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February 12th, 2004, 12:58 AM
February 12, 2004

In Middle Age, the Suburbs of Long Island Show Wear


Levittown, N.Y., which rose from Long Island's vast potato fields after World War II. Today, there is little land left to develop on the island, according to a new study.

Long Island, where post-World War II suburbia was born, is in a midlife crisis and battling some disturbing social and economic trends that provide a window into issues that suburbs around the nation may face, according to a 15-month study sponsored by a nonprofit group.

Average pay from Long Island employers has dropped in recent years, little land is left to develop, taxes are high, cars are multiplying faster than people, commuting times are longer and people are being priced out of the housing market, the report said. And an increasing minority population is coinciding with persistent segregation.

Perhaps most striking is that a region long synonymous with families and children is losing part of its younger generation, and the median age of residents is steadily rising. In the 1990's, the number of people age 18 to 34 shrank by 143,184, or 20 percent, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the census showed.

That age group also declined nationwide, reflecting the "baby bust" that followed the baby boom. But the island's drop was five times the national decrease of 4 percent.

The report, titled Long Island Index 2004: Coming Together for Long Island's Future, analyzes the region's strengths and problems and sets goals for improvement. The Rauch Foundation of Garden City sponsored the study in a joint project with an array of government, civic, business and labor groups. Similar efforts are under way in Boston, Chicago and Silicon Valley.

Long Island, where Levittown sprang from potato fields as an instant community, is now "the nation's first mature suburb," the report said. "Long Island is a case study in how do we reinvent the suburbs," said the study's director, Carrie Meek Gallagher. "Anecdotally, similar dynamics are happening in housing, the economy and transportation around Boston. It's almost post-suburbia. What do we do now?"

The foundation's president, Dr. Nancy Rauch Douzinas, said, "We're hoping this will be a real tool for action." County Executives Thomas R. Suozzi of Nassau and Steve Levy of Suffolk are to speak at the report's presentation today.

With 2.8 million people - more than the populations in 19 states - 1 million jobs and a $112 billion annual economy, Long Island remains a premier suburb. Its assets include highly rated schools, health care, parks, beaches and shopping and an educated work force, high employment, low crime and access to New York City.

But the report found "a growing disparity by income, race and ethnicity that is clear in current housing, educational and health indicators."

The study called the "brain drain" on the island alarming. "The region is exporting its most valuable product - its talented young people," the report said.

A survey of young adults found that 53 percent were considering moving out, citing the high cost of living, especially soaring housing prices and burdensome taxes.

As the young have left and Levittown-era pioneers have lingered into retirement, the island's median age has steadily risen. Now 29 percent of the population is older than 50.

The sizzling real estate market may be a bonanza for sellers, but a third of Long Islanders spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, the report said.

In 1999 the median home price was about 2.5 times the median annual income. By last year, the median price had jumped to four times the median income in Suffolk and nearly 4.5 in Nassau.

While the median home price, at $363,700, is comparable to those in other New York suburbs, the report said the scarcity of apartments resulted in "some of the highest rents in the metropolitan region."

As for new housing, government and developers will have to be inventive because "there is very little undeveloped land left on Long Island that is not protected parkland," the report said. About 70 percent of the island is developed - nearly 90 percent in Nassau. By contrast, the report said that suburbs north of the city and in northern New Jersey are about 40 percent developed.

Despite the fabled luxury of the Gold Coast and the elite Hamptons, the report said that 154,000 Long Islanders, or 5.5 percent, live below the poverty line, and many others are coping with dwindling income.

From 1990 to 2003, the island lost 29,000 technology manufacturing jobs as most of the remaining aerospace industry - once the local economic engine - vanished. Still, there was a net gain of 80,500 jobs, led by an expansion of 34,000 jobs in health care.

The catch was that the new jobs generally paid less. Average pay on Long Island peaked in 2000 at $42,875, and during the recession, it gradually slipped 6 percent to $40,329 last year.

The Long Island paycheck premium is also shrinking, the report said. In 1993 Long Island workers earned an average of $39,385 a year, compared with the national average of $34,272, a difference of $5,113, or about 15 percent. Last year the local average was $40,329, while the national average was $38,636, a difference of only about 5 percent.

Demographics are taking on new hues. The number of nonwhite residents increased from 16 percent of the population in 1990 to 24 percent in 2000. Hispanics are now the largest minority, making up 10 percent of the population, up from 6 percent in 1990. Next are blacks at 8 percent.

But the races mostly remain in separate neighborhoods. "Long Island is one of the most racially segregated suburban regions in the nation," the report said.

Immigrants are changing the island, where 196,255 of them moved between 1995 and 2002, the study said. Domestic migration in those years was led by 122,000 people from Queens and Brooklyn.

Mass transportation is limited, and, as any local resident can attest, traffic is fierce. Ninety-four percent of households have at least one car; two-thirds have two or more. "From 1980 to 2000, the number of motor vehicles grew by 19 percent, more than three times the rate of population growth," the report said.

Commutes are longer, too. In the 1990's, the number of workers commuting less than 30 minutes to work declined by nearly 50,000, the census showed. The number of people with longer commutes increased, especially those whose commutes took more than 90 minutes.

The government that oversees Long Island is large, cumbersome and costly, the report found. "Jurisdictional fragmentation" characterizes the hodgepodge of two counties, 13 towns, two cities, 95 villages, 128 school systems and hundreds of other special districts for libraries, fire departments and other services, the report said.

Together those governments employ 195,000 workers, more than any industry. Their workers' average pay is a fifth higher than the national average for government workers, a cost born by local taxpayers.

"Long Island is at a tipping point, facing serious challenges," Dr. Douzinas said, adding that she was optimistic that solutions would be found.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 17th, 2004, 12:38 AM
February 17, 2004

Changes in Suburbia

To the Editor:

Re "In Middle Age, L.I. Suburbs Show Wear" (news article, Feb. 12):

While clearly defining the changing Long Island labor and housing markets, your article understates the effects on Long Island schools. Increasing immigration and a higher birth rate among nonwhites are changing the face of suburban schools. Ethnicity data show a pattern toward greater diversity, especially in those school districts that are adjacent to large cities or have a longstanding minority population.

The continuing success of suburban schools, and the viability of Long Island as a quality place to live, will depend on the leadership shown by government leaders at all levels in meeting this new challenge.

Superintendent of Schools, Valley Stream Central High District
Valley Stream, N.Y., Feb. 12, 2004

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 21st, 2004, 02:10 AM
February 21, 2004

Young Adults Call L.I. a Fine Place to Grow Up, and Leave


UNIONDALE, N.Y., Feb. 19 - One by one, the children of suburbia are leaving Long Island.

There is the 24-year-old graduate student who moved to Washington State to study anthropology and found that it was cheaper to live in Seattle than Hempstead. There is the sheriff's investigator, Timothy Ortwein, who left and bought his first house, in West Virginia, at age 23. And there is Emil Soskin, 24, a third-year law student who is fed up with strip malls and subdivisions and longs for an apartment in Greenwich Village.

New York's suburbs have long struggled to hold on to young adults, but county officials and demographers say the problem is becoming a crisis. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, 18- to 34-year-olds are leaving the suburbs at some of the fastest rates in the nation, moving upstate, to the South and the West and into New York City.

Long Island, whose Levittown developments are shorthand for postwar suburbia, is a petri dish for the problem, development experts say. The young families and just-marrieds who once flocked here now balk at the soaring housing prices, high taxes and monochrome of suburban life.

"What is the incentive to stay on Long Island?" asked Ilyssa Lindner, a 23-year-old nursing student who lives in Oceanside. "The cost of living out here is absolutely outrageous. You graduate, you're making good money, and you can't afford anything. It's driving younger people off Long Island."

In the past decade, the number of Long Islanders between 18 and 34 years old has dropped 20 percent, a rate five times the national average, according to a recent survey of Long Island's population and economy. New York's northern suburbs saw an 18 percent drop in the same population over that time.

The pattern is gradually reshaping the suburbs, on Long Island in particular, said Carrie Meek Gallagher, who directed the survey, the Long Island Index 2004. As the average age creeps up and birth rates fall, county officials worry that an absence of young workers will cripple the suburbs' growth and economies.

"You're losing the talent; you're going to start losing businesses," Ms. Gallagher said. "It could change the whole face of the island, the whole face of the place in the next 10 years."

Some county experts said they have started to notice ripples of that change. Some companies bus in employees from Brooklyn and Queens, while other major Long Island businesses like Grumman or Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are struggling to attract talented young engineers, Ms. Gallagher said.

To stem the exodus, county officials said, they have to make Long Island both enticing and affordable - both difficult tasks. The Nassau county executive, Thomas R. Suozzi, said building denser developments and moderately priced housing in downtowns, poorer neighborhoods and old brownfield industrial sites is crucial to keeping younger people on Long Island.

"If we're going to grow, we're going to have to change our rules from when they were set up, in the 40's and 50's," Mr. Suozzi said.

For countless people, the cycle of suburbia has been a predictable loop: Grow up, gripe that there is nothing to do, attend college, move to the city, then move back home to raise a family and skate toward middle age. But conversations this week with a dozen young Long Islanders who have left - or want to - suggest that they have little interest in returning.

Mr. Ortwein, 24, the sheriff's investigator, is one of them. After growing up in Malverne and graduating from Elmira College with a degree in criminal justice, Mr. Ortwein tried to find a job as a police officer so that he could afford to buy a house in Nassau County, where the median home price is $405,000.

Instead of renting, he got a job with a sheriff's department in Virginia, and he and his wife bought a three-bedroom log cabin nearby, in Jefferson County, W.Va. His property taxes are $600 per year, compared with Long Islanders's taxes that average $3,000 to $4,000.

"I'm the only kid from our high school class who's actually been able to afford a house," Mr. Ortwein said. "We had to give up Long Island to be able to afford something. We're going to stay. The schools are great down here, and it's a great place to raise kids."

According to the Long Island survey, 53 percent of young adults in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are thinking of moving away, while only one-third of people in their 20's and 30's in the northern suburbs and New Jersey said they were considering leaving.

In the survey and interviews, those who want to go say that the cost of living and taxes are too high, that housing is scarce and overpriced, and that the available jobs do not pay enough to support living in the suburbs. Many said they need a car to get around, but do not want to pay high insurance costs and $1.80 for a gallon of gas.

"The average person 18 to 34 can't afford to live on Long Island," said Jon Teaford, a professor at Purdue University who studies suburban development.

The exodus happens in drips and spurts. Some go away to college and never return, while others go back to live with families in the suburbs after graduating, either to apply to graduate schools, plot their next move or save money on rent while they work.

In the upper-income Suffolk County hamlet of Dix Hills, Shelby Tancer, 25, lives with his parents and commutes to Ozone Park, Queens, to teach first grade.

His friends from high school have all moved, but Mr. Tancer said he hopes to stay."I thought more people would be around," he said, talking at his parents' home. "The money and the costs are just crazy. You can't be fresh-faced out of college and buy a house or rent a condo. It's tough. It's tough to stay around here."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 21st, 2004, 02:24 AM
May 11, 2003

Long Islanders Say They Are Happier Than New York City Residents


Long Islanders are most concerned about jobs and traffic congestion, but they're happier with where and how they live than residents of New York City or its other suburban regions, according to a poll of Long Islanders that its organizers say is the most comprehensive ever conducted.

The poll, commissioned by the Rauch Foundation, a Garden City-based philanthropic group, explored the perceptions of 1,387 Long Island residents about their quality of life and issues of concern. For comparison, 600 residents of New York City, 400 in its northern suburbs, and 300 in suburban New Jersey were also sampled, and Long Islanders appeared to be the group most pleased with life in their community.

While 67 percent of those polled in New Jersey and an equal percentage in the northern suburbs (including Orange, Rockland, Westchester and Fairfield counties) rated their quality of life as good or excellent, 74 percent of Long Islanders rated their quality of life the same way.

Long Islanders had a more pronounced sense of regional identity than the other groups surveyed, with 86 percent of Long Islanders saying they identified very or fairly strongly with their region. The equivalent figure for New York City residents was only 77 percent.

Long Island also was the only region of the four sampled where a majority of respondents said that, generally speaking, most people can be trusted.

But the goal of the Rauch survey, the first of three it plans to conduct, was not to help the Island blow its own horn but to identify community concerns and help foster regional thinking to address them. "If we can put some good information out there, we could be a catalyst for all the other civic groups to solve the problems we face," said Nancy Douzinas, foundation president.

Edward Blakely, dean of the Milano Institute at the New School University in Manhattan, and a consultant on the Rauch poll, said no previous polling efforts covered quality-of-life policy issues on Long Island in such depth.

Respondents to the telephone survey, conducted in December and January and released in mid-April, identified jobs as the biggest problem facing all of New York's suburban regions. But more Long Islanders cited traffic than crime as a problem, reversing the ranking in the city and the other suburbs.

The most serious environmental issue for all three suburban regions was uncontrolled development, although suburban residents also appear to be happy with their parks and beaches, according to poll results. At least 75 percent of Long Islanders rated their police protection, sanitation and public schools good or excellent. But most Long Islanders called their public transportation fair to poor, because it doesn't go where they are headed.

The poll results were welcomed by Mitchell Pally, a vice president for government affairs for the Long Island Association. "Surveying Long Islanders, having town meetings helps us identify the problems and understand the ramifications of the issues," Mr. Pally said. "It could be very valuable."

