The following Letter to the Editor was published in Newsday on March 5th, 2024. You can read the original version here.

Historically, the shifting demographics of Long Island’s younger population has led business groups to favor policies that loosen restrictions on economic development [“More residents leaving LI,” News, Feb. 29].

While there is no denying that our region’s escalating costs hurt our economic potential, countless metrics point to still ample demand for the quality of life that our region offers young and growing families, as evidenced by the post-pandemic pricing of residential real estate.

As always, the vexing question is: How do we as a region preserve the attributes that newcomers continue to seek from Long Island while pushing for additional growth? For decades, planners have grappled with that question, arguing for holistic policies that balance social, economic and environmental needs.

Unfortunately, our patchwork of local governments limits our ability to craft cohesive regional solutions, but the picture isn’t bleak.

While still failing to diversify housing inventory, key successes continue in areas such as open-space protection, securing key investments in transit, and decreasing our economy’s reliance on a singular sector or skill set.

We must continue making our region more economically viable. But by accepting the limitations of growth, we can avoid policy overcorrections that erode what makes our region special in the first place.

— Richard Murdocco, Commack

The writer is an adjunct professor in Stony Brook University’s public policy master’s program.

A letter to the editor from Adjunct Professor Richard Murdocco on Long Island's growth and development.