Sustainable Long Island
May 2013
Sustainable Long Island Newsletter
The one-stop-shop...
For all Sustainable Long Island news! 
In This Issue
Northwest Hicksville BOA Survey
LIPA Plan Packs Power
High School Fellowship
Regional Economic Development Councils
Regional Planning Council Launches Website
Development Projects and Community Engagement
We'll See You There!
Sustainability Simplified

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Board of Directors
Ruth Negrn-Gaines: President

Kevin McDonald: Vice President

The Nature Conservancy   

Charlotte Biblow, Esq: Secretary

Farrell Fritz, P.C.

Lauren Furst: Treasurer   


Russ Albanese

Albanese Organization Inc.

Lennard Axinn

Island Estates   


Robert Bernard

Capital One Bank 

Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III
SUNY College at Old Westbury    


Dr. Miriam K. Deitsch

Farmingdale State College,
State University of New York


Pat Edwards

Citi Community Development     
Amy Hagedorn
Hagedorn Foundation


Jeff Kraut

North Shore - LIJ Health System


Mitchell H. Pally

Long Island Builders Institute


Dr. Robert Scott

Adelphi University 


Ron Shiffman

Pratt Institute



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Northwest Hicksville BOA Survey  
Town of Oyster Bay, Sustainable Long Island, and project team invite community to provide input

On behalf of the The Town of Oyster Bay, Sustainable Long Island invites Hicksville residents and business owners to provide input - via a community survey - on developing a vision to guide redevelopment in the future of Northwest Hicksville as part of the Town's Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Step I project. The survey is available online here.  


The goals of the survey are to:

  • Develop a vision for future redevelopment for Northwest Hicksville
  • Identify desirable and viable businesses and uses in Northwest Hicksville
  • Generate ideas for potential redevelopment and improvements throughout Northwest Hicksville

The Town of Oyster Bay is conducting this survey as part of the Northwest Hicksville Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program currently in the Step 1Pre-Nomination Study. This BOA Program provides communities with land use and redevelopment planning tools to revitalize areas affected by Brownfields, underutilized or vacant properties and economic distress. The Northwest Hicksville Study Area is bounded by the Northern State Parkway to the north, Old Country Road to the south, Cantiague Lane to the west, and 106/107 to the east.


Along with the project team, which includes H2M, Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, and Sustainable Long Island, the Town of Oyster Bay has been examining land use and other existing conditions as well as analyzing sites for potential inclusion on the list for potential revitalization. The Team made several small group presentations to area organizations and held a public open house workshop this past January. All the input and preliminary ideas generated from such meetings and surveys will be used to help create a draft vision, goals, and objectives for the study area and ultimately submitted to New York State as part of the BOA process.


For more information on the New York State BOA Program in general, click here.  


LIPA Plan Packs Power   
Sustainable Long Island backs NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to restructure LIPA

Sustainable Long Island has recently expressed its support for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to restructure the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). This plan would take giant steps forward in improving the quality of life for every Long Islander.


The impacts of recent weather events and Superstorm Sandy are still being felt throughout Long Island. Sustainable Long Island believes that the restructuring of LIPA will allow for quicker responses in times of need such as after future storms. It will ensure that all communities get the service they deserve, including restoring power more efficiently and in a timely manner. Restructuring LIPA will allow for more accountability and we hope it will provide opportunities to expand renewable energy options in the future, helping build a cleaner, healthier future.


The plan itself would switch day-to-day control and planning to a private operator instead of LIPA, which would be reduced to a 20-employee financial holding company. It would also place PSEG under control of a state regulatory board, refinance LIPA's debt, and freeze electric rates for three years.


Sustainable Long Island applauds the leadership and plan of Governor Cuomo in the quest to restructure LIPA; increasing accountability and providing more efficient, transparent utility service for all Long Islanders.