Mr. Pally said he was not surprised that jobs were mentioned most often given the stagnant state of the economy. But he also pointed out that the poll results showed that people are staying here longer. "Most people who have moved to Long Island find it's not only a great place to live, but a great place to stay and retire in," he said.

Neal Lewis, executive director for the Long Island Neighborhood Network, said the poll would help to bring important concerns to the forefront, and indicated a change in the public's attitudes. "There is a growing agreement on what the priority issues are on Long Island," Mr. Lewis said. "Years ago, you couldn't bring up affordable housing, no politician would touch it. Now even business leaders are talking about it."

According to the survey, only 5 percent of Long Islanders said housing was the biggest problem facing their community, but 92 percent said "housing for working people" was fairly or very important. The affordability issue, though not labeled specifically, is a thread found throughout the responses, said Eric Alexander, director of Vision Long Island. "Jobs, the economy, and housing are all tied together with affordability," he said.

The median rent for housing on Long Island ($964 in Nassau and $945 in Suffolk) is the highest of any of the counties within and around New York City, according to foundation statistics. One out of three renters on the Island, and one out of four homeowners, spend more than 35 percent of their household income for a place to live.

Mr. Alexander said he was not surprised that uncontrolled development made the top of the environmental complaint list. "People don't mind certain kinds of development within our communities," he said. "But when they see new homes taking up a farm field, those become emotional images."

Mr. Alexander, whose group promotes a re-emphasis on village downtowns as shopping and cultural centers, also suggested that some Long Island respondents took a decidedly rose-colored view of where they live. He scoffed at the survey's finding that 84 percent of Long Islanders agreed that they had a walkable and bikeable community. "That is not matched with our reality," he said.

Craig Charney of Charney Research Institute in Manhattan, which conducted the poll, said the discrepancy could have come from a misunderstanding of the question or the way it was asked. He defended the general methodology, saying the sampling of Long Islanders closely matched the area's demographics from 2000 census figures.

But some contend that doesn't include everyone in the community. In his job as a public safety supervisor for the town of Huntington, John Ramirez said the biggest community problem where he works is immigration, which was cited by only 2 percent of respondents to the Rauch survey.

"They are not counting correctly," he said. "It's not accurate. I know what's there."

The documented Hispanic population is growing faster than any other group on Long Island, increasing almost 80 percent from the 1990 census to the 2000 census.

While 72 percent of Long Islanders polled said there was racial diversity in their communities, Long Island is still 76 percent white, and has fewer minorities than the New Jersey or northern suburbs.

The poll found that 69 percent of Long Islanders said race relations in their community were good or excellent. Surprisingly, black and Hispanic Long Islanders were slightly more likely to have a favorable impression of local race relations. But at the same time, lower-income blacks were the only group on the Island to rank police brutality as one of the three biggest local problems.

Some people were surprised by what wasn't mentioned in the poll. "I'm surprised that taxes were not considered one of the major problems," said Jeff Lipman, 49, a dentist from Huntington. (He did not participate in the poll; Charney Research did not identify respondents willing to grant followup interviews.)

Mr. Charney said that although some respondents might have complained about taxes, a perennial Long Island lament, the question was never asked directly. But he suggested that later surveys in the Rauch Foundation series were addressing the issue, saying, "I have seen more recent polling that asks about problems facing government where taxes and budgets came out very high."

The tax issue shows up in other ways, however. Although Long Island respondents said education ranked sixth on the local problem list, after the economy, traffic, crime, sprawl and housing, Beverly Wayne, 49, from Huntington, said education was the most important issue because "the biggest problem is finding a way to meet the needs of all the students with the limited resources available."

The poll showed that 86 percent of Long Islanders belong to some kind of organization, like churches, neighborhood associations or labor unions, and 96 percent said a strong sense of community was fairly or very important. But almost none of those questioned said they worked as volunteers and very few were active in civic groups.

"People are not involved enough in what's going on in their community," said Steven Landis, 56, of Hampton Bays. "They live in ignorant bliss." Mr. Landis said the "threat of the casino being built in the next couple of weeks" was the biggest problem in his neighborhood, an allusion to plans by the Shinnecock Indians to build a gambling hall on tribal lands just west of the Shinnecock Canal.

Another example of a tendency among Long Islanders to be disconnected from their surroundings was the 21 percent who said they didn't know about the condition of their waterfront. "Many people here aren't aware of the water, which is ironic because we are the largest island contiguous to the U.S. mainland," said Jay Tanski, a marine environmentalist with the New York Sea Grant program at Stony Brook University. Some of the ignorance has to do with lack of access, Mr. Tanski said, since a lot of Long Island waterfront, especially on the North Shore, is private.

Mr. Tanski agreed with the 54 percent of Long Island respondents who rated their waterfront good or excellent. "Given the level of development in this area, the quality of the waterfront is very high," he said, adding that upland sources of pollution were the newest focus in maintaining a pristine shoreline.

The next Rauch poll, currently underway, focuses on children and families. The third is to address the economy. The three polls and an accompanying demographic study cost about $350,000, Ms. Douzinas said.

The Rauch Foundation was founded by Louis and Philip Rauch in 1961. The two brothers made their fortunes in the auto parts business in Brooklyn. Now the foundation helps fund civic, family and environmental causes throughout the Island.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

May 4th, 2004, 12:28 AM
March 14, 2004

Space, the Dwindling Frontier


THE Rottkamp Brothers Farm is a 50-acre oasis in a section of Old Brookville that is solidly built up with suburban homes. The men in suits who drop by every few weeks with offers to buy it are proof of how ripe the spot is for development.

So it does not surprise or bother Richard Rottkamp that his family's farm has been listed as one of about 40 large properties in Nassau and Suffolk that the Long Island Regional Planning Board wants to see acquired by a government agency or a charitable trust, so that it can be preserved from development. The wish list of properties is part of a just-completed update of the board's islandwide open-space preservation plan.

Mr. Rottkamp says he and his brother, Ray, aren't selling - to anyone. Besides, given Nassau County's still-precarious finances, the county is not likely to try to buy the property outright. But county officials are interested in pursuing other steps that could be taken to assure that the property will remain farmland in perpetuity. And that's just fine with Mr. Rottkamp, who is 54 and has worked the farm all his life.

"It doesn't bother me that they take a stand," he said. "We don't want to get rid of it, but we've been thinking about a lot of things as life goes on, and you can't stay the same age your whole life, so we're open for anything that comes along if it's within reason."

The regional planning board is strictly an advisory agency - it has no powers to act on its own - but its recommendations carry significant weight with county and town governments. It has proposed an aggressive preservation agenda that would protect nearly 45,000 acres of open land in Nassau and Suffolk counties, including 12,500 acres now in private estates, 12,640 acres of private golf courses, 14,000 acres of Suffolk farmland and 5,200 municipally owned acres not designated as parkland.

County and local officials and conservation groups have embraced the plan, saying that it highlights the need to protect what open space is left on Long Island. Development is consuming land so rapidly on the island that planners and preservationists say unprotected open land could be all but gone in 5 to 10 years.

Business and farm leaders also support the plan, saying that preservation of open space and farmland is crucial to Long Island's economy and to the quality of life. Developers, on the other hand, say it ignores the growing need for housing.

"The plan is ambitious, but they hit it on the head that it's now or never when it comes to aggressively pursuing land preservation," said Steve Levy, the Suffolk County executive. "The pressure is greater now than it's ever been, and we have to act to ensure that we win the race against overdevelopment."

Lee E. Koppelman, the executive director of the regional planning board, said that the private estates on the list were chosen based on environmental and hydrogeological importance, particularly those situated in special groundwater protection areas. The board also emphasized properties that abut existing preserved open space and those that would provide waterfront access.

In Suffolk County, most of the properties on the list are at least 100 acres, the minimum considered necessary to create a regional park. So little undeveloped land of any size is left in Nassau that the board's choices there are mostly smaller than 100 acres.

The list includes one property that has been on preservationists' minds for decades: Gardiners Island, the 3,300-acre island between the forks of the East End, owned by the Gardiner family since 1639. Another is the 275-acre Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, owned by the Sylvester family since 1651.

Others include Camp Wauwepex, a 551-acre Boy Scout camp in Wading River; the 75-acre Cove Neck estate of Charles B. Wang, the founder of Computer Associates; the 100-acre Phipps estate in Old Westbury; and closest to the city, the 410-acre Whitney estate in Manhasset.

Town and village officials have already struck deals with owners to protect some of the properties. For example, the Town of North Hempstead has agreed to treat the Whitney estate as if it belonged to a charity - sparing the owners what would otherwise be an immense property tax bill - in exchange for a guarantee that the family will not build on the property and that the town will get a two-year opportunity to arrange to buy the land if the Whitney family ever decides to sell. The family plans to create an international peace center on the estate.

"Some of the property isn't in imminent danger of being lost," Dr. Koppelman said of the board's islandwide list. "But we've got to keep them on the radar screen, so when they do come up, we're ready to act on it and see that it is preserved." The planning board found that more than 174,000 acres of open land, or nearly 23 percent of Long Island's total land area, already enjoyed some kind of protection, as public parkland or through conservation easements or the purchase of development rights.

"With that much real estate already in one form of preservation or another," Dr. Koppleman said, "if additional property is put on, then Nassau County and Suffolk County will have an enviable record."

He said that Long Island voters over the years have approved a variety of land preservation laws and bond issues, demonstrating that they "are willing to put in a sizeable amount of money to save their open space."

The planning board would like to see municipalities buy any properties on the list that they can, but also would encourage the municipalities to look into legislation that would make open space a priority.

For example, Dr. Koppelman said, towns can offer reduced property tax assessments to private facilities like golf courses in exchange for long-term agreements not to develop the land for other uses. Towns can require that they be given first refusal when certain properties are put up for sale. Zoning laws can be adapted to encourage clustering homes on one part of a parcel and dedicating the rest as open space.

Suffolk County has spent about $400 million over the last 30 years to preserve more than 30,000 acres, about half of it farmland, from development, using a farmland preservation fund, a drinking water protection fund and a dedicated share of sales tax receipts.

But the county's open-space program came under harsh scrutiny two years ago after its director of real estate was accused of brokering a land purchase at an inflated price to benefit a business associate. The legislature responded by prohibiting the county from paying more than 10 percent above the average appraised value for any parcel of land, a rule that preservationists say has brought the program to a standstill.

Last week, Mr. Levy, the Suffolk County executive, announced plans to revitalize the program by beefing up its legal staff, getting advance approval from the legislature to negotiate with owners and other changes. "We have $100 million available, but the problem is, we haven't had the apparatus in place to buy properties," Mr. Levy said.

Nassau County has much less open space, but Thomas R. Suozzi, the county executive, has stressed the need to preserve it. Last year the county created its first open-space fund, to be financed with 5 percent of the proceeds from any sales of county-owned real estate; it is expected to get about $5 million in the next few years.

"It's definitely a challenge, because there are so few large parcels left in Nassau County," said Patricia Bourne, the county planning director. "We hope to get to and save the significant ones."

Nearly all the Nassau County properties on the planning board's list are in North Hempstead or Oyster Bay. In 2000, voters in both towns approved environmental bond acts that, among other things, will finance purchases of open space; Oyster Bay's program will get $20 million and North Hempstead's, $8 million.

Jonathan Kaiman, the newly elected supervisor of North Hempstead, said the regional board's plan would be helpful to the town in its preservation efforts. "No one municipality has the funds, the expertise or even the will to put these funds where they need to be put," he said. "The regional planning board gives us context on a larger mission, and that helps us justify to voters why we're spending taxpayer dollars to preserve open space."

Private nonprofit organizations like the Nature Conservancy and the Peconic Land Trust have been pursuing the same goal for decades, primarily in Suffolk County. According to the planning board inventory, the Nature Conservancy has protected nearly 15,500 acres, and the Peconic Land Trust an additional 3,500 acres. Affiliated groups have been created in the last two years to work in Nassau County - the North Shore Land Alliance and the Nassau Land Trust.

The North Shore Land Alliance is working on a list of 35 conservation projects, ranging from a half-acre field on Centre Island to a 50-acre estate in Brookville. Lisa Ott, the group's executive director, said she talks to property owners as a neighbor who happens to know about conservation options that their financial advisers may not have considered.

"Land and property is very private to people, and these are often difficult issues for families to consider," Ms. Ott said. "But property owners have been very open to conservation, because they have their land, because they love it, and it breaks their hearts more than anyone else to see all this development."

Joseph R. Attonito, a lawyer for Robert David Lion Gardiner, the 93-year-old owner of Gardiners Island, said that "Mr. Gardiner's position is and always has been that the island must be maintained in its pristine state, and he is more than willing to facilitate whatever can be done to assure that." Mr. Attonito said Mr. Gardiner would not oppose turning the island into parkland.

But Alexandra Creel Goelet, Mr. Gardiner's niece and the family member next in line to inherit the island, has said she opposes government intervention, although she and her family have pledged to preserve the island as a private family home.

Other property owners on the list said they had no problem with being included on the board's list, because they had no intention of selling or developing their land. Ms. Bourne, the Nassau County planning director, said the county was intent on preserving its 140-acre 4-H camp in Riverhead as it is; though it may be turned over to some other government entity, she said, it will not go to a private developer.

The Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts of America, which operates Camp Wauwepex in Wading River, also has no plans to sell. "If someone came to us to talk about buying development rights, we'd have to listen," said Joe Kalamar, a spokesman for the council. "We wouldn't be opposed to talking about some conservation. We just want to make sure that what scouting uses the camp for stays intact."

