The following was written in response to an op-ed by Nancy Rauch Douzinas that appeared in TBR Newspapers on July 2nd. Nancy’s piece can be read here. My response letter was published a week later.

To the editor:

Nancy Rauch Douzina’s latest piece (Transit-Oriented Development is Key to Long Island’s Future) was one of the more balanced takes on Long Island’s development that I’ve seen. However, we must tread cautiously regarding the notion of redeveloping the roughly 4,000 acres of surface parking lots.

As I wrote in these very pages on June 10, 2010 on the subject: “in many areas, parking is a premium asset, especially in the built-to-capacity villages. Each space is worth roughly $150,000 to local businesses, and it’s doubtful commercial land owners will want to compete with residents for these valuable spaces.”

The TOD approach touted by Rauch-Douzinas is a valid planning concept, grounded by planning theory in the first Comprehensive Plans by the LIRPB, but we must address our issues on a regional scale. If we are to increase density downtown, we must offset that intensification with the preservation of open space elsewhere.

By taking into account our infrastructure and environmental limitations, as well as our realities of red tape and NIMBY-fueled resident protests, we can usher in a new era of prosperity for Long Island.

Thank you,

Rich Murdocco
Syosset (formerly of Setauket)