She is going to work with the Nassau IDA to ensure that projects that get tax breaks really benefit the community, create a more transparent process and ensure that affordable housing is a stated goal for IDA benefits. Transit is a critical component of TODs and she will work to make sure that bus funding isn’t on the chopping block and look for ways to improve flexibility in the bus system. Finally, she spoke of bringing together the Economic Development department with the Parks and Recreation Department to increase tourism and bring in more revenue to the County. She looks forward to working with Supervisor-Elect Laura Gillen on the Nassau HUB and moving the vision forward.

To conclude the lunch, Eric Alexander invited over twenty community leaders to the dais for an announcement. Assistant Director Tawaun Weber announced the upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala to be held at the Crest Hollow on February 15th to celebrate Vision Long Island’s 20 years of working with communities across the island. Finally, Eric presented several community leaders with vouchers for Southwest Airline tickets as a thank you for their hard work to improve their communities.

You can view Richard Cave’s remarks here.

You can view Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s remarks here.

You can view Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran’s remarks here.

You can view Nassau County Comptroller-Elect Jack Schnirman’s remarks here.

Major Development Projects

The afternoon panel on Major Development Projects discussed upcoming projects around Long Island. Panelists included David Wolkoff of Heartland Town Square, Steven Krieger of Engel Berman, Nick Halstead of Mill Creek Residential, Sean McLean of Renaissance Downtowns, Chris Kelly of Tritec Capital and was moderated by David Winzelberg of the Long Island Business News.

Steve Krieger began by describing the project he is working on in downtown Baldwin at the corner of Grand Avenue and Merrick Road. They won an RFP issued by the Town of Hempstead and are currently in the process of acquiring the necessary parcels. The project will include a mix of retail including an LA Fitness, dorm rooms and multi-family housing. They hope to have the project under construction in a year and a half. He also discussed another project in Calverton for a research and treatment center for drug rehabilitation. The project is on 39 acres andit will include a campus arrangement to allow for research in partnership with Northwell Health to implement it.

Nick Halstead described a current project on Searing Avenue in Mineola made up of 192 units in two buildings across the street from each other. The units are a mix of one and two bedroom units and amenities in each building that are open to all residents. There will be structured parking in each building and excavation is currently underway.

Sean McLean gave a presentation of the Riverside project in Southampton Town. This project has been developed through an extensive community input process both online and in person. The project will include a sewage treatment plant that will not only treat new wastewater from the development but will also treat the waste from hundreds of homes in the area currently on cesspools. A Form Based Code was developed to guide the density and the design while allowing the project to evolve over time as the market changes. The project will include 2200 units of housing with 50% of the units priced as workforce housing financed by tax credits as well as commercial space and other uses. 

Chris Kelly of Tritec spoke about the Ronkonkoma Hub Project. Phase 1 is starting now at the eastern edge of the site and will include 489 units in six buildings. Phase 2 will start next year and include 261 units and 95,000 sf of retail. Phase 3 will be in the center by the train station and will be more geared to retail and entertainment. They are looking to create an 18 -hour community complete with places to live, work and play. They are designing it to serve as a gateway to what Long Island has to offer.

Finally, David Wolkoff showed a video simulation of the proposed Heartland project. The project will include 9,000 units of housing and 3 million square feet of retail when complete. The project will include electric buses to the Deer Park train station, bike paths, and pocket parks throughout. There will be 300,000 sf of office space in the first phase and they are looking to keep mid-sized and larger companies on Long Island. The project will be geared towards empty nesters and millennials and will be a 24-hour community with a movie theater and connections to the Edgewood Preserve. The project will likely take 30 years to fully build out.

During the Q&A session issues such as financing, and reducing the likelihood of having an article 78 filed were discussed. While financing for multi-family projects is easy to obtain, banks won’t finance entire projects anymore, builders need equity. Most don’t seek investors until the project has moved significantly through the approval process. Some methods for dealing with potential article 78s included extensive community input or focusing on areas where zoning has already been changed to allow development.

Advancing Your Community’s Vision: 
Strategies for Downtown Progress

A great plan is only as good as its execution. Practitioners on the panel discussed ways to advance ideas and desires of communities, having them be aligned with the needs and wants of stakeholders, and to have the visions become actionable. The panel featured Lionel Chitty, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce moderator; Karen Montalbano, Baldwin Civic Association; Linda Henninger, Kings Park Civic Association; Mark Mancini, Smithtown Chamber of Commerce; Jim McGoldrick, Huntington Station; Sean Collins, LGBT Network; Jacob Dixon, Community Voices for Youth & Families; and Lynda Parmely, Hagedorn Foundation.