But at least one developer, who has a contract to buy the a 78-acre Pulling estate in Oyster Bay Cove, reacted angrily to seeing the estate on the board's list. The developer, John C. Kean, said that the Pulling family has been trying unsuccessfully to develop the tract for the last 13 years, and that the board's action would be used by village officials as another reason to stall his project.

The Pulling family originally proposed the kind of clustered housing that conservationists believe would be the least harmful way to develop the land, because it would preserve a large fraction of it as open space while concentrating new homes on relatively small lots in the center of the property. But the project became mired in local politics, with one politician claiming the development would "turn the village into Queens," Mr. Kean said.

His company took over the project three years ago and mapped out a subdivision with 24 homes on larger lots that would still maintain some of the land as open space. But from the village's reaction, he said, "you would think the Pulling family wanted to put up a nuclear power plant."

Ralph Potente, mayor of Oyster Bay Cove, said that officials had acted in the best interests of the village as a whole in their handling of the project. Mr. Potente said that the village is considering a moratorium on new construction while it studies groundwater issues.

Robert A. Wieboldt, the executive vice president of the Long Island Builders Institute, said the board's open-space plan would have negative economic effects. "The aggressive public acquisition of open space has driven up land costs," Mr. Wieboldt said, "and it has had an adverse impact on the affordability of housing on Long Island."

He said that builders would consider building higher-density developments to save land, "but everything can't be off limits - protecting open space has to be justified against other needs."

Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, said that with the realization that Long Island is now so close to being fully developed, "there's finally a confluence of things coming together that aren't usually in alignment." The planning board agrees with environmental groups on preservation; conservationists agree with developers that clustering development to preserve open space is a desirable alternative to tract housing; and the business community recognizes the need to maintain farmland and open space to support agriculture and tourism.

"It's like everybody's waking up at the same time," Mr. Amper said. "So maybe we really can stop the feeding frenzy of overdevelopment. We just need the political will and the right machinery to make it happen."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

May 14th, 2004, 05:15 AM
May 14, 2004

Board Formed to Plan Development in Nassau


GARDEN CITY, N.Y., May 13 - Nearly 60 years after housing developments began mushrooming across Nassau County, officials said Thursday that they had formed the first county review board to coordinate real estate planning.

In recent decades, a lack of coordinated planning has increasingly posed problems in the county, where 287 square miles are chopped into 69 municipalities. Each has its own zoning powers and a tendency to embark on development projects with little regard for what lies beyond its borders.

"We have to figure out how Nassau County can grow, but at the same time, preserve our quality of life," said County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, who headed the formation of the board, called the Planning Federation. Mr. Suozzi said the move was another step in his plan to refurbish the county into what he described as "new suburbia."

The federation arrives at a critical time for the county. Earlier this year, a report released by the nonprofit Rauch Foundation and various civic and business groups found that both Nassau and Suffolk Counties showed increasing signs of age. Open spaces have shrunk, home prices have skyrocketed in Nassau, new jobs typically are paying less and the county's young are fleeing to less costly places to buy their first homes, the report found.

Under the federation, officials from the county's 2 cities, 3 towns and 64 villages will discuss planning issues and ways that the local governments can pool resources to apply for federal redevelopment grants, which were often overlooked in the past.

And the federation will offer training to residents of cities, towns and villages who wish to serve on planning commissions - and often do - but who have little formal knowledge of urban planning.

While Suffolk County reinstated its Planning Federation about 10 years ago, Nassau County had resisted such an effort until now. The federation has no statutory authority; under state law, each incorporated municipality has the right to zone for land use within its borders.

Lee E. Koppelman, a professor at the State University at Stony Brook and the executive director of the Long Island Regional Planning Board, said that forming the federation was a step in the right direction.

"The test will be when a local town doesn't want to do" what other communities and the county want, Dr. Koppelman said, adding that he hoped politics would play a secondary role. "Of course, to a certain extent," he said, "that's unavoidable. But the effort is absolutely worth trying."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 12th, 2004, 01:52 AM
June 13, 2004


Creating Housing When Land Is Scarce


JOINING THE NEIGHBORHOOD James L. Neisloss in Huntington, where Meadowood Properties is building 10 homes at a former nursery.

WITH almost all of Nassau County already developed and tens of thousands of acres in Suffolk County proposed for preservation, major builders are increasingly reduced to developing smaller, scattered "infill" lots.

In many instances, parcels — some less than an acre — are being bought by major developers more used to building large developments.

Robert Wieboldt, executive vice president of the Long Island Builders Institute in Islandia, a 650-member trade organization, said that Nassau is 96 percent developed and that most new home construction is in areas that are being redeveloped or on scattered lots. Suffolk has 95,000 acres of open land, but the county and towns are trying to buy at least half for preservation, he explained.

Nick Cassis, an owner of Tibi Construction in Jericho, who has built such large Suffolk residential communities as the 186-unit Ranches in Mount Sinai, is planning to build 10 single-family homes on 10 acres in Port Jefferson. "We haven't done anything this small in a long time," he said, "but we have to — we are running out of land."

Meadowood Properties in Islandia, which has built many developments with "Meadows" in their names, including 78 single-family homes in Selden and 104 co-ops in Valley Stream, is now building customized homes on scattered lots. With housing demand particularly strong, "the concept of purchasing teardowns or scattered vacant lots, even though not extensive, makes sense today," said James L. Neisloss, a Meadowood principal.

A recent company project is the Meadows at Harborfields in eastern Huntington, which is being built on 4.73 acres of a former nursery surrounded by older single-family homes. Mr. Neisloss said he had paid $1.4 million for the site, where he plans to build 10 homes on two cul-de-sacs. The houses, center-hall colonials with postmodern facades, are to cover 2,800 square feet to 3,700 (with the option of a fifth bedroom) and to list for $749,900 to $809,900.

Meadowood will also be building two 4,000-square-foot colonial-style homes in Manhasset that will sell for about $2 million. One house will be in a 50-year-old development on the site of a 2,800-square-foot house that will be razed. The other will be built on a one-third-acre site of an 1,800-square-foot ranch built about 50 years ago that will be torn down.

Meadowood is also continuing to develop somewhat larger subdivisions farther east in Suffolk, including 22 single-family homes on 14 acres in Ridge, Mr. Neisloss said.

Another major developer, the Klar Organization in East Meadow, has also turned toward constructing small subdivisions of customized homes. Klar is primarily known for large developments like the Waterways at Moriches, a 500-unit condo project for people 55 and over, now in its final phase of development. Another proposed project, Highview at Coram, which is to have 140 town houses, is awaiting approval by the Town of Brookhaven.

"In the meantime, we have to keep our organization going, and building on smaller scattered lots is one way of doing it," said Steven Klar, the company's president. "Also, people want a lot of customizing these days, and we can do it in these small subdivisions."

This month, Klar expects to begin marketing three small subdivisions:

¶Farm Lane at Locust Valley, on Nassau's north shore, where seven 3,000-square-foot houses are to be constructed on a former horse farm. They are to sell for $1.2 million to $1.5 million each.

¶Dalton Meadows in Huntington, in western Suffolk, an eight-lot subdivision on 10 acres. The new homes are to list for $890,000 to $990,000.

¶Manorville Farms, in eastern Suffolk, on the 8.5-acre site of a former nursery, which is to have seven 2,800-to-4,000-square-foot houses.

Another major builder, Peter Worrell, president of the Worrell Group in Woodbury, said his company had been building large subdivisions. Now it is concentrating on the custom homes because of the scarcity of land, he said.

One project involves construction of two houses on 8.5 acres of a former horse farm in Old Brookville. The houses — one 7,000 square feet, the other 8,000 — will sell for $3.6 million and $4.5 million.

"These smaller parcels are also scarce," Mr. Worrell said. "When they go on the market, there are 8,000 people rushing to buy."

Joining the quest for land are developers who traditionally have built on small lots, like Benchmark Home Builders in Huntington, which has been buying "spot lots" since 1985. "A lot of prime land is pretty much gone and a lot of what's left is not so desirable," said Ira Tane, Benchmark's president.

Benchmark recently completed eight homes on two acres on a vacant downtown lot in Huntington, which "had become a dump site," he said. "People shook their heads and told me it was a bad move, but it came out to be a beautiful job," and the 3,000-square-foot colonials sold for about $700,000 each, Mr. Tane said.

A short distance east in Dix Hills, Benchmark is planning Old Country Manor, three 4,000-square-foot homes that will sell for $1.2 million each on a four-acre cul-de-sac.

Cliff Fetner, the owner of Jaco Custom Builders in Hauppauge, who has traditionally built on smaller lots, said that while the biggest hurdle is availability of land, once a parcel is found a builder faces an even bigger problem — because of the competition — in negotiating a deal that is profitable. Most two-acre buildable lots in Nassau County cost more than $1 million, he said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 16th, 2004, 01:44 PM
Is Long Island losing appeal?

Study shows that many are giving up the high mortgages in the suburbs for the high-paced city life

By Erin Texeira
Staff Writer

July 16, 2004

Quality of life. It's the holy grail of the suburbs, the main reason generations of New Yorkers left the five boroughs in recent decades and flooded Long Island.

But, in a new twist, more tri-state-area residents are steering clear of Nassau and Suffolk due to such quality-of-life complaints as traffic and high housing costs, according to a new study from Rutgers University.

Now, for the first time in 30 years, the city is attracting more residents, jobs and housing - a shift that suggests New York's suburbs may have diminishing appeal, according to "The Beginning of the End of Suburbia?", which looks at trends from 1969 through 2001 using government statistics.

"This relentless suburbanization has reached its low tide and the core areas are starting to be attractive," said Joseph J. Seneca, a public policy professor who co-authored the study. "We attribute that to the enormous strains on infrastructure experienced by the suburbs."

Between 1969 and 1996, Long Island added residents and jobs, and per capita incomes grew, far outpacing the declining city, according the study. In Suffolk, for example, jobs more than doubled while Brooklyn's shrunk by 13 percent.

But by the end of the last century, the suburban numbers were dipping as the city's rose. The data show that Long Island and New York City now are growing at about the same rate.

Between 1990 and 2001, the population in the city grew by nearly 10 percent compared with 6.6 percent on Long Island.

"This is the rebalancing of a very disparate growth pattern," Seneca said. "It indicates a shift in preferences for residences and businesses."

Increasingly, people want to live near their jobs and near the city's cultural outlets, he said.

The city life

But why choose the noisy, fast-paced city over a serene, landscaped suburb?

Many new immigrants to the region move directly to the suburbs in search of jobs and to be near already established family members. However, most still settle in New York City, swelling population rolls there.

In addition, aging baby boomers whose children are grown are increasingly attracted to the city for its museums, theaters and restaurants.

"I had one client, a retired widower, who moved from Patchogue [to the Upper East Side] in the last year," said Marc Lawrence, a real estate broker with the Corcoran Group in Manhattan. "He was finding he was reverse commuting for a lot of social opportunities here" in the city.

Another factor: burdensome work commutes. As suburbanites have moved farther from congested work areas in search of their dream homes, commuting times have mushroomed. For instance, Census 2000 data show that the average Long Islander spends 33 minutes traveling to work, three minutes more than in 1990.

"In this country, we have a history of picking up and moving if we don't like it the way it is in one place," said Valerie Scopaz, director of planning in Southold Town. "We're running out of places to move to."

Island appeal

For some, living far from work is still worth it. For 20 years, Gerry Bringmann, a construction manager, has commuted two hours in each direction on the Long Island Rail Road and city subways from his home in Patchogue to lower Manhattan.

"The city is great Monday to Friday, but I wouldn't want to be here Saturday and Sunday," he said, noting that, like many of his neighbors, his family loves Long Island's open spaces and natural beauty. But, he added, "Believe me, spending 20 hours a week on the train isn't always great."

For Kimberly Scott, Brooklyn was a better option than Long Island. After living in Port Washington for one year in 1999, the Hofstra University education professor decided that Long Island's traffic, high living costs and - in her neighborhood - lack of a feeling of community were not what she wanted.

"At one time, I was walking around the block [for exercise] and the scenery was exquisite, but I never saw anyone I knew," said Scott, who now lives in Park Slope. "I just didn't feel comfortable and it was exorbitantly expensive."

Life on Long Island was not always like this.

For decades after World War II, Long Island and other New York suburbs saw unprecedented new housing development that sparked massive population growth. Many were young families who left Brooklyn and Queens for Long Island's bigger houses, better schools and quiet, leafy neighborhoods.

At the same time, open spaces were preserved to prevent over-development.

Now, more than 70 percent of Long Island is urbanized compared to about 40 percent of New York's northern and western suburbs, according to Carrie Meek Gallagher, a researcher with the Garden City-based Rauch Foundation, a nonprofit.

"You can only develop so far here, being an island," she said.

The land scarcity has driven up housing costs, making Nassau and Suffolk unaffordable for many, particularly younger residents, she said. A 2003 Rauch survey showed that 53 percent of Long Islanders between ages 18 and 35 have considered moving from the area, and the biggest reason is the high cost of living.

In recent years, regional planners on Long Island have been discussing ways to address the area's slower growth.

"As the population grows, you deal with, how do you accommodate a larger number of people in the same amount of land," Scopaz said. "We can start redeveloping places so that you don't throw away the good things on Long Island."

The authors of the Rutgers study stress that the question mark in the title is key. It is not yet clear if city's recent surge will be sustained, Seneca said.

