The Lighthouse: Let's get down to the details

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/13/2009 06:38:00 AM |
I thought NYIFC would make it's little contribution to the Lighthouse Project today (beyond the two hats I have already after submitting earlier support) by taking things in another direction entirely from the shovels in the ground talk by July and a lot of worthless complaining from so many that goes nowhere from a lot of frustrated folks to attempting to get some real answers.

Sitting here blogging and complaining about Kate Murray is worthless and it tells us absolutely nothing. We have her earlier newsday comments here where she talks a little about some of the agencies and the process.

As an Islander fan I would love work to start today, but if I cannot get that I would like some real answers for everyone.

What we should have are timelines, specific agencies involved with deadlines for how long x agency has to complete their part of things and give it back to the Town of Hempstead or the developers for changes.

The Lighthouse website: Has a blog for developments so I asked the administrator, Katrina Doell my questions