The following appears in the August 11, 2017 edition of Long Island Business News.
The approval of Heartland Town Square’s first phase is a monumental event, but Long Islanders should restrain from popping the champagne.
The Town of Islip’s approval showcases not only the downsides of localized land use policymaking, but the marked need for regional cohesion of development efforts. Islip approved a project that will have impacts stretching far beyond their own municipal borders, leaving in the approval’s wake unanswered questions regarding traffic generation and school district capacity.
With other sizable mixed-use developments underway across the region, policymakers must critically look at the impacts Heartland’s first phase will have on Long Island’s commercial, retail and residential markets.
It’s critical that elected officials in Islip work with both the Suffolk County Planning Commission and neighboring townships to ensure that their decision doesn’t negatively impact the region.
In short, Islip has to think beyond its borders and work to create a realistic vision of growth that is beneficial to not only their neighbors, but all Long Islanders.