The dot-com bubble, which lured jobs and residents into the city, may have prompted a spike in the numbers. And, in recent years, the city's drastic economic slump after Sept. 11, 2001, may have long-term effects not yet quantified.

"We think we need to wait for additional time to see if this is a pause in that continued pattern," Seneca said. "But certainly we have consistent evidence on these indicators that the basic pattern has changed."

Over the long term, experts said, Long Island will probably continue to prosper because the region still holds appeal for many residents.

Suburban slowdown

Recent studies by Rutgers University seem to show that the suburban boom evident since the late 1960s is cooling off, while urban areas seem to enjoying greater gains in jobs and population.


(in millions, rounded)

All core urban areas All suburbs

1969 9.93 9.65

1990 9.16 10.73

2001 10.00 11.70


(in millions, rounded)

New York City

1969 7.86

1990 7.33

2001 8.06


1969-1996 1996-2001

All core urban areas -6.6% +9.1%

All suburbs +56.2 +9.1

New York City -6.6 +10.1

Nassau County +27.0 +5.0

Suffolk County +110.2 +13.4


1969-1990 1990-2001

All core urban areas - 7.8% +9.1%

All suburbs +11.2 +9.1

New York City - 6.7 +9.9

Nassau County - 9.7 +4.1

Suffolk County +21.1 +9.1

NOTES: Core urban areas include the five boroughs of New York City as well as Essex, Hudson and Union counties of New Jersey. Suburbs include Nassau and Suffolk counties, and seven upstate counties in New York; Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut; and 11 New Jersey counties. Employment change considers wage- and salary-compensated jobs, sole proprietorships and partnerships and self-employed persons.


Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Suburban Sprawl Passé? (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=2934)

November 20th, 2004, 09:57 PM
November 21, 2004


Long Island, Rethought

What's happening on Long Island? Drive around, and everything still looks pretty much the same: house, driveway, house, driveway. Deli, nail salon, pizza, Chinese. Navigator, Explorer, Explorer, Suburban.

But don't be fooled. These are turbulent times. The original American suburb is being remade, reshaped and rethought by people far more energetic and determined than you might imagine. And they are moving on many fronts.

Who are they?

Thomas Suozzi, for one, the hyperambitious Nassau executive, who has a 10-point plan to create nothing less than a New Suburbia in his home county. There's Charles Wang, the billionaire who is through with software and now wants to build things, including a housing-entertainment-commercial complex at the Nassau Coliseum. Then there are individuals and groups eager to solve Long Island's housing crisis by building cheaper housing for young and old, an effort that would involve serious alterations to the landscape. They are joined by smart-growth planners dreaming of walkable downtowns, higher-density development and an end to the tyranny of the car.

Perhaps most profoundly, there are tens of thousands of immigrants, reshaping the island from the ground up. Census figures from 2000 to 2003 show double-digit increases in the population of Hispanics (17 percent in Nassau, 23 percent in Suffolk) and Asians (about 25 percent in both).

In recent weeks, several events have marked the effort to stake out the boundaries of Long Island's future. Soon after Mr. Wang unveiled his coliseum plans, a new group, the Nassau County Planning Federation, held its first countywide program on land use and planning. The next day, the Long Island Association held its annual goals conference, with only one agenda item: affordable housing.

Events like these, together with rapidly shifting demographics, constitute a broad challenge to the old vision of Long Island as a mostly white enclave of single-family homes nestled among trees, highways and shopping centers.

Even though it has stirred anxiety - many people worry that the new Long Island will look a lot like the old Queens - we welcome all this talk. We like the idea of taking development in a different direction - fewer outlet malls and superstores, please, and no more redlining - and we share the sense of urgency about work force housing.

It was good news, then, when Mr. Suozzi and his Suffolk counterpart, Steve Levy, announced legislation this month to overhaul the Long Island Regional Planning Board, an advisory body that is often ignored but always respected for its attention to the big picture. Even as its venerable director, Lee Koppelman, works to complete a new comprehensive regional plan, Mr. Suozzi and Mr. Levy are seeking to give the board an overdue shaking, expand its membership and increase the frequency of its meetings to tackle high-priority issues.

It's an excellent idea.

But visions - the smart ones, anyway - take money. The board now runs on an appropriation of $200,000 a year from the counties, a negligible amount given the island's size and the breadth of the issues ahead. A rejuvenated council can do much to bring sanity and wisdom to the planning process, sharing expertise at the town and village level, where the real zoning and development power lies. It can be a welcome brake on the island's blinkered rush to pave and to profit - as long as it has the money for its mission.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

December 16th, 2004, 08:42 PM
Is Long Island's days in the sun over? Is it still growing? Will it ever return to it's old form?

What makes you think LI's "glory years" are over? It's still growing and more expensive than ever. What makes it different from any other NY area suburb?

Long Island could never return to its old form, that is, it's days as pasture and farmland. Much of Nassau County is Queens East and that trend will continue. Who knows? Perhaps some day subway service will be extended to eastern Queens and into Nassau (Please don't laugh, it's nice to dream). Suffolk will continue its schizophrenic ways: insanely overcrowded summers in the Hamptons, diminishing farmland in the North Fork, and continuous sprawl until the 110 corridor becomes one huge strip mall from Babylon to Huntington (Oops, already is.)

In the 50's and 60's, folks moved to Long Island for new housing, verdant lawns, bucolic neighborhoods and better schools. Robert Moses built the parkways to transport city workers to their suburban dream. Well over time, Queens came with them. Poor public transit is a major hurdle to surmount as Long Island transitions from suburbs to exurban extension of NYC. North-South connectors to the LIRR would be helpful. I've seen planning dreams of a light rail along the Meadowbrook Pkwy (?!) but Hempstead, Hofstra and the Coliseum areas remain radically underserved. Fortunately, I live on the south shore with easy transit access to NYC and Jones Beach. Long Island has plenty of room to grow. With thoughtful urban planning it could preserve the best of its features as it becomes denser and increasingly urban. I seriously pray it doesn't become another Virginia Beach!

January 21st, 2005, 04:51 AM
January 21, 2005

'Birth Dearth' Is Blamed for Decline in Population


Long Island is the victim of something, but is it a brain drain or a birth dearth?

Many researchers and politicians believe it is a brain drain - that Long Island's young adults are fleeing to New York City, the South and the Southwest in search of better jobs and cheaper homes. They cite census data from last year showing that Nassau and Suffolk Counties have lost about 140,000 18- to 34-year-olds since 1990.

But a study released yesterday attacked that theory, arguing that there are fewer young adults on Long Island today because fewer people had babies 20 years ago. The author of the study, Seth Forman of the Long Island Regional Planning Board, is calling the phenomenon a birth dearth.

"You don't need a larger explanation than that," Mr. Forman said. "There is no brain drain."

A study released last year said that Long Island's population of young adults was declining at five times the national rate, and politicians and planners seized on the statistic. Both of the Island's county executives have called for more housing that is affordable to lower- and middle-class families to keep young couples on Long Island.

Officials with the Rauch Foundation, which published the study, the Long Island Index, did not respond to phone messages. The foundation's 2004 study included a survey that found that 53 percent of Long Island's 18- to 34-year-olds had considered moving elsewhere because of the cost of living, high taxes and lack of housing.

Ed Dumas, a spokesman for the Suffolk County executive, Steve Levy, said he disagreed with the new study, and still believed a housing shortage was forcing young adults off Long Island.

The median home price in Nassau County is just under $450,000 and in Suffolk it is just over $350,000, according to December data from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. Thomas R. Suozzi, the Nassau County executive, and Mr. Levy have argued that few young families can afford those prices.

But Mr. Forman said people trying to decide where to settle pay more attention to the abundance of jobs, climate and where their family lives than housing costs. "The idea that 20- to 34-year-olds are fleeing because of housing costs is manipulating the affordable housing issue," he said.

Mr. Forman said old census records showed that Long Island had 144,044 fewer infants to 9-year-olds in 1980 than in it had in 1970. The children born in 1980 have grown up, and by 2000, there were about 130,000 fewer 20 to 34-year-olds on Long Island than there were a decade earlier. It was a demographic shift mirrored across the country, the study said. But while the percentage of young adults dropped to 20 percent from 25 percent nationwide from 1990 to 2003, there was a sharper drop on Long Island, to 17.7 percent from 24 percent.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

January 27th, 2005, 02:34 PM
January 27, 2005

Vacant Land on Long Island Is Disappearing, Study Warns


A new study warns that Long Island is rapidly running out of the essential ingredient that spawned America's first suburbs there after World War II: vacant land.

Only a tenth of the island remains to be developed, according to the annual Long Island Index report being issued today. The challenge now, the study said, is rationing the remaining space and redeveloping older properties and communities to address critical problems like high local taxes and the "clear and present crisis" in housing that has priced out the elderly, recent graduates and people with modest incomes.

"Quite simply, we are running out of space," the report said. "The sprawl that has typified Long Island's development cannot be sustained." The report added that "virtually all our region's most serious problems are either caused or aggravated by sprawl."

The index, the second annual analysis of issues confronting Long Island, was sponsored by the Rauch Foundation, a nonprofit research and investment organization, in cooperation with government planners, business and labor leaders, educators and other nonprofit groups. The new report focused on land use "because it's the most powerful factor" linking other issues, said the foundation's president, Nancy Rauch Douzinas.

If made wisely, the report said, decisions about future land use would alleviate the island's most pressing issues: extraordinarily high property taxes, the scarcity and high cost of housing, congestion, traffic problems and inadequate mass transit, and threats to the environment.

"The ultimate irony of our development is that after 50 years of home building, Long Island's residents today face a dire shortage of housing," the report said. "Home prices continue to skyrocket and new homeowners spend over 40 percent of household income on homeownership costs."

The median home price on Long Island is $394,000, 4.7 times the median annual household income - and far above the ratio of 2.5 that housing experts recommend for affordability, the report said.

Polling of 805 residents by the foundation revealed deeply conflicted feelings on housing issues.

A strong majority recognized the gravity of the housing shortage, with 74 percent calling it an extremely or very serious problem. Seventy-one percent voiced fears that high housing costs would force family members to leave the island, and 64 percent said they themselves had thought about moving away.

A majority also endorsed solutions that some politicians have long considered taboo, like adding more apartments in older downtown areas near train stations, and requiring developers to make a tenth of any new homes they build moderately priced. A majority also said that they would support the construction of town houses and apartments within a mile of their own homes.

Yet at the same time, a majority also voiced fears that such measures would diminish suburban life by increasing tax burdens and congestion, reducing the quality of schools and even bringing in "the wrong kind of people."

Those concerns are understandable, the study's authors said. But they added that proper planning could reassure the public by addressing the potential pitfalls of more development. For instance, zoning rules to limit local populations so schools are not overburdened with students who cost more to educate than the tax revenues derived from the developments where they live.

"The ambivalence makes a lot of sense, because people have a lot invested," Dr. Douzinas said. She called the support for solutions "a hopeful sign that should give political and community leaders the courage to put a vision out there."

The report did not recommend any particular solutions, but it did list possibilities like more town houses, government-subsidized housing and legalized apartments in single-family homes, favored by 55 percent of those polled.

Long Island, comprising Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is the most developed suburb in the New York metropolitan region, the report said. The supply of open land is dwindling fast, with only 67,000 acres remaining to be developed. That number excludes land committed to open-space uses like parks, golf courses and nature preserves.

From 1980 to 2000, the amount of land devoted to residential use grew to 314,693 acres from 267,238 acres. At the same time, farmland dropped to 35,328 acres from 51,178, and vacant land shrank to 78,270 acres from 138,545, the report said.

Besides the high cost of homes and apartments, residents bear taxes that "are among the highest in the country," the report said. In 2002, the most recent year with comparable figures, Long Islanders paid an average of $2,445 per person in property taxes. That was more than double the national average of $969 and significantly higher than statewide averages of $1,402 in New York, $1,734 in Connecticut and $1,872 in New Jersey. Long Islanders also pay high sales taxes.

Better use of the vacant land and redeveloping existing properties, like polluted "brownfields" formerly owned by industries, can provide more jobs and generate revenue to ease tax burdens, the report said.

In its critique of past poor planning, the report said that housing was often not situated near employment centers, and that expressways and the Long Island Rail Road were geared mainly for commuting to New York City rather than to local employers, where most residents actually work.


Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

alex ballard
January 27th, 2005, 06:50 PM
There should be debser types of housing being build: I suggest an Apartment house: Basically a 60x50 foot building with 5 floors and has 5 apartment houses each with 3,000 sq feet. This could possibly fit on a regular suburban plot and would look like those fancy suburban homes out in the exoburubs. and there would be a common backyard in the back and there would be a undergroung parking garage there too. This is the devlopment that should replace all those single family homes in Levittown and Suffolk and this would allow for much greater growth in these areas. Imagine fitting 5 times as many people but still having a suburban area.

TLOZ Link5
January 27th, 2005, 06:53 PM
It might not work. In some parts of Long Island they call three-story buildings "highrises."

alex ballard
January 27th, 2005, 07:30 PM
It might not work. In some parts of Long Island they call three-story buildings "highrises."

Not to get smart, but in Alabama, soda is called "pop". The fact is that 5 stories is very reasonable and not every place would get zoned like that. What I'm thinking is hving the zoning get lighter as you go out. have like 7-8 story buildings in like everyting west of Huntington/Babylon and maybe have 5-6 between Huntington/babylon and Port Jefferson/Patchtouge and 3-4 past that to Riverhead, then two and single family homes out on the forks. Nothing too bad, right?

