(Long Island, NY) The Suffolk County Legislature today unanimously adopted “Framework for the Future – Suffolk County Comprehensive Master Plan 2035,” the first effort to create a master planning document for the county in more than 40 years.
The need for the plan was recognized in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, when the county found its vulnerabilities exposed, yet its resilience affirmed. Spearheaded by the Suffolk County Planning Commission, chaired by David Calone, the document was created in partnership with the Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning Department. The plan focuses on six critical countywide priorities: economic development, environmental protection, housing diversity, transportation, energy and public safety. The plan lays out overarching objectives for each priority and recommends actions that will help achieve those objectives.
“This bold plan recognizes the interdependent relationship between the economy and all other factors that contribute to our quality of life here on Long Island. Without convenient transportation, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods and a sound environment, Suffolk County cannot attract new jobs and retain young talent,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory. “The future demands our attention now, and this forward-looking plan aggressively addresses the challenges of the 21st century. The Legislature and I look forward to our continued work with the County Executive as we build on this framework for a stronger Suffolk.”
Specifically, the plan recommends that the county provide incentives to spur the creation of mixed-use communities, which will serve as walkable, transit-friendly development hubs, to be built around Long Island Rail Road stations. These communities, according to the plan, should be connected to regional job centers by mass transit. Additionally, the plan also recommends expanding bus, bicycle, and pedestrian networks; rehabilitating bank-owned “zombie properties”; protecting our water by establishing goals for nitrogen levels; maintaining the county’s longstanding commitment to open space and farmland preservation; and attracting tourism and targeted business sectors through marketing campaigns.
“On an island like ours, how we use our limited land is a reflection of our values, our expectations and our goals,” said David Calone, chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission. “The purpose of Suffolk County 2035 is to create a strategic plan for our county by determining where we are as a region and where we want to be.”
“Our County has profoundly changed in the decades since the last planning vision for Suffolk was developed over four decades ago,” said 5th District Legislator Kara Hahn, chairwoman of the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee. “Time has seen the County transformed from its fishing and farming origins to a suburb in its infancy. Now, as Suffolk finds itself entering its next stage of development, the vision adopted today will thoughtfully guide our tomorrows. I commend the work of the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning Department, and I look forward to leading our committee’s ongoing efforts to ensure the goals of this plan are realized.”
“This plan is the product of years of committed collaboration among Suffolk County government officials, the Suffolk County Planning Commission, town planners and other stakeholders,” said Director of Planning Sarah Lansdale of the Suffolk County Economic Development and Planning Department. “It was an honor to work with such a diverse group of people who are all so deeply committed to our collective future.”
To read “Framework for the Future – Suffolk County Comprehensive Master Plan 2035” in its entirety, visit the Suffolk County Legislature’s home page, legis.suffolkcountyny.gov, and select “Recent Reports” in the upper-right hand corner.