Mark Mancini and Linda Henninger discussed the importance of community engagement at every level when it comes to strategies for downtown progress. Karen Montalbano, Lionel Chitty, and Jim McGoldrick voiced the necessity of keeping communities informed with correct information about projects, including the use of both social media and face to face meetings, expressing the importance of having the local politicians engaged in the process.

As an example, Linda Henninger discussed how in Kings Park, the Civic and the Chamber of Commerce partnered on their efforts to help revitalize downtown Kings Park, meeting with every group in town from the school district to sport groups to discuss what the community would like to see happen in their downtown. Vision Long Island was hired to help create a plan that would reflect the wants and desires of the community. Several community meetings were held, a plan was created, and then presented to the Smithtown Town Board. The effort secured much needed funding for sewers, largely in part to the engagement of the community through the process

Mancini discussed his plan for the New York Avenue School in Smithtown, which is up for sale by the school district. He hopes to see sewers come to downtown Smithtown, and acknowledged that full community input will be an important factor as his group moves forward. The Smithtown United Civic Association recently released a proposed concept plan for Smithtown’s Main Street. The group met with stakeholders over a six month period to construct the draft plan, which reflected the desires of the community, including retention of sports fields, consolidating several of their town buildings into the New York Ave School Building, providing zoning appropriate for Smithtown, improving the walkability and vehicle traffic flow of Main Street, encouraging more transit-oriented development, and providing housing at a scale appropriate for the town, and encouraging retention of educated young professionals and downsizing seniors in Smithtown.

Sean Collins discussed the new LGBT Network affordable housing apartment development in Bay Shore for senior citizens identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual, as well as seniors who are LGBT-friendly. The 70,000-square foot development, which was recently passed by the Islip Town Board, will provide 75 rental apartments on the corner of Park Avenue and Mechanicsville Road, which is about a block away from the local LIRR station. The project has been in development for the past four years and is the product of collaboration between D&F development, the Long Island LGBT Network, and the Long Island Housing Partnership.  Kilmnick stated that putting faces and stories to the names of residents helped garner community acceptance/support.

Thank you to all of the attendees of the 
2017 Smart Growth Summit!

Thank you to the 65 elected officials from multiple levels of government in attendance and the many of who stayed for a large part of the day:

NYS Senators, Phil Boyle, Todd Kaminsky, Elaine Phillips & Jon Brooks.
NYS Assemblymembers Hon. Michaele Solages, Andrew Raia, & Christine Pelligrino
Nassau County Executive Elect Laura Curran, Comptroller-elect Jack Schnirman, Legislators, Kevan Abrahams, Rose Walker, Siela Bynoe, Delia Deriggi Whitton, Ellen Birnbaum, Carrie Solages, & Steve Rhoads. Nassau County Legislator-elect Josh Lafazan, & Debra Mule.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Comptroller John Kennedy, Suffolk Legislators Kate Browning, Monica Martinez, Suffolk County and Legislator elect Susan Berland, Steve Flotteron, and Rudy Sunderman.
Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer and Councilman-elect Anthony Mannetta.
Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Valerie Cartwright.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor-Elect Laura Gillen, Town of Hempstead Councilman Ed Ambrosino, & Anthony D’Esposito, Town of Hempstead Sanitation Commissioner Carl Dehaney.
Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone, Town of Huntington Supervisor-Elect Chad Lupinacci, Councilman Gene Cook & Mark Cuthbertson.
Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Dina Digorgio.
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino
Village of Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry, Village of Babylon Mayor Ralph Scordino
Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Eckstrand and Brian Harty
Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender
Village of Lindenhurst Trustee RJ Renna
Village of Lynbrook’s John Giordano
Village of Mastic Beach Mayor Fred Krage
Village of Northport Trustee Damon McMullen and Attorney Stuart Besen
Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri
Village of Plandome Mayor Barbara Donno
Village of Plandome Heights Mayor Diana Meranda
Village of Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro
Nassau Village Officials Association’s Warren Tackenberg & Ralph Krietzman
Former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy
Former Suffolk County Executive Patrick Halpin
Former Nassau County Legislator Brian Muellers
Former Suffolk Legislator Vivian Viloria Fischer
Former Town of N. Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman
Former Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Connie Kepert
Former Town of Islip Councilman Brain Ferrugiari
Former Village of Mastic Beach Mayor Maura Sperry
Office of US Senator Chuck Schumer’s Garret Armwood
Office of NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Brian Sapp & Imran Ansari
Office of Nassau County DA Madeline Singas, Rene Fiechter