January 27th, 2005, 09:09 PM
Long Island presently has many lowrise apartment houses and condos, but increased density will require a cultural shift. It can be a difficult truth to accept that one can not have his cake and eat it too. Most Long Islanders WANT the suburban home, the expansive lawn, the tree-lined street, the cloistered neighborhood, the easy access to shopping but also the distance from parking lots and strangers. They also want top-notch schools and the ability to 'protect' their investment from undesired elements that can threaten their prized (and often hard-won) status quo. For the most part, racism is not conscious. People perceive themselves as exceptionally tolerant and open-minded. One of the values they hold in common is a determination not to become like the city (i.e., Queens).

Yet my own neighborhood is more like Queens than a Long Island village, and my apartment building almost fits Alex's description. Change is coming, regardless. For too long Nassau County did not prepare for long-range urban growth. People on government assistance were clustered into several villages that become enclaves of minority poor. Without need for walls or gates, villages were able to utilize both natural and infrastructure barriers to form a patchwork of segregation and exclusion.

Ironically, careful planning could help Long Island preserve many of its leafy neighborhoods as it develops denser urban districts. There are many villages with vibrant centers and easy access to public transit. In my village I walk to the bank, library, post office, grocery store and the LIRR. I use my car only to get to work on the North Shore (and to Jones Beach). I wish that Long Island could think a bit more like Portland, Oregon: Planned density along transit nodes and protected green zones. Long Island could preserve a huge piece of cake and still feast upon the remainder.

January 28th, 2005, 10:45 AM
For the most part, racism is not conscious.

I grew up on Long Island and it is, in my opinion as well as some journalists and sociologists, one of the most race and religiously segregated regions in the nations.

Whites don't line in "black" towns and vice versa. There are "jewish" towns and "christian" town.

I was born in Long Beach.

I grew up in Merrick. In a class of 1,500 students at Calhoun H.S. - I had ONE black classmate. It was a predominantly christian class. Jews in the town lived predominantly south of Sunrise Highway, and south of Merrick Road was almost exclusively Jewish. Kennedy High School in the same school district was a predominant jewish school. By comparision, the next town over, separated by Meadowbrook Parkway, was Roosevelt - a 99% black, poor community. I mean to say racism is not conscious is just not accurate.

For example:
Black Towns: Roosevelt, Uniondale, Hempstead, Wyandanch, Brentwood
Jewish Towns: Lawrence, Atlantic Beach, Great Neck, South Merrick, South Bellmore

I think it is because, to some degree, Long Island was ultimately born of the "white flight" from the city. Not in the early part of the century, but certainly by the 50's & 60's. People weren't always always so blatant about it, but there were "bad neighborhoods" (i.e. black). The whole "J.A.P." thing was an outgrowth of the ctiticism of suburban jews - most certainly centered around Long Island (because the impersonations almost always had the "Lawn Guyland" accent as an integral part). In the past decade, there are attacks on hispanic workers.

It is much. much better than when I grew up (Class of 81), but it will take at least another generation to eradicate it.

January 28th, 2005, 11:22 AM
A factor in the general social attitudes of a place like Long Island (especially Suffolk Co), in the midst of a dense, urban corridor, might be that it is not a through-point.

alex ballard
January 28th, 2005, 01:03 PM
Long island is bad but not the only one. For a city, Philly tends to be cut along racial lines. The sad thing is, these people will never realize how beautiful a diverse community could be. Also, are immigrants setting up shop on Long Island? that may help ease the racial divide as immigrants tend to assimalite (in my opinion) to white neighbors than Blacks and Hispanics that have been here.

January 30th, 2005, 11:08 AM
January 30, 2005

As Housing Costs Rise, Nimbyism Is Slipping


WITH growing urgency, civic groups and politicians have been warning that the rise in housing costs on Long Island is a dire problem, that younger workers can't afford to live on the Island and that the resulting "brain drain" is casting a shadow on the region's economy. According to a new poll by the Rauch Foundation of Garden City, the warnings are sinking in.

The poll found that 89 percent of Long Island residents were concerned about the issue, with 42 percent describing themselves as extremely concerned. The anxiety crossed all distinctions of race, age, income or education, the poll found, and was more acute than in the other New York City suburbs, which were surveyed for comparison's sake. Only 28 percent of respondents in New Jersey and the northern suburbs described themselves as extremely concerned about the problem.

But though the survey suggests a population united in its diagnosis of Long Island's problems, opinions diverge when it comes to the remedy. And another new study, by the Long Island Regional Planning Board, even questions the existence of a root cause of all the concern: the brain drain.

The Census Bureau reported that Long Island experienced a 20 percent decline in its 18-to-34-year-old age group from 1990 to 2000, a drop five times the national average. But the Regional Planning Board study, which was released this month, suggested that the decline was not due to an exodus, but to a dip in the number of births 20 years ago. The study also questioned the logic that housing costs have driven away the young, pointing to a swell in the population of Suffolk County over the past few years.

"The increase of 20-34-year-olds in Suffolk County of 4,000 between 2000 and 2003 has occurred as median home prices have risen from $201, 470 to $333, 521," the study said. "Why, if home prices were such an important determination of location, would we not see a continuation of decline in this age group?"

But the brain drain, whether real or perceived, has apparently struck a chord with Long Island residents, said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, the president of the Rauch Foundation.

"The brain drain is really a symptom of what is happening," she said. "The brain drain is related to lack of affordable housing, to the kinds of jobs we have here, to the fact that there's no transportation to get to the jobs."

The poll is part of the second annual Long Island Index, a report the Rauch Foundation sponsored in a joint project with academic, civic, business and labor groups. The index, which was formally released on Thursday, draws statistics from the census, economic reports and other data sources, as well as from the poll, which was conducted by the Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research from July 13 to Aug. 21 last year. Results were based on responses from 1,106 adults on Long Island, 302 in New Jersey suburban counties and 305 in the northern suburbs, including Rockland, Orange, Westchester and Fairfield counties. The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points on Long Island and 5.6 percentage points in the other suburban areas.

Though the Long Island Index covers topics from mass transit ridership to pesticide use, there is a chosen topic each year that receives particular attention. Last March, when members of the report's advisory committee met to discuss possible topics for this year, they noticed that the reaction to the last year's report had especially fixed on the brain drain idea, Ms. Douzinas said. After looking at several other topics, the committee concluded that the brain drain and the other issues were shaped by a more fundamental one: land use.

The report says only 67,000 acres of vacant, developable land remain on the Island, a tenth of its total land area or roughly the size of the Town of Islip. The report predicted that in 2050 only 6,000 acres of vacant, developable land would remain.

Housing is far and away the main acreage eater, accounting for nearly half of Long Island's land. The report showed that from 1980 to 2000, residential development expanded by about 47,000 acres, nearly twice the area of expansion by commercial, industrial and institutional development combined. During those years, the amount of vacant and agricultural land declined by 40 percent.

Accelerating the trend is the fact that Long Island residents, who have been fleeing New York City for more space since World War II, have always craved single-family homes. Eighty-six percent of the poll respondents on the Island said they lived in single-family homes, while the number was just under 70 percent in the other suburban areas.

With millions of dollars in public money being spent to preserve open space from development, and with some municipalities setting higher minimum acreage requirements for new property, the land that is left is being claimed at an ever faster rate. How that affects housing prices is just basic economics.

"The land use patterns that in one sense made all that growth possible in the early 50's have now become unsustainable," said Carrie Meek Gallagher, the report's director.

Though they have long been an issue on Long Island, housing costs seem to have become a more urgent issue after they were coupled with the brain drain idea. In the index released last year, 61 percent of respondents thought the departure of young people because of housing costs was a serious problem. In this year's report, that figure was 89 percent.

"The willingness of more and more Long Islanders to understand the importance of the workforce housing issue to both the quality of life on Long Island and the economy on Long Island is very, very helpful and hopeful," said Mitchell Pally, vice president for government affairs for the Long Island Association, the largest business association on the Island and a leading campaigner for affordable housing initiatives. "More and more people are either being affected directly by it or know people who are being affected directly by it."

Seven in 10 of those surveyed on the Island were concerned that the high cost of housing would force members of their family to leave their county. In New Jersey, only 64 percent were concerned and in the northern suburbs, 59 percent.

The poll showed that many Long Island residents are open to new housing policies. Building rental apartments in downtown areas, for example, won broad support, as did requiring developers to set aside a portion of new projects for affordable housing. While this may indicate a decline of the Nimby mentality, a closer look at the poll makes this conclusion harder to draw.

In one question, respondents were asked whether they would support a proposal to build housing on former industrial, commercial or government sites no longer in use. Around three-fourths supported the idea. But when asked whether they would support a change in zoning laws to allow a limited increase in the number of apartments or town houses in areas zoned for single-family homes, less than half said yes, with only 18 percent describing themselves as strong supporters.

"As long as you propose something other than single-family detached in a residential area, you're dead in the water," said Lee E. Koppelman, the executive director of the Long Island Regional Planning Board.

A slight majority of Long Islanders supported allowing two-family housing in an area currently reserved for single-family housing within a mile of their homes. But a majority opposed a low-rise apartment building within a mile. Higher buildings were also unpopular. In every category, homeowners were less open to such changes than those who did not own homes.

In the poll, questions about support for lower-cost housing referred to it as "affordable middle-class and starter housing."

"We did try to make it very clear that we were not trying to get people's opinion about low income or public housing," Ms. Gallagher said.

But in the 2004 Rauch Foundation poll, the question was posed more directly. Respondents were asked what they thought about "having more housing available in your community to those who earn less than $60,000," and specifically mentioned "lower-income families." Even so, 65 percent had a favorable reaction, with only 22 percent opposed.

But Ms. Gallagher said it was difficult to truly gauge attitudes when the questions are hypothetical.

"It's hard to determine until you have an actual development project that's going to happen," she said. "It's hard to get people's real reactions." Despite the wording of this year's poll, the negative connotations of affordable housing seemed to be on many minds. A majority agreed that likely consequences of affordable housing could include higher local taxes and increased traffic, but also declining school quality, lower property values and an influx of the "wrong kind of people."

The most pervasive obstacle to supporting affordable housing policies, the report said, was an anticipated decline in school quality. Respondents who linked affordable housing with declining schools were likely to oppose most of the specific policy proposals, which could indicate that some still associate affordable housing with images of urban decay.

Dr. Koppelman said that the shortage of moderately priced homes was being widely portrayed as merely a brain drain problem. But the need went much deeper, he said, though into less politically safe territory.

"In terms of our need for affordability, let me point out that we need this housing not only for the middle-class worker, we need it for the senior citizens, we need it for the working poor and we need it for the disabled poor," he said.

Future battles may also be seen in the answers to questions about open space. Though a 77 percent majority supported a county policy of purchasing land and preserving it as open space, support dwindled somewhat when more detailed questions were asked.

One does not have to look far to find a possible cause: more than two-thirds of respondents thought that open space purchases would be likely to raise house prices. As a logical consequence, opinions fell along certain lines.

"Those in the lowest income bracket," the survey reported, "were less supportive of government purchase of land for preservation purposes, as were younger people." Blacks and Hispanics were also less inclined to support the policy.

One question asked whether residents would support a $60 property tax increase to support an open space program. People with graduate level degrees supported the idea by 71 percent to 25 percent. Those with no high school opposed the idea by 50 percent to 41 percent.

This tension between widely shared open space ambitions and affordable housing needs could grow as the land squeeze gets tighter.

"It's going to be a war zone," Dr. Koppelman said. Any doubt about how resistant Long Island residents are to an influx of more people, he said, should be dispelled by the recent bond referendums. Long Island residents are shown by the report to be paying among the highest taxes in the country, and 93 percent of those polled said that high property taxes were a serious problem. Yet, this past year, they voted for $255 million in new debt to preserve undeveloped land.

"You can't get a clearer indication than that we're willing to spend our own money to keep more development away from us," he said.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

January 30th, 2005, 03:15 PM
When I said that racism is not conscious, I meant what I wrote: Not that racism did not exist but that it was not conscious in the minds of people, even in those who are racist in their behaviors. This is very different from places where hatred and racism are blatant. That said, Long Island is rapidly changing. I do not live in a ghetto; it is not exlusively rich nor poor nor black nor white. My village speaks many languages and embraces an amazing range of religions. The stereotype of Long Island is fast becoming a caricature, yet suburban tracts and neighborhoods of exclusion will still exist. The comfortable stasis of Long Island is coming to an end. When one's children can no longer afford to live on the Island and when African Americans, Indians, Pakistanis, Asians, etc. are among the most wealthy, it is easier to set new priorities.

When the environment around us changes rapidly, even those most resistant to change must adapt in order to survive. And well-educated, affluent, and influential Long Islanders could never just survive, they feel destined to thrive. This sense of empowerment will enable them to make the changes necessary in zoning, community services, and public transit. Perhaps because I didn't grow up here, my wanderlust and its attendant experiences provide a lens for comparision. Notwithstanding my frustrations, I nonetheless have confidence in this area's ability to effect great change.

alex ballard
January 30th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Stupid Question: what's wrong with more people coming to your neighborhood? Look at what happens when NO ONE moves to your neighborhood. I mean, those cities out west just seem to keep growing and growing. Even the 5 boroughs just keep building and building. Why do people in Long Island seem so adverse to it. NJ certainly keeps going.

