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Sunday, April 20, 2014
Zoning move cuts Lighthouse in half
(Page 3 of 4)
Mike Caputo/Herald
Town Supervisor Kate Murray detailed an alternate zone for the Nassau Coliseum property at a Monday press conference.
At Monday’s press conference, Murray emphasized that the zone is “flexible.” “This is not a take-it-or-leave-it,” she said. “We wanted to create as flexible a zone as we possibly could.”
   
The supervisor told reporters that Wang had not returned several of her calls, and that he had not been informed about the proposal before Monday’s announcement. The ball is now in Wang’s and the county’s court, Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said. 
   
“We met our challenge,” Goosby said. “Now it’s time for them to honor their commitment.”
   
Murray said that the town’s alternate zone incorporates “smart growth” principles while including a refurbished Coliseum. According to Vision Long Island, a not-for-profit that supports and advocates for local smart-growth projects, “smart growth” includes “mixed-use, mixed-income communities that are convenient, attractive, pedestrian-friendly and make affordable housing and public transportation desirable and realistic.”
   
Eric Alexander, executive director of Vision Long Island, called Murray’s plan a “starting point,” but explained that a successful town center in the area known as the Hub would require more density. Alexander said he was especially alarmed at the reduction in housing in the town plan — from 2,400 units in the Lighthouse proposal to 500. “Overall, the project needs to be more dense to function properly as a true town center,” he said.
   
Alexander noted that disagreements over infrastructure funding, traffic and density statistics and an overall lack of communication have led to this crossroads. “This is what happens when you don’t come to a consensus on a preferred plan at this point,” he said. “Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and folks will work together.”
   
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