Meeting of December 19, 2006
H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Hauppauge
LIRPB Board Members Present:
James Larocca, Chairman
John D. Cameron, Vice-Chairman
Ex-Officio Members Present:
Gilbert Anderson, Ray Ribeiro, Hon. Howard Weitzman, Hon. Joseph Sawicki
Advisory Members Present:
Patricia Bourne, Thomas Isles, Arda Nazerian, Kevin Law
Staff and Guests Present:
Seth Forman, Acting Director
Jackie Gross, Counsel, Nassau County Planning
Mike Cavanagh, Representing Suffolk Presiding Officer
Phyllis Seidman, Suffolk County Attorney’s Office
Bob Brickman, Nassau County Planning
Shirley Siegal, League of Women Voters of Nassau County
Peter Lambert, Suffolk County Planning
Don Skinner, League of Women Voters
Janet Ioli, Representing Suffolk County Audit & Control
Bob Keeler, Newsday
Jeremy Harrell, LI Business News
Gina Pellettieri, LI Housing Partnership
Mayor Joe Troiano, NCVOA
Dick DeTurk, RPA/LI Committee
Michael Levine, Town of North Hempstead
Tom Maher, Nassau County
Chris Jones, Regional Plan Association
Barbara O’Brien, Pulte Homes of NY
James Johnston, Pulte Homes of NY
Graham Long, Nassau County Planning
Thomas Junas, Suffolk County Planning (ret.)
Tony Aloisio, Town of Huntington
Umair Hussain, Suffolk County Attorney’s Office
Lorne Buch, Town of Hempstead
Todd Seidel, Nassau County Planning
DanGulizio, Suffolk County Planning
Chairman Larocca opened the meeting, asking the Board to approve the minutes of the
November 14th meeting, proposed to fix a calendar date for meetings (to the first Tuesday of the
month), and move the first meeting of 2007 to a date in February. The Board approved
Chairman Larocca asked the Board to consider resolution one of 2005 and the associated tasks
list to serve as a guide for the actions of the Board and the new Board director, once established.
Acting Director Forman summarized the LIRPB current budget report: $50,000 contributed from
both Nassau and Suffolk counties; Board account currently contains $180,000; a $220,000
proposed budget was passed by both counties for 2007.
Chairman Larocca suggested he was comfortable with the Board’s budget outlook for 2007.
Mr. Tonna suggested, however, that the Board vote to ask the counties for the additional $50,000
that each County had budgeted for the Board for 2006 citing financial security of the Board
should some now unknown tasks arise.
Chairman Larocca disagreed, suggesting if the Board needs additional funds they will ask at a
later date when necessary.
- Report identifies growth centers within Suffolk County
- Goal of targeting transportation funds to growth centers
- The report looked at five main growth areas: Sagtikos Corridor, Route 110 corridor,
Riverhead, Stony Brook University vicinity, Yaphank
- Suffolk County Planning Department charged with overseeing inter-town development
- Route 110 corridor example recommendations were given, including installation of
sewer systems, transit options, inter-municipal agreements to share planning and
zoning responsibilities, comprehensive and advanced transportation planning,
more ‘progressive’ land uses than “big-box” store development
Chairman Larocca asked about the low number of housing units proposed as needed, to which
Mr. Isles mentioned that 38,000 potential housing units established was not an estimate of
affordable housing needs.
Mr. Tonna asked about the possibilities for a western Suffolk/ eastern Nassau County sewer tie-
in. Mr. Isles mentioned that discussions in that direction were ongoing.
Vice-Chairman Cameron asked why the Kings Park redevelopment area was conspicuously
absent from the report. Mr. Isles responded that it had been prioritized out of this report.
Vice-Chairman Cameron then asked what the Board could do to aid Suffolk County with follow-
up to the report. Mr. Isles mentioned the usefulness of the Board’s reaction to the report, and
asked for any suggestions members of the Board may have.
Vice-Chairman Cameron then asked Patricia Bourne to provide the Board with information on
projects and developing areas in Nassau County at the next meeting. Ms. Bourne said she would
be happy to provide details at a later meeting.