January 31st, 2005, 11:53 AM
Stupid Question: what's wrong with more people coming to your neighborhood? Look at what happens when NO ONE moves to your neighborhood. I mean, those cities out west just seem to keep growing and growing. Even the 5 boroughs just keep building and building. Why do people in Long Island seem so adverse to it. NJ certainly keeps going.

Whats wrong with more people NOT coming to my neighborhood? Nassau/Western Suffolk are getting pretty crowded as it is - I can't imagine stuffing even more people into those areas without it turning into Queens East (without the mass transit). Long Island has a lot of problems - I don't think lack of growth is one of them...

February 12th, 2005, 10:34 PM
February 13, 2005


Smart Growth's Blind Spot

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/i.gift was a majestic lineup of preachers and a mighty choir that convened last week at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City to sing praise to a smart-growth vision for Long Island. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that she and United States Representative Peter King were teaming up on a proposal to get $250 million in federal aid to revitalize old suburbs. The Nassau county executive, Thomas Suozzi, outlined his dream of "new suburbia" in a PowerPoint presentation. His Suffolk counterpart, Steve Levy, spoke eloquently of the need to secure Long Island's future by creating new housing, reclaiming old buildings and brownfields and preserving open space.

The government officials, builders, academics and corporate executives at the event, a symposium on "Suburban Evolution" sponsored by the Long Island Housing Partnership, were fully receptive to the message. It was a day for harmony and applause. There were few discordant notes.

There might have been more, though, if a woman in an elegant brown suit had succeeded in getting anyone's attention in the final question-and-answer session. She tried, but Mr. King, the moderator, apparently could not see her past the spotlight's glare; the Southold town supervisor was hogging the microphone; and then everybody broke for lunch.

She was Dorothy Goosby, a councilwoman in the town of Hempstead. As she explained later, she was trying to bring up a point that she thought the event had conspicuously ignored. Ms. Goosby, Hempstead's only African-American council member, said she feared that new affordable-housing units were being too heavily concentrated in her predominantly black district. She worried, too, that converting former commercial properties into apartments could upset the economic balance there. Communities need a healthy mix of housing and commerce, she said, and affordable housing is a much better proposition when the apartments are spread around.

Ms. Goosby has a point, and we are sorry she was not able to share it. A discussion of race and class is crucial to any rethinking of the future of Long Island, one of the nation's most segregated suburban areas, but the polite participants in "Suburban Evolution" hit on it barely at all.

Mr. Levy came closest in his lunchtime remarks, when he stressed the need to transcend the "pull-up-the-ladder Nimbyism" that hinders smart-growth ideas on Long Island. Mr. Suozzi touched on it, too, with his call to integrate largely black Hempstead by building plenty of affordable apartments there for the (presumably white) students from colleges in the area.

But other speakers argued that smart growth would gain wider support if people understood that "affordable housing" applied mainly to those who were already in their communities: the young adults in parents' basements and retirees rattling around in empty nests, not the strivers from poorer communities next door. In so many words, these speakers seemed to reflect the views uncovered in a recent Rauch Foundation study, which found that while Long Islanders were increasingly receptive to the idea of affordable housing, a majority also worried that such housing would bring in "the wrong kind of people."

We're not sure what that phrase means, exactly. But given Long Island's stark color boundaries, we have a pretty good idea. Unless the preachers of Long Island's smart-growth gospel tackle this issue head on, the new Long Island could end up looking a lot like the old.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 19th, 2005, 11:31 PM
February 20, 2005


Shifting Sands

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhis page does not have particularly strong feelings about the fate of the actor Roy Scheider's house in the Hamptons.

It is unfortunate, of course, that storm winds and waves have chewed away the dune protecting his Sagaponack property from the ocean, and that the stairs over the sand now dangle in air like a mangled fire escape. It is especially bad that the United States government had a hand in the problem, by having its Corps of Engineers build sea walls east of Sagaponack that starved westward beaches of replenishing sand, setting the stage years ago for the problems now giving Mr. Scheider and his neighbors such fits.

But our much bigger concern is about what the Sagaponack sand emergency - and another one on Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays - says about how far Long Island still needs to go to devise a comprehensive, sensible and environmentally sensitive approach to managing its southern shoreline.

In its never-ending struggle with the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island is hopelessly outmatched. It needs a battle plan, a strategy to balance the fundamental imperative of environmental protection with the competing needs of property owners and the tourism and fishing industries. Instead, it has always taken the localized, ad hoc approach. As predictably as the seasons, storms and erosion cause beaches to crumble, and towns, villages and homeowner groups seek ways to keep nature subdued. The cursed but often-essential jetties stay put, but the dredges keep dredging, the sand trucks keep dumping, the oceanfront homes keep going up - and all the while the sands keep shifting.

As Paul Rabinovitch of the Nature Conservancy explains, Long Island from Fire Island to Montauk Point is caught between two possible futures. The first is an attempt at total control - the Jersey Shore approach, with jetties, groins and regular beach replenishment. This works, but it's expensive and it essentially makes nature the responsibility of the public works department. The alternative is a hands-off philosophy that recognizes that beaches are like living things, growing and shrinking, with inlets that open and close to a rhythm that does not recognize home ownership or shipping channels.

Right now, Long Island is stuck between both points of view - the stupidest place to be.

For a while it looked as if Long Island might get a plan for a sensible future, thanks to a long-awaited Corps of Engineers study of 83 miles of Suffolk's southern shoreline, including not just the Hamptons and Fire Island but also the shores of the Great South Bay, Moriches Bay and Shinnecock Bay. But the Bush administration has just cut the $1.7 million funding for the study from the federal budget. Given that about $30 million has already been spent on the study over more than 20 years, the move is inherently foolish and shockingly wasteful.

The value of the shoreline study was one of the few things on which property owners and environmental groups could agree. It wouldn't solve every problem; engineering studies don't generally provide enlightenment in local land use policy. But they are a good source of facts - a vital foundation for weighing of competing interests.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 6th, 2005, 10:19 AM
March 6, 2005


Growth and Equity

To the Editor:

Your editorial about the role of race and class in Long Island's evolution ("Smart Growth's Blind Spot," Feb. 13) rightly points out the absence of the controversial subject in too many discussions of our suburbs' future. The vision of a new suburbia championed by our elected officials depends on our collective ability to address economic development, environmental health and social equity.

Long Islanders should feel proud of the progress made in environmental protections and commercial revitalization. But in a region where the first municipal boundaries were quite literally drawn around racial groups and where segregation is still the norm, we need more than fleeting allusions to social equity. It must be at the forefront of our evolutionary agenda.

Sarah Lansdale
Executive Director
Sustainable Long Island
Garden City

Managing the Southern Shoreline

To the Editor:

In its "struggle with the Atlantic Ocean," Long Island is not "hopelessly outmatched" ("Shifting Sands," editorial, Feb. 20). The Army Corps of Engineers has spent about $25 million on the study of 83 miles of Long Island's south shore, as you mention. Once again, most expect Long Island's representatives to persuade Congress to restore the $1.7 million needed to finish the study.

Nor must we choose between "total control" and a "hands off" approach. Barrier islands are not "natural" if inlets are stabilized by jetties. Society has decided that inlets should be kept open for a host of reasons. If inlets "open and close," they are likely to open in the wrong place.

Since the 1994 project released sand to the west, it is now possible to restore the downdrift shoreline to what it was before the interruption. Then, through inlet bypassing and supplemental fill, the shoreline can appear and function naturally. Contrary to President Bush's opinion, shoreline management is a legitimate expense of government. Still, beach communities that benefit directly in the form of increased protection should be tapped for a share of the cost.

Gerard Stoddard
President, Fire Island Association
New York

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

alex ballard
April 3rd, 2005, 01:39 PM
If everyone is leaving Long Island, then who's moving in? Is Long Island actually shrinking like the city did in the 70's? Will it make a comeback? and why are housing prices in the NYC region so high, is it becasue so many want to live here, or becasue developers are just ripping you guys off?

Isaac Brekken for The New York Times
May and Tony Martucci, who lived in Rockville Centre, retired and bought a bigger house for half the cost in suburban Las Vegas.


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They're Moving Out

Published: April 3, 2005

OUR years ago, Rachel Meek of Poquott and Brian Carrillo of East Setauket were living in their parents' homes. Having dated for a year and a half, they hoped to share an apartment on the Island and started looking at one-bedroom rentals nearby.

"The prices were just outrageous," recalled Mr. Carrillo, 29. "If we rented, 80 percent of our salary would go to rent."

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During a vacation in Florida in the Tampa Bay area, they decided to scout out apartments.

"We looked at Florida as something that was definitely doable," said Mr. Carrillo, who had lost his job in the quality-assurance department when the telecommunications company he worked for in Lake Grove went out of business. "We both felt the change was due, and we could do better."

They picked Lakeland, between Tampa and Orlando, where they thought jobs would be the most numerous. Their two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in a complex with a pool, tennis and basketball courts, a fitness center and a clubhouse rented for $625 a month, about half the price they would have paid for a cramped one-bedroom on the Island.

Within a week Mr. Carrillo found a job in marketing. Ms. Meek, now 28, was hired as a probation officer. A year and a half later they bought a house for $140,000.

The couple's decision to move off the Island in search of a better life and more-affordable housing was hardly unique. According to the Long Island Index 2005, a study sponsored by the Garden City-based Rauch Foundation, 64 percent of Long Islanders said that they thought about leaving and moving to an area with lower property taxes and housing costs; 71 percent said that they worried that the high cost of housing would force relatives to move away.

"The high cost of living, the high cost of housing and high taxes" are the top three reasons young people are leaving, said Carrie Gallagher, the report's project director. "It's unaffordable for them."

Options are also few for retirees and workers earning modest incomes. The number of rental units on the Island is the lowest in the nation per capita, the report said.

From 1990 to 2000, 20 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds left Long Island, a rate five times the national average. And 27 percent of the 805 Long Islanders surveyed by telephone said they were very likely to move out of their county in the next five years.

The Carrillos married in June 2003. That November they sold their first home and moved to Land O' Lakes, north of Tampa. Last fall, Ms. Carrillo got a job teaching at an elementary school, and Mr. Carrillo was promoted to sales territory manager for a plumbing components company.

"We bought a spanking brand-new house that would have been about $500,000 in New York for about $175,000 here," Mr. Carrillo said, describing their two-story, three-bedroom Mediterranean with an office and a two-car garage. Their property taxes are $2,100 a year, compared with the $8,000 his mother pays back home in East Setauket.

"We came down here with nothing, and we haven't looked back," he said.

The exodus is not just among the young. Retirees and baby boomers who aged along with post-World War II suburbia are also opting off the Island.

While some say they miss the beaches, the proximity to the city, their friends and family, they note that the Island has developed too many wrinkles: traffic congestion has worsened, commuting takes longer, open space is disappearing.

Slowing the Pace

Regrets seem to be few among expatriate Long Islanders. Living seems finer in parts north, south and west.

"We did love Long Island, we just love Vermont that much more," said Barbara Lettenberger, 49. Last July, she and her husband, Lewis, 48, moved from Northport. They got $575,000 for the house they bought in 1989 for $185,000, and set up their vacation chalet in a resort community in Londonderry, Vt., for full-time living.

"We were comfortable in this area, where it's a little less of a hustle-bustle atmosphere," Ms. Lettenberger said by telephone.

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April 3rd, 2005, 02:10 PM
Long Island's population is growing. The middle class is leaving, because home prices and taxes are too high. The rich and the poor are moving in, the middle class is moving out.

alex ballard
April 3rd, 2005, 02:27 PM
Long Island's population is growing. The middle class is leaving, because home prices and taxes are too high. The rich and the poor are moving in, the middle class is moving out.

If the Middle class are leaving, then how can the poor afford to move in?

Is there hope that the current "poor" will form the new "middle-class" of Long Island? Or is the city going to become the place of choice for the newly middle class?

April 3rd, 2005, 04:57 PM
If the Middle class are leaving, then how can the poor afford to move in?

Is there hope that the current "poor" will form the new "middle-class" of Long Island? Or is the city going to become the place of choice for the newly middle class?

The poor on Long Island are illegally crammed into homes. Because of a shortage of affordable housing, multiple families of immigrants are forced to share individual homes.

Long Island has expensive homes, and real estate taxes are the highest in the nation. The article fails to mention that these high real estate taxes result in some of the best schools in the nation. Florida has low property taxes, but the schools are awful. Same goes with Nevada, North Carolina and other states mentioned in the article.

If you attend an Ivy League campus, you will be surrounded by Long Islanders, and there will be very few Floridians, despite the huge Florida population. Living on Long Island is a great investment if you can afford it. If you are retired or don't yet have kids (like the people mentioned in the article), Long Island might not be the best lifestyle.

alex ballard
April 3rd, 2005, 05:09 PM
The poor on Long Island are illegally crammed into homes. Because of a shortage of affordable housing, multiple families of immigrants are forced to share individual homes.

Long Island has expensive homes, and real estate taxes are the highest in the nation. The article fails to mention that these high real estate taxes result in some of the best schools in the nation. Florida has low property taxes, but the schools are awful. Same goes with Nevada, North Carolina and other states mentioned in the article.

If you attend an Ivy League campus, you will be surrounded by Long Islanders, and there will be very few Floridians, despite the huge Florida population. Living on Long Island is a great investment if you can afford it. If you are retired or don't yet have kids (like the people mentioned in the article), Long Island might not be the best lifestyle.