This support was also featured in a recent Letter to the Editor in Newsday


Fifth Annual High School Fellowship  
Sustainable Long Island currently accepting applications
Members of the 4th Year HS Fellowship presenting at a
youth-visioning in Downtown Bethpage earlier this year
Sustainable Long Island is excited to announce the start of our Fifth Annual High School Fellowship program to begin this July!


The High School Fellowship program offers students an opportunity to learn about community and regional planning, civic engagement, and sustainable development. The Fellowship is open to junior and senior high school students who are interested in planning, sustainability, and public participation, and are also committed to making an impact within their communities. In previous years, Fellows have learned about brownfields, food equity, and environmental justice as well as how to engage their peers in local revitalization projects.


This is an exciting opportunity for young adults to get involved in projects taking place across Long Island and learn about pressing issues the region faces while thinking through innovative steps to address challenges to create positive economic, environmental, and social change.


For more information or to apply, please email Janice Moynihan, Community Planner and Educational Program Coordinator at today!

Third Round of Regional Economic Development Councils to Begin   
$760 million in funding will be awarded

(via Governor Andrew Cuomo's office) - New York State last week kicked off round three of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC)s, hosting council co-chairs and local economic development officials in Albany to detail the third round of the process and officially launch the 2013 competition.


"Over the past two years, the Regional Economic Development Councils have been a tremendous success, transforming our state's approach to job creating from a traditional Albany top-down model to a community-based, bottom-up process," NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "From Niagara Falls, to Plattsburgh, to Long Island, the results are clear in communities all across the state as new projects are being launched, creating jobs and supporting local economic growth. Today we are building on that success, convening local job creators and community leaders from across the state to officially kick off round three of the Regional Councils."


Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, "The past two rounds of the Regional Economic Development Councils have shown what a difference we can make to local economies by listening to regional business and community leaders. Under Governor Cuomo's vision, we will continue to do this and ensure that New York State is on the path to economic success. I thank each of the Co-Chairs and their teams for the countless hours and continued dedication to rebuilding New York State, and applaud them for the achievements made so far."


The REDC and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process have transformed economic development in NYS, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up regional economic growth.

Statewide, the first two rounds included $1.5 billion in investments to support more than 1,400 projects, and creating or helping retain an estimated 75,000 jobs.

  • Western NY: REDCs have delivered $153.1 million for 154 projects in Western New York.
  • Finger Lakes: REDCs have delivered $165 million for 169 projects in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Central NY: REDCs have delivered $197.5 million for 147 projects in Central NY.
  • Southern Tier: REDCs have delivered $140.5 million for 120 projects in the Southern Tier.
  • North Country: REDCs have delivered $193.4 million for 152 projects in the North Country.
  • Hudson Valley: REDCs have delivered $159.8 million for 145 projects in the Hudson Valley.
  • Mohawk Valley: REDCs have delivered $119.2 million for 129 projects in the Mohawk Valley.
  • Capital Region: REDCs have delivered $113 million for 172 projects in the Capital Region.
  • New York City: REDCs have delivered $117.6 million for 100 projects in New York City.
  • Long Island: REDCs have delivered $161.3 million for 152 projects on Long Island.

Long Island was one of the four regional councils designated as a best plan awardee in the first round of funding in 2011, but failed to repeat in the second round in 2012. In total, the Long Island region has received $161.3 million for 152 projects since the competition began.  


In Round III of the REDC Competition, $760 million in state funding and tax incentives will be awarded:

  • $220 million ($150 million in capital + $70 million in tax credits) for competition.
  • $540 million for state supported programs through the CFA process.

All ten regions will compete against each other. Five regions identified as "top performers" will receive $25 million each and the remaining will compete for the balance of $25 million. Each region is also eligible for up to $10 million in tax credits.


Regions designated as a "Top Performer" will be required to demonstrate:

  • Implementation of the Strategic Plans;
  • Performance in encouraging economic growth through job creation and investment; and
  • Identification of transformative projects that support collaboration (e.g. leveraging computing assets to establish research partnerships; utilizing equipment and co-locations to assist manufacturers; and developing shared-space for food processing).