Check out these quotes from some of our speakers:

“We have so many empty nesters and millennials and the needs are the similar for both of them- they want the same things; walkable downtowns, the amenities, rental, transit. But they simply can’t afford to stay here…Let me make this clear, funding for our NICE bus system will not be on the chopping block, and in fact, I’m committed to finding recurring revenue to support this viable mode of transportation.” – Hon. Laura Curran, Nassau County

“We’re focused on creating economic growth and economic vibrancy centered on the idea that the only way to really do that is to make our region once again attractive to those young, high knowledge, high skill workers that we desperately need who have been moving away from our region… But that effort to create viable, sustainable economic growth… is not enough. It’s also about making sure that every community has the opportunity to take advantage of that growth. ” – Hon. Steve Bellone, Suffolk County

“The Town of Islip is dedicated to working with the business communities throughout the Town, to provide an environment that fosters growth and thriving  downtowns for our residents and visitors. We look forward to continuing to support our Main Streets and our local business owners, who provide an exceptional level of customer service and who support our communities.” – Hon.Angie Carpenter, Town of Islip

If the Town of Hempstead wants to attract and retain the next generation of small business leaders who can offer good paying jobs, then we need to invest in walkable and livable communities with better access to public transportation, connecting our residents and downtowns to one another. Our livelihood as a community depends on innovating and adopting to the world around us, while maintaining our greenspace and natural beauty.” – Hon. Laura Gillen, Town of Hemstead

“Like the rest of Long Island, many areas of Brookhaven Town are experiencing a transition led by Smart Growth development. This trend has proven to be a benefit townwide by creating jobs, new housing options for our residents and giving a much needed boost to the local economy. I support the efforts of Vision Long Island and thank them for giving me the opportunity to participate in this year’s Smart Growth Summit.” – Hon. Ed Romaine, Town of Brookhaven

“We are embarking on a tremendous renaissance in the Town of Oyster Bay led by projects like Hicksville. One doesn’t have to wonder about our future because you are seeing it taking shape. Developers are coming to Oyster Bay for the great opportunities that are being presented, opportunities for streetscaping and a brand-new downtown in Hicksville. We’ll continue this opportunity of redevelopment in terms of TOD and mixed-use, affordable homes, places for empty nesters to start the next chapter of their life.” – Hon. Joseph Saladino, Town of Oyster Bay

“The Town of Babylon is proud to be committed to Vision Long Island’s core initiatives, such as downtown revitalization, community-based planning and affordable housing. I applaud Vision Long Island’s support of our revitalization projects in Wyandanch, Copiague and East Farmingdale, as well as their vital involvement in similar plans across Long Island.” – Hon. Rich Schaffer, Town of Babylon

“Everyone wants to be brought into the conversation, they don’t want to be surprised by plans, all of the stakeholders want to be involved in the process. Going to the forefront of the community in the beginning is the best way to approach it. I don’t think anyone’s against certain types of housing, we just need to make sure that all of the housing needs of the community are met, and that people are brought into the dialogue.”” – Hon. Chad Lupinacci, Town of Huntington

“The residential is really what took care of the downtown… We had blighted properties that surrounded the downtown. We built almost 900 units within the community. 700 could walk into the downtown, 700 of them are what supports the downtown, almost 30% of them are affordable – Hon. Laura Gillen, Town of Hemstead

“Everyone on this room I think is on the same page; that TOD, especially in the communities along the main line, is the way to go… Some of these big projects always get the press, but it’s the granular work that’s being done in the individual communities that’s had the biggest impact.” – Hon. Peter Cavallaro, Village of Westbury

“Our downtown is lively; the walkability from the close to 300 dwellings that have come in due to TOD, the people are walking our downtowns not only at night, but in the mornings and afternoons, and it’s all from TOD. I can’t tell you how much it makes a Village happen.” – Hon. Ralph Eckstrand, Village of Farmingdale

“We are thrilled to partner with Vision Long Island for this event for the third year in a row. We want to continue to partner with you, we want to continue to be good corporate citizens in your communities.”
– Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T New York

“We want to change the conversation. Instead of talking about what we do for a living, we want to talk about why we do it… In our opinion, you must be doing well in order to be doing good”” – Rich Cave, 1st Equity Title &


Here are some photos of this year’s attendees:

 Check out some of the press coverage for the 16th Annual Summit!




We are now accepting RSVPs for

Vision Long Island’s 20th Anniversary Dinner!

You can view a printable version of the flyer here.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2018 Long Island Smart Growth Awards!

You can view a printable version of the flyer here.

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

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