I have heard that Long Island schools are extremely good. Which is why I wish the young people wouldn't flee to the sunbelt. Who's gonna fill our schools? Long Island really is a beautiful place(IMO), I would love for it to mkae a huge rebound as a suitable place to begin and stay. Is there any efforts as to building multi-family housing on the island? I can see Long Island building townhomes and even those family apartment buildings (not towers) like you see in the dense sections of NJ or other cities.

April 3rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
I have heard that Long Island schools are extremely good. Which is why I wish the young people wouldn't flee to the sunbelt. Who's gonna fill our schools? Long Island really is a beautiful place(IMO), I would love for it to mkae a huge rebound as a suitable place to begin and stay. Is there any efforts as to building multi-family housing on the island? I can see Long Island building townhomes and even those family apartment buildings (not towers) like you see in the dense sections of NJ or other cities.

Yes, there are many plans for apartment buildings around the Long Island Rail Road stations.

I wouldn't worry about Long Island's long-term viability. It's one of the wealthiest places on earth.

December 1st, 2005, 02:01 AM
More Long Islanders Want to Go, Poll Finds


Last year, Anthony Panariello, 49, sold his home on Long Island for $510,000, making a hefty tax-free profit. He spent about half of that to buy a brand-new, mortgage-free house in Florida with 4,200 square feet and five bedrooms - more than double the size of his old residence.

And his property tax bill dropped to $4,700 in Florida, from about $10,000 in Seaford in Nassau County. Sales taxes are about a third lower, and he pays no state income tax. He also traded his costly 90-minute trip to Wall Street for a three-minute drive to the new H&R Block office that he is opening next month.

As housing prices - and tax burdens - soar to historic heights on Long Island, Mr. Panariello is not the only one who has decided to cash in his home equity, pull up stakes and move to more affordable climes.

"I've come across, in my development alone, maybe 20 people from Long Island who came here around when I did or more recently," said Mr. Panariello, who lives in St. Augustine. "It's the same reasons, the taxes and cost of living."

Many more are thinking about joining the exodus.

A survey being released today found that a majority of Long Islanders - 56 percent - say that they may move away within five years. The study is part of the Long Island Index project commissioned by the Rauch Foundation in Garden City. Researchers at Stony Brook University polled 1,215 adults for the survey, which has a margin of sampling error of 2.8 percentage points.

The urge to leave has risen markedly in just the past year and is especially intense among two age groups, the survey found.

Sixty-four percent of those in the pre-retirement years of 50 to 64 are considering leaving, up from 47 percent last year, the survey found. For them, the inducements include capturing the huge run-up in the value of homes they bought years ago, enjoying the warmer climate in other regions and downsizing for retirement, especially if their children have grown up and no longer attend the island's highly-rated public schools.

But even more of the 18-to-34 age group contemplate moving out - 70 percent, up from 62 percent last year. Their motivations include the high cost of rentals, stemming from the island's scarcity of apartments. For many young adults, prohibitively expensive down payments have transformed the dream of a starter home into an elusive fantasy.

"I was surprised by the increases" in those considering leaving, said Leonie Huddy, a political science professor at Stony Brook who supervised the survey. But the results matched her own observations in her hometown, Huntington. "I see a lot of for-sale signs on lawns, so I think people are testing the waters," she said, "though I don't think they're selling as fast now."

The findings pose "both a challenge and opportunity" for local leaders to make Long Island a place where people will want to stay, said Nancy R. Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation. "The suburban experiment is playing out faster here," she said, and the search for solutions could have national significance.

Many parents who moved to Long Island to give their children a better life now fear that high costs are forcing out those children, preventing them from having the same opportunities.

"We're the baby boomers who worked and played the system as best we could, but things are getting worse for this next generation, ratcheting up to where it is almost impossible," said Vilma Nuzio of Bellmore, who runs a church program for the needy.

Her five children are grown now, but despite their college educations and seemingly decent salaries, Mrs. Nuzio said they cannot afford their own homes on Long Island. One son has already departed for North Carolina, and her other children are living with roommates.

Since Mr. Paraniello moved, he says his 14 nephews and nieces "are all asking me what to do" - remain on Long Island, or move? He added, "I feel bad for the younger people."

The younger generation's difficulty with the cost of living is reflected in another survey finding. Forty five percent reported rooming with others, primarily relatives, up sharply from 31 percent the year before.

Half a century ago, Levittown Movers was formed to truck young couples to America's first post-World War II suburb, as Long Island became the fastest-growing place in the nation. "People were coming in droves," said the company's president, Sal Randazzo.

But now his company is moving people out of Levittown. "We're seeing an increase, not only the retirees but also families and younger people, moving to South Jersey, upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Florida," Mr. Randazzo said. "They get job offers, and the bottom line, when they do the math, is it's cheaper to move out, even with no pay increase.

"A friend moved with his wife and two or three kids from Levittown to Pennsylvania, where they got a bigger house," he said. "They showed me a picture of it."

For all the people leaving the island, however, others are still moving in to take their places, and many are staying put.

In fact, rising home prices may be keeping some people on Long Island. John Draper, a carpenter from Patchogue who took part in the survey, said he and his wife have talked about leaving. "If it wasn't for the way property values are going up, I might have gone a while ago," he said in an interview. "But I'd be kicking myself if the house doubled in value in the next five or six years."

Residents say there are many other reasons to stay.

"Long Island has so much to offer: the proximity to the most wonderful city in the world, the beautiful shores and the wonderful schools," Mrs. Nuzio said, "but there's a price to pay."

The low crime rate, good jobs, stable neighborhoods, parks and golf courses and plentiful shopping malls also remain major drawing cards, brokers say.

After several years of double-digit price increases that made the island one of the nation's hottest real estate markets, things are cooling a bit. Still, the demand for housing commanded October median sales prices of $390,000 in Suffolk County and $485,000 in Nassau.

But the big rub is taxes, which 80 percent of those polled identified as a serious problem. Somewhat paradoxically, 73 percent were generally pleased with government services, but an even more overwhelming 84 percent objected that their tax bills were exorbitant.

"We're paying more than in any other part of the country," said Paul G. Stillman, a social worker who lives in East Northport. "My best friend just retired and sold his house here and moved to Bloomsburg, Pa. He could get a house there for half what his sold for, with much lower taxes."

Rising costs also are making it harder for residents to meet their monthly rent or mortgage payments, the survey found. In 2003, about 35 percent reported difficulty in paying those bills, but this year that number climbed to 54 percent.

But money is not the only factor, and some experts say that many people choose to stay to be near their friends and relatives and the activities they enjoy. "Most people gravitate to where their families are," said Christopher Armstrong, of Century 21 Princeton Properties and the incoming president of the Multiple Listing Service on Long Island.

Mr. Paraniello said that while "the people are wonderful" in Florida, "the only thing I miss is friends and relatives." Well, that "and the Italian food and deli food."

December 1st, 2005, 04:43 PM

December 1st, 2005, 06:32 PM
Long Island really does need to move it but quick on building more affordable housing.

The city that baby boomers moved out of to "protect" their children from is calling those kids back in droves.

January 26th, 2007, 12:11 AM
Could find exactly the place to put this article so I figure this thread would have to do for now...

On Long Island, More Are Priced Out of the Housing Market

Published: January 26, 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/26/nyregion/26long.html)

GARDEN CITY, Jan. 24 — In 2000, 60 percent of the homes sold on Long Island could be classified as “affordable” for families earning up to $100,000 a year, under the old rule of thumb that buyers should spend no more than 2.5 times their income on places to live.

Last year, according to a new report, just 2 percent of the houses sold on Long Island were in that range for families with such earnings, which make up more than 60 percent of Long Island households.

The staggering drop over six years, according to the Long Island Index, an annual study of local economic and social trends, is the result of sluggish income growth and soaring housing costs, among other factors that have made the area increasingly unaffordable and driven many people away.

“It took our breath away, that the change has been so dramatic in such a short period of time,” said Ann Golob, director of the study, which is scheduled for official release Friday. The report, titled “In a Tough Spot” puts it bluntly: “The image of our region as a wealthy suburb is far from reality for a growing number of Long Islanders who are struggling to keep up with high and rising costs.”

Though home prices have retreated in recent months, they remain at near-record levels, a bonanza for many homeowners, at least on paper. Those already living here are insulated from the entry barrier of high prices first-time buyers would face.

As the nation’s first post-World War II suburb, Long Island flourished for decades as a middle-income alternative to New York City and is now home to nearly three million people.

Factors contributing to the affordability problem include the loss of higher-paying jobs and growth of lower-paying ones. A decade ago, wages here exceeded the national average by 16 percent; that has shrunk to 5 percent, and average pay has stagnated since 2003.

At the same time, the number of residents using food stamps rose 20 percent from 2000 to 2003, the most recent data available.

“Now our income advantage is disappearing, pushing some families near the breaking point,” the report says. In the report’s survey of 808 residents, 58 percent complained of difficulty paying their monthly housing bills, while 54 percent said they were thinking of abandoning Long Island for lower-cost areas. Still, 82 percent called Long Island a good or excellent place to live, but only 48 percent said it was on the right track.

“I find it hard living on just a pension and Social Security, and I feel bad for the younger people,” said John Schnitzler, a retired banker in East Meadow, N.Y. Still, Mr. Schnitzler said he enjoyed his three-bedroom home and the convenience of being “45 minutes from the city, 10 minutes to the beach, with the malls right here.”

The report, sponsored by the Garden City-based Rauch Foundation, has been produced annually since 2004, with the advice of academic, civic, labor and other groups.

“Taken as whole, Long Island’s story has been a success story,” it says. “But our continued success is now in doubt. We face significant problems, which yearly grow worse.”

In a competitive economy, the report warned, Long Island will lose out to other areas unless it expands business and housing and reduces taxes. “In an era of easy mobility, a region defers change at its peril,” it said.

The 2.5-times-income formula for home prices is often ignored across the New York metropolitan area, where many residents spend disproportionately for shelter and shortchange other parts of their budget compared with other parts of the country.

The report did not adjust housing prices for changing mortgage rates, which were about two percentage points higher in 2000. But Ms. Golob noted that homeowners who bought then were able to cut carrying costs by refinancing as rates fell.

Beyond home prices and mortgage rates, an additional factor in the cost of housing is property taxes. They are notoriously high on Long Island and have jumped faster than inflation, the report said.

Many residents are under financial stress because of scant income growth, up 2 percent on average since 2000. Meanwhile, they are squeezed by the rising costs of taxes, heating, electricity and gasoline. Even for families with incomes above $110,000, 43 percent report difficulty in paying housing bills.

Long Island has yet to replace the aerospace and defense industry that once drove the economy, Ms. Golob said. Venture capital investment and federal research grants have fallen.

Research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has generated businesses. Its president, Dr. Bruce W. Stillman, said the island needs more cooperation by government, academia and business. Finding housing for researchers is so difficult that the lab assigns an administrator to help place them, sometimes in houses it bought for that purpose.

“People love their hometown of Long Island — they just can’t afford it any more,” the Nassau County executive, Thomas R. Suozzi, said in response to the report. “We remodeled the Levitt houses, and now we have to remodel the suburban paradigm.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

January 26th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Stop spending money on......things.

I think that is the main difference.

Previous generations didn't spend money on some of the things that people spend money on today and if young people today.....didn't think that they should spend money on those things......there would be a lot more money around for them to use for LIVING.

You actually can live without a cell phone, cable TV, coffee (bought outside), food (bought outside), expensive sneakers, Internet service, wide screen TV, newer cars, geeeez.....the list is almost endless............

All of those things you should have to EARN AFTER.......you become a responsible citizen.

You know......that's how the people that lived here (LONG ISLAND) before did it.....I bet it would work for ALL those young people, too.

It's like raising children today.....others did it before.....

All you need to do is give up your life. That's how OUR parents did it. If ONE parent stayed home.....yes, the kids acyually need parents. Stop pawning them off on daycare.

RESPONSIBILITY.......you are all afraid of the word.

Someone needs to tell the truth.

January 26th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Hey Pandadoll, please use the same font size as everyone else, it's even more annoying than your repetitive rants.

January 26th, 2007, 03:55 PM
Stop spending money on......things.

I think that is the main difference.

[SIZE=4]Previous generations didn't spend money....

Someone needs to tell the truth.

Is this JeffPark writing under a new name?

January 26th, 2007, 04:15 PM
You actually can live without a cell phone, cable TV, coffee (bought outside), food (bought outside), expensive sneakers, Internet service, wide screen TV, newer cars, geeeez.....the list is almost endless............

Even if young people gave up everything on your list, most of them still couldn't afford to invest in decent housing in Nassau County.

January 26th, 2007, 04:27 PM
2 sides PD.

While I agree that the comparisons we have between now and then are skewed because of what we all percieve to be "average" nowadays, it is still not up to us to somehow roll back the clock to the "good old days".

They were not that good.

There were still delinquints, and crime, and all sorts of things, they were (and are) just not as widely publicized as they are today.

I think you hit it when you talked about one income versus two, but you jumped right off the boat when you started calling for a parent to give up their career and not "pawn off on daycare". Don't confuse the two arguments or you will not get any respect for the valid points you bring to a discussion.

The thing about the incomes is simple, and you are right we are not comparing the same thing. But you also missed it when it came to housing prices. Many areas have their housing costs go many times above the COMBINED income levels reccommended for purchase these days. You can say that is from size and scope of the dwellings, which is true in a lot of cases, but some of these little places are selling for only slightly less than their McMansions. The locaion factor has gotten too weighty and will soon prompt more of a fracturing of the central buisness model we have going now with NYC, Hartford, Boston and other major municipalities. You will see more Jersey Cities and others.