Application materials will be available by June 3rd. The CFA will open to applicants on June 17th and submissions from the regional councils are due September 24th.


Long Island Regional Planning Council Launches Affordable Housing Website   
Provides comprehensive information on local housing

(via Newsday) - The Long Island Regional Planning Council has launched an interactive website focusing on the organization's advocacy for more affordable housing.


The website,, grew out of the planning council's LI 2035 Regional Comprehensive Sustainability Plan, a series of reports published three years ago that addressed housing, government, transportation and educational challenges affecting the region over the next 25 years, along with recommendations for change.


"A critical part of addressing Long Island's immediate and long-term challenges is getting the public involved -- giving them clear and comprehensive information, then seeking their input," council chairman John D. Cameron said in a statement. " will provide that opportunity, and housing is an excellent issue to start with."


Cameron added, "Long Island is a terrific place to live and work, but a lack of affordable housing options is impacting everyone from businesses who find it increasingly difficult to attract workers to the region, to returning college students and young professionals just starting out who can't find rental housing. Even empty-nesters who would rather stay on Long Island are being forced to leave. This has to change."

The website, developed by Karma411 of Hicksville, aims to be a resource and catalyst for discussion and debate.


"The survey is interactive, and we want people to post blogs," said Cara Longworth, the council's executive director. "We want constant input from people. Hopefully, people will comment on articles posted regarding affordable or rental housing projects" on Long Island. Longworth added, "We're trying to show how important it is to have affordable and rental housing."


The lack of rental housing on the Island came into sharper focus after superstorm Sandy, when people with flooded homes had difficulty finding places to rent.


The council hired Karma411 last June for $50,000 -- $30,000 of which was financed by a grant from the Long Island Community Foundation and the rest coming from the council's budget, Longworth said.


The site currently displays a housing survey, research reports, news articles, information from housing experts and photographs of affordable housing projects on the Island.

Washington Post: Split in Public Opinion on Two Development Projects 
Connecticut projects offers insight and example on common Long Island issue

The Washington Post recently published an interesting article about two mixed use development projects in Washington D.C. that were received very differently in their respective neighborhoods - one warmly, one with strong opposition.

In large part, the difference in reception has been a matter of community engagement and communication - making sure people who live and work in the neighborhood are part of the process - and that they're aware and up-to-date on the process. 

We can relate. One of Sustainable Long Island's main focuses is working with communities from the bottom-up - with residents of all ages and backgrounds, community members, business leaders, local philanthropists, environmentalists, real-estate representatives, and clergy - coming together over shared concern for their community to develop new solutions.

Read the full article below:

They are just a mile apart on Connecticut Avenue, proposed by two family-owned companies with long resumes in real estate development, but they could not be faring more differently.


Recently, representatives of Saul Centers, a publicly traded Bethesda firm, have unveiled plans to build 271 luxury apartments as part of a mixed-use project at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Yuma Street NW. The project, dubbed Park Van Ness, is designed by architect Torti Gallas and would replace a dated shopping and office center.


When the company explained its plans at an April 16 Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting, it was met warmly, according to Sally W. Gresham, whose district includes the project. "I think all the commissioners seem to be positive about it," Gresham said.


At the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Military Road NW, a mile north, Calvin Cafritz Enterprises plans 263 apartments, but the welcome has been anything but pleasant. Although the Cafritz family received zoning approval for the project 23 years ago, when the company began applying for permits last year, it took many neighbors of the area by surprise.


Since then, opponents of the Cafritz project began a neighborhood coalition, requested coverage from reporters, started an online petition, filed a public documents request with the District government and began appealing permits the District has already issued for soil boring, foundation work and sheeting and shoring.


A building permit also may be issued shortly, but that has not dissuaded opponents.