Chairman Larocca opened a discussion on the housing summary report.
Elaine Gross suggested the Board consider tasks to be completed in determining housing issues,
and the need to establish particular policies to advocate:
Task A: Understanding types/variations/income levels of affordable housing
Task B: Identify land-use opportunities to create units (specific parcels, state land, etc.)
Task C: Begin a discussion with LI residents to educate and identify problems with the
acceptance of affordable housing (abstract concept accepted, but reality is not;
tied to racism and local development issues)
Ms. Gross asked why the DeNapoli/Balboni legislation had not moved forward, and called on the
Board to think of ways it could help move forward.
Vice-Chairman Cameron suggested there were several issues needing some resolution; there has
been a series of failed projects, and zoning problems. The state will not challenge home rule, he
suggested, when the problem with failed attempts has been at the local village and town level. He
offered five suggestions the Board could use to help fix the problem:
1) Determine the affordable housing need
2) Find an impartial arbiter to establish concrete numbers on the economic impact
3) Work to combat the myth that multi-family units are over-crowding schools
4) Research practices that are working throughout the nation
5) Create standardized criteria for what affordable housing actually is
Mr. Tonna suggested that there be rewards/incentives for municipalities to come together and be
a model and example in affordable housing practices. He suggested the possibility of a report
card for all communities to create public embarrassment, set standards for communities, and
create a competitive environment between communities, and to find ways to reward
Theresa Sanders suggested the Board take a position on the DeNapoli/Balboni bill so that at least
the Board has a stand on the issue. She agreed that data and true information be established and
shared across municipalities.
Vice-Chairman Cameron disagreed, however, suggesting the DeNapoli/Balboni bill would be a
drop in the bucket in terms of the affordable housing need; a multi-faceted approach is needed to
create tens of thousands of units.
Ms. Sanders agreed, but felt the Board should have at least a comment on the existing legislation.
Howard Weitzman mentioned that political leadership from the top down on this issue is
necessary, and suggested that the LIRPB should eventually present a plan to solve the housing
problem; since financial incentives are needed to help solve the problem, inherently a legislative
solution is necessary.
Chairman Larocca offered three key issues involved in the problem:
1) Subsidy: the basis of potential solutions, which has not been nearly enough and not
exactly established as to where the subsidy should go
2) Density: there is no consistent policy on density matters, as authority is localized
3) Advocacy: in order to foster a change in public policy, there must be legitimate
research and numbers to back up claims
Chairman Larocca then offered suggestions for the Board:
- Find a common definition of the scope of the affordable housing need
- use the 2030 plan process to include a plan
- get working on needs assessment in 2007
- Assess the current state of the housing market, including illegal housing – all illegal
housing is not necessarily immigrant housing
Mr. Weitzman suggested that three illegal housing situations be looked at:
1) investor-owned illegal housing units
2) joint-ownership of homes between families
3) Assessory apartments
He suggested the possibility of legalizing one of these, as the public is confusing all three of
these situations, and some people want these things.
Chairman Larocca agreed with the notion that these housing options may be illegal as a matter of
policy now, but are fulfilling a need.
Ms. Gross returned to the issue of the necessity of collecting data on the extent and character of
the housing problem, and suggested that other expertise on Long Island be used to produce such
data for the Board; data must be objective, without an agenda behind it. She suggested that more
attention be paid to the reward/report card idea for communities as a way to create visibility for
the issue, and the need for the Board to have a legislative agenda.
Chairman Larocca suggested that the LIRPB should not be inhibited from releasing data. Over
the next six weeks, he offered, a staff process would be directed by the Board to reach a policy
on the housing matter.
At 11:55am, Mr. Tonna moved that the Board enter executive session. Chairman Larocca
seconded; unanimously approved.
Chairman Larocca re-opened the meeting.
Mr. Tonna moved to select Michael White the Executive Director of the Long Island Regional
Planning Board, and the Board directed Chairman Larocca to make him an offer for the position.
Ms. Sanders seconded; unanimously approved.
Chairman Larocca thanked Dr. Forman for his work as Acting Director.