So I guess what I am trying to say here is that too many comparisons are trying to do a 1 to 1 comparison with all of this stuff when there are many factors that contribute to them. You are right in pointing out some (1 income vs. 2, and "toy" purchases) but you should just dfrop the whole day care rant.


Oh, also, get rid of the fonts and colors. We can read just fine and as you see, it only annoys the people you are (hopefully) trying to communicate WITH.

January 26th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Feeling squeeze of living on LI

In a new survey, residents express their concern about the region's stagnant wages, higher taxes and the rising cost of living

Newsday Staff Writers
January 26, 2007

The dream of suburbia - a robust economy, a comfortable paycheck, affordable living - may be slipping away for many Long Islanders, although they continue to feel pride in their region, according to a poll released today by the Long Island Index.

Although the vast majority, 82 percent, consider the region an excellent or good place to live, many are also pessimistic about the future, the poll found. The culprit, experts say, is an old foe: a cost of living that is one of the highest in the nation.

"We are seeing people feel very squeezed," said Leonie Huddy, director of the Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research, which conducted the poll last fall for the Index. "For many people, their wages aren't going up but their housing costs are going up, taxes are going up. ... If your income is flat and your costs are going up, it doesn't feel so great."

Fully 70 percent of 808 Long Islanders polled in the telephone survey said they expected the economies of Nassau and Suffolk to remain stagnant or worsen in the next year. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

"It increases my respect for the man and woman in the field out there," said Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association. "We have a flat economy; it's not a declining economy, however, we've had virtually no job growth over the past year."

Huddy and others said the results reflect the Island's changing job market, as high-wage employers shrink payroll, and low-wage retailers, health care providers and tourist-related businesses are hiring. This shift has meant local wage growth lagged the national rate from 1996 through 2006, and pay per employee has been virtually stagnant since 2003, the report said.

Eileen Worth, an accountant from Williston Park who participated in the survey, said it's middle-class people like herself and her husband, a registered nurse, who feel the impact. "I think there's some people that are making tremendous salaries," said Worth, who is 47 and has two kids in college, plus a son in private school. "The jobs that my husband and I are in, we're not getting these salaries. We're barely getting a cost-of-living raise."

Worth's hunch is supported by statistics. Families who earn in the top 10 percent of households saw their wages increase by 12 percent between 1996 and 2006, the report found. However, those in the bottom 10 percent saw their pay drop by 1 percent during the same period.

This has meant a growing number of residents are having trouble making rent or mortgage payments. The 2006 poll showed no improvement from earlier surveys; 58 percent of respondents said it was "very" or "somewhat" difficult to pay their monthly housing bill.

These conditions have led many Long Islanders to consider moving to more affordable areas, including Paul Carrizo, 34, of Hicksville, another poll participant. He said he's considered moving to Virginia but hasn't been able to secure a transfer from his job as a foreman for Verizon. "It's just getting worse," he said. "Every year, our taxes are going up on our house. Your mortgage is set where you think you can survive, but every year it just keeps going up."

Carrizo's impulse to leave is understandable to Nancy Rauch Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation, which created the Long Island Index in 2002 to increase awareness of issues such as the rising cost of living. While Long Island wages were historically up to 20 percent higher than the rest of the nation, the gap has narrowed to about 5 percent, Douzinas said.

According to the survey, just more than three in four Long Islanders, 78 percent, say the possible exodus of young people from their county is an extremely or very serious problem, similar to last year's results. Just more than half of those surveyed, 54 percent, said they were either somewhat or very likely to move in the next five years, a number that was also the same as last year, but an increase over 2004.

Many residents "are in a pretty tight spot," Douzinas said. "They can no longer really afford to have the kind of life they've had here."

Island life

Pollsters interviewed 808 residents by phone last fall for the 2006 survey.


How strongly do you identify with Long Island?

Very strongly 56%


Generally speaking, do you think things in Nassau/Suffolk County are headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?

Right direction 48%

Wrong direction 39%


Overall, what do you think is the MOST important problem facing residents of Nassau/Suffolk County today?

Taxes/property taxes 45%

Economy/Cost of Living/Jobs/Poverty 10%

Lack of Adequate and Affordable Housing 7%

Gangs/Violence/Crime/Law Enforcement/Safety 7%


In your view, how serious a problem are high property taxes in Nassau/Suffolk County?

Extremely serious 44%


How concerned are you that the high cost of living will force members of your family to move out of Nassau/Suffolk County?

Very concerned 50%


What do you like BEST about living on Long Island?

Accessibility to beaches, water activities, parks 24%

Accessibility to city, location 14%

Environment, open space, peaceful, etc. 13%

Friends, family, roots, born & raised in area 13%

What do you like LEAST about living on Long Island?

Taxes, property taxes 21%

Traffic, commute, roads, distance to work 21%

Expensive, high cost of living, economy 16%

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-liinde265067300jan26,0,184010.story?page=1&track=rss (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-liinde265067300jan26,0,184010.story?page=3&track=rss)

I copied the poll results word-for-word, yet somehow they look incomplete.

January 26th, 2007, 04:57 PM
Oh, also, get rid of the fonts and colors. We can read just fine and as you see, it only annoys the people you are (hopefully) trying to communicate WITH.

There are a few of us who have close-up vision problems that can't be completely corrected with lenses, and we actually prefer larger or bolder print. But I speak for a small minority.

January 26th, 2007, 05:02 PM
2 sides PD.


January 27th, 2007, 10:42 AM
These message boards have the ability to change type face and color......EVERYONE should be using it....It is so much more descriptive.....than....BORING regular TYPE!

Well....you know, I'm sorry, that you don't get it, I'm sorry you don't like the type......and I'm sorry that you think I am ranting....I'm NOT....so, get over yourself.

Hey, I'm living on Long Island, I'm NOT leaving and I'm NOT going to let prices or whatever prevent me from staying here, the place that I love.

If anyone is not up to the challenge of making life what you want it to be......then......quit.

That's the answer. I am willing to tough it out and do what ever is necessary to stay here....I don't have to be a slave to technology in order to USE it. I don't subscribe to CABLE.....they don't need my money. I'd rather spend my money on housing. That's the point I was trying to make. That's how I can tell..............that you don't get it.

I'm willing to even CHANGE things HERE.......You have to participate in LIFE....Not just WATCH. You don't like the way things are....you work to change it. Not run away to somewhere else. That's why we have such an illegal immigrant problem (oh and please don't forget WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS) ......all those folks should change their own country....not come here and expect it(this country) to take care of them.

See.....I am sure...you think this a rant to....NOT!

You just seem to have a hard time.....hearing the truth.

January 27th, 2007, 01:41 PM
More like this:


January 27th, 2007, 01:53 PM
There are a few of us who have close-up vision problems that can't be completely corrected with lenses, and we actually prefer larger or bolder print. But I speak for a small minority.


January 28th, 2007, 12:24 PM
Future Open Space & Environmental Projects Public Meeting

Nassau County Executive is seeking input from the public, Civic Groups, environmental groups and municipal officials in developing a list of projects to fund under the new $100,000000 Environmental Program Bond Act...........

Thursday - February 1, 2007 - 7PM
Herricks High School
100 Shelter Rock Road
New Hyde Park

:cool: :cool: :cool:

January 28th, 2007, 03:26 PM
These message boards have the ability to change type face and color......EVERYONE should be using it....It is so much more descriptive.....than....BORING regular TYPE!

Well....you know, I'm sorry, that you don't get it, I'm sorry you don't like the type......and I'm sorry that you think I am ranting....I'm NOT....so, get over yourself.

Hey, I'm living on Long Island, I'm NOT leaving and I'm NOT going to let prices or whatever prevent me from staying here, the place that I love.

If anyone is not up to the challenge of making life what you want it to be......then......quit.

That's the answer. I am willing to tough it out and do what ever is necessary to stay here....I don't have to be a slave to technology in order to USE it. I don't subscribe to CABLE.....they don't need my money. I'd rather spend my money on housing. That's the point I was trying to make. That's how I can tell..............that you don't get it.

I'm willing to even CHANGE things HERE.......You have to participate in LIFE....Not just WATCH. You don't like the way things are....you work to change it. Not run away to somewhere else. That's why we have such an illegal immigrant problem (oh and please don't forget WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS) ......all those folks should change their own country....not come here and expect it(this country) to take care of them.

See.....I am sure...you think this a rant to....NOT!

You just seem to have a hard time.....hearing the truth.
I asked you not use so much large font, not because you aren't allowed, but because your particular immature use of it is annoying to me and perhaps others. Whether that is a justifiable or even stupid request is immaterial. You don't come to this site to promote your opinions, especially as a newcomer, and respond to any moderator with such blatant defiance. I don't appreciate being told to get over myself either. As your posts all scream "notice me!", and claim that anyone who disagrees with you has a hard time "hearing the truth", I suggest you take your own advice.

January 28th, 2007, 04:40 PM
Again....I am sorry.

I don't have time for such pettiness....so. I will just forget even bothering to communicate. Obviously....you are not interested in anything I have to say....You would rather mention......Colors and type.

It isn't immature.....It's descriptive.

And if you do not want to be told to "get over yourself", I am sorry, but the color and type thing is.......bizarre.............:eek:

January 28th, 2007, 04:42 PM
And.....yeah....in an INTERNET where there are sooooooo many people and so much nonsense.....yeah, I do want you to look at me.

Sorry, again....I don't know what to tell you.

January 28th, 2007, 04:54 PM
Future Open Space & Environmental Projects Public Meeting

Nassau County Executive is seeking input from the public, Civic Groups, environmental groups and municipal officials in developing a list of projects to fund under the new $100,000000 Environmental Program Bond Act...........

Thursday - February 1, 2007 - 7PM
Herricks High School
100 Shelter Rock Road
New Hyde Park

:cool: :cool: :cool:

I already had this marked on my calendar! I'm almost definitely going! You, too?:D

January 28th, 2007, 06:56 PM
...the color and type thing is.......bizarre.............:eek:That's what I thought too.

January 29th, 2007, 12:53 AM
Pandadoll, if you're going to the meeting on Thursday, find me and introduce yourself. My pic is on my user profile, or just look for a blonde with 2.5 feet of hair. I'm always circulating at these meetings, and I'll introduce you to some people if you like.

January 29th, 2007, 09:27 AM
As soon as you started with the cacophonous kodachromatic sarcasm I stopped reading.

CONGRATS! You have been ignored!

January 29th, 2007, 06:06 PM
Rapunzel.....do you know Monica Randall?

Do you know the folks over at the ligoldcoast.com message board?

:cool: :cool: :cool: :confused: :cool: :cool: :cool:

January 29th, 2007, 10:21 PM


January 28, 2007 (http://www.nypost.com/seven/01282007/news/regionalnews/foreclosures_soaring_regionalnews_elizabeth_wolff. htm) -- The number of New Yorkers forced into foreclosure is skyrocketing, especially in Nassau County, where foreclosures have jumped a stunning 82 percent in the past year.

According to foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of city foreclosures went up 15 percent in 2006 from the year before, while Long Island jumped 55 percent. The national rate surged by 42 percent.

"People in general are living outside of their means," said wealth manager J.J. Burns. "This generation wants everything now. People are not saving for the rainy day."

In the city, Staten Island led the pack with a 47 percent rise in foreclosures, usually initiated by banks when homeowners can't pay their mortgages.

Foreclosures in Brooklyn and The Bronx rose about 25 percent each and Manhattan saw a 4 percent increase.

Queens was the only borough that saw a drop, with an 8 percent decrease in foreclosures.

Foreclosure increases are higher in the suburbs - Westchester jumped 44 percent, Suffolk County shot up 32 percent and Nassau County rose a shocking 82 percent.

Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc.

January 30th, 2007, 08:32 AM
January 28, 2007 (http://www.nypost.com/seven/01282007/news/regionalnews/foreclosures_soaring_regionalnews_elizabeth_wolff. htm) -- The number of New Yorkers forced into foreclosure is skyrocketing, especially in Nassau County, where foreclosures have jumped a stunning 82 percent in the past year.

Whenever there's a jump this high, it's often partly due to something other than what appears to be the cause:

- Did the RealtyTrac change its method of tracking, or accounting?

- Did Nassau County's definition of "foreclosure" change?

- Was there a large increase in "crackdown" on delinquent mortgage payments?

- Was there any tinkering with the data or system because of the 2006 election year?

- Was there a huge backlog of foreclosure cases in the courts that was eliminated in 2006?

Ah, the list is endless...

Rapunzel.....do you know Monica Randall?

Do you know the folks over at the ligoldcoast.com message board?

I don't know if I'm acquainted with Monica or those folks because I know so many L.I. people not by name, but by face.:o I guess we can continue talking about this on PMs.

LIGoldCoast.com has the greatest compendium of the Gold Coast mansions. If this is an area of interest for you, consider starting a topic on WNY called something like: "L.I. and Queens Gold Coast Mansions."

If you're covering the visitors/general info aspect, the topic would belong in this forum. If you're featuring the architecture aspect, the topic would go in the New York Architecture forum.

I included Queens in my suggested title because there are a few mansions of interest there; unfortunately, at this moment I can only think of the one in Whitestone that Rudolph Valentino lived in for a short while. (It's now a restaurant/catering hall called Verdi's.)

When I first joined WNY, I posted moving, animated images of animals everywhere (lol). I needed to remove some (not all) of my animations, tone down my posting style just a bit. Just so you know that this site is really worth it.:)