"The agencies have not exactly been the most receptive with this, but we have managed to make some progress. We know that this is a tough battle," said Peter Gosselin, who lives near the site.


The two apartments projects are similar in many ways. So why the different receptions?


History may shed some clues.


The Cafritz property has sat quietly as a grassy empty lot with single-family homes nearby.


The existing Saul property, Van Ness Square, has long served as one of the only places for neighborhood conveniences, with an Office Depot, Pier 1 Imports, bank branch, frame store and pet store.


Thomas H. McCormick, president and chief operating officer of B.F. Saul Co. & Affiliates, a private firm also founded by the Saul family, said he expects the frame store to return and will be looking for "tenants that will contribute to the activity and livability of the streetscape, both in the daytime and evening hours."


"More people than ever prefer the flexibility to commute on mass transit while also having attractive retail and restaurant amenities in close walking proximity," McCormick said in an e-mail. Construction on the new building could begin at the end of this year and be complete by 2016, he said.


Gresham said the prospect of more activity resonated with her. She and her neighbors have formed their own group, Van Ness Vision, which she said was aimed at "bringing the Van Ness area to the forefront, to become more like a Dupont [Circle] or a Chevy Chase or a Cleveland Park, where we have more retail, more pedestrians, more usage, more restaurants, just a more vibrant area," she said. (The group was founded in tandem with the advocacy group Coalition for Smarter Growth.)


That vibrancy - more people, more noise, more cars - is reading like a list of complaints when it comes to the Cafritz property, with residents protesting that possible traffic and environmental impacts should have been more properly vetted.


Design may be another factor, as neighbors to the Cafritz project, 5333 Connecticut Avenue, have complained about the project's glass facade. "The Park Van Ness design seems good, but not so much at 5333 Connecticut," opined David Alpert, founder of the Greater Greater Washington blog.

Communication might be another; it is irregular for a developer to wait as long as Cafritz did to restart work, and some complain they tried to do so quietly. As tension over the Cafritz project continued, District Council member Mary Cheh, whose Ward 3 includes both projects, recently proposed legislation that would require an extra layer of community review for such projects.


"In truth, many developers realize how much more smoothly a project can proceed if they engage the government and the community early in the process, but there is no formal mechanism to do so," Cheh said, in a release announcing the legislation. 

We'll See You There!

HIA-LI 25th Annual Trade Show and Conference  

Sustainable Long Island will be exhibiting at the HIA-LI 25th Annual Trade Show and Conference on Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Suffolk County Community College Sports & Exhibition Complex, Brentwood Campus. The event each year attracts over 4,500 attendees and nearly 400 exhibitors. Customers and other business attendees are encouraged to visit Sustainable Long Island's booth to learn more about our projects and programs!


Click here for more information on the trade show and conference. 


Sustainability Simplified

Check out these unique mobile apps to help improve sustainability and lower environmental impact   


Nest Thermostat - A free app that gives users access to a WiFi enabled thermostat that can remotely control the temperature of their household.


Meter Readings - For $1.99 this app enables users to monitor how utilities are used across their household. Simply enter readings, and the cost, usage, and savings are quickly calculated.


Walkscore - A free app that calculates the walkability of any location and shows users nearby features and amenities, including restaurants, parks, grocery stores, and more.


Green Travel Choice - For $1.99 this app enables users to make informed decisions about transit options based on the CO2 emissions. 

All apps available in your smart phone app store!

Together we can build a more
sustainable Long Island


These challenging economic times have magnified the problems we Long Islanders face each and every day. With our leaders warning us of tougher times to come, thinking regionally and acting locally is urgent. It is in all of our best interests to stay engaged and do what we can together to build a more sustainable Long Island.


Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to Sustainable Long Island that will help support our ongoing and future work within your Long Island communities; while helping advance economic development, environmental health, and social equity!

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The Board and Staff of Sustainable Long Island