March 1, 2013
Councilwoman Kepert & Civics Advance Middle Country Road Land Use Plan Through Series of Re-zonings

Farmingville, NY – At last night’s Town Board meeting Councilwoman Connie Kepert sponsored a series of rezonings in an effort to implement the Middle Country Road Land Use Plan. The goal of the rezonings is to funnel development to the hamlet centers and reduce development between them.

“These zone changes are the culmination of a visioning that began in 2001 and the implementation of the Middle Country Road Land Use Plan that was adopted in 2006. These zone changes represent an effort to transform communities characterized by strip commercial areas and a dangerous arterial, to compact, pedestrian friendly communities,” stated Councilwoman Kepert.

Longwood Alliance President Gail Lynch-Bailey,  Middle Island Civic Association President Tom Talbot and Ridge Civic President Chris Sosick spoke in support of the zone changes.  All have worked for many years to end the sprawl that plagues MCR and its resultant blight after the economic downturn.

“The rezonings called for under the Middle Country Road Land Use Plan help create distinct hamlet centers and transitional zones along the essential corridor of Route 25, ” said Lynch-Bailey. “Unfortunately, this roadway has once again earned the dubious distinction as being Suffolk County’s deadliest. Indeed, safety is a key aspect of the Middle Country Road Land use Plan; it seeks to lower the number of curb cuts and calm traffic along the corridor, especially where use is most intense.”

Eric Alexander, Executive Director of Vision Long Island, the planning organization that conducted the visioning sessions with the community, stated, “The Middle Country Road Land Use Plan provides guidance on strategies to balance growth and preservation through Coram and Middle Island. The proposed actions of the Town Board are in accordance with the plan which was based on robust public engagement and best planning practices.”

Ryan Lynch from Tri-State Transportation said, “Effectively tying land–use decisions to smart transportation investment will go a long way towards reducing congestion, protecting open space, promoting economic development and enhancing safety for all users of our roadways,” said Ryan Lynch, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “A Tri-State Transportation analysis released earlier this week found that Middle Country Road was the third most dangerous road in the region for pedestrians. Creating a more walkable and bikeable corridor that supports smart land uses will help mitigate these unnecessary pedestrian fatalities.”

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