September 7, 2012
Long term goal to emulate other historic and quaint downtowns such as exist at Princeton University and near Dartmouth College
Begins process of finding a planning development firm to assist Town in gathering community input and determining possibilities for redevelopment
Farmingville, NY – Supervisor Mark Lesko and Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld recently announced with key community leaders and stakeholders the launch of a safety, beautification and improvement planning committee to examine and explore land use options for the commercial corridor adjacent to Stony Brook University and the Stony Brook train station. The "Stony Brook Safety, Beautification and Improvement Planning Committee" includes local residents, civic leaders, chamber of commerce representatives, fire department, school board, and Stony Brook University representatives and Planning Department staff. The Planning Committee will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a “Master Planner/Developer" to work with the community on a land use planning effort and a plan to renew, revitalize and improve the safety and upgrade the appearance of the 25A commercial corridor to be more in sync with the Three Village community.
Supervisor Lesko and Councilman Fiore-Rosenfeld have had several preliminary discussions with community leaders and stakeholders, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, County Legislator Kara Hahn, Senator John Flanagan and Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley to determine if the group should pursue a planning process along the commercial corridor of Route 25A in Stony Brook by the Stony Brook LIRR Station. The group envisions significant community input to develop a revitalized, enhanced, pedestrian-oriented redevelopment within the study area of approximately 30 acres of privately and publicly owned property. The goal is to emulate other historic and quaint college downtowns around the country, such as Nassau Street near Princeton University or Main Street near Dartmouth College.
The RFQ will be available on September 13, 2012 and submissions are due October 25, 2012. The Planning Committee will evaluate responses and make a recommendation to the Town Board by the end of the year in regard to the selection of a planning consultant. The planning process, which will include significant community input, will begin in 2013. The RFQ will be available on the Brookhaven Town website, www.brookhaven.org.
“If this community-based planning effort in Stony Brook is successful, it will result in the first downtown area that is complemented next to a major university on Long Island. Multiple levels of government have been engaged to work together with the community and now that the Planning Committee is in place, the formal process to select a Master Planner/Developer that will best assist our township will begin. I thank the residents, the government officials and Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley for their thoughtful involvement so far and willingness to work on this project,” said Supervisor Mark Lesko.
Councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld said, “As Town Councilman representing the Stony Brook and Three Village community generally, I have always been a strong proponent of the extraordinary potential for enhancing the commercial corridor that exists along Route 25A by the Stony Brook LIRR station and the nearby area abutting the Stony Brook University campus. These are the very first baby steps in this community, public process and I will work closely with our local Three Village residents, our existing small business owners, chamber leaders, and all levels of government, and of course our University representatives, to create a land use plan that will improve safety and enhance this commercial corridor nearby the Stony Brook train station while elevating its aesthetic to sync with the historic character of the Three Village community. The University, as a ‘50 plus year resident’ is an integral part of our Three Village community, a tremendous asset to the Town of Brookhaven, and its social and economic impact is felt throughout our Long Island region - clearly we need to work together both local residential-commercial community and on-campus community - to plan our joint future especially along the borders of the University.”
State Senator Flanagan said, "My office has always enjoyed a close working relationship with university and town officials, as well as civic and business leaders on matters affecting the Three Village Community. The downtown area around any campus should be a welcome part of the college experience while also respecting the quality of life of those residents who live there year-round. By approaching the planning process in a cooperative and all-inclusive manner, this committee will ensure that all voices are heard so that everyone can take pride in the final project. As a member of this committee, I look forward to working with all those involved to enhance the safety, beautification, and small business economy of downtown Stony Brook."
Assemblyman Steve Englebright said, “The possibilities of this joint planning process are exciting. I believe that one key to its ultimate success is time-honored architecture. If design in the tradition of Richard Haviland Smythe is featured, then the inherent beauty, attractiveness, and appeal of new structures designed to serve the needs of both campus and community will be compelling. I believe that working together to create a new economically and aesthetically vibrant gateway on both sides of the Stony Brook rail road station is an idea worthy of serious consideration and I look forward to continuing to be part of the ongoing planning process.”
County Legislator Kara Hahn said, "I am excited by the opportunity for our community to help shape the growth of not only this critical business corridor but the growth and appearance of the University infrastructure that will be adjacent to the railroad station. We can all work together to mold a vision that reflects our unique sense of place and helps local businesses.” “Stony Brook University is extremely supportive of the Town of Brookhaven's plan to make the downtown area of Stony Brook safer and more appealing to our students, faculty and staff,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “It will certainly help to stimulate the local economy through increased foot traffic, and we are very interested in helping the local economy grow as we continue to grow as a University. We look forward to working with Town leadership and the community as this beautification, safety and improvement plan progresses.”
Speaking for the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook, and the Three Village Community Trust, Bob de Zafra, a member of the Stony Brook Safety, Beautification and Improvement Planning Committee said, "We have long sought a better dialogue on planning matters between the University, its surrounding community, the Town of Brookhaven, and the Long Island Railroad. The aim is to promote stronger ties with local businesses as well as improvements in the safety, appearance, and functionality of the area around the station for the sake of local residents, commuters, and commuting students. We are pleased that the Town has started the process moving. The next steps will involve the local community expressing its ideas."
Herb Mones, past president of the Civic Association of the Setaukets and Stony Brook said, “This is a tremendous opportunity to enhance the beauty and safety our community's ‘Main Street’ in a clear, logical and comprehensive manner. The Town's leadership in this planning process, together with its commitment to work closely with our local residents and organizations, assures a successful outcome. This is a wonderful opportunity for the future of the Three Villages.
David Woods, Executive Director of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce, noted that Chamber President Michael Ardolino had written a well-received Village Times Herald Op Ed piece headlined "Did We Just Take a Step Toward Becoming the Princeton, NJ of the 21st Century?" three years ago after the Chamber held an overflow crowd meeting on the subject. Mr. Woods also stated, "The idea of developing a college town has been paramount with the Chamber for a long time, even more than three decades ago when we sent a delegation down to Princeton to see what the Three Villages might learn from their model college town experience."
For more information about the RFQ, contact Tullio Bertoli, Commissioner of the Department of Planning, Environment and Land Management at (631) 451-6400.
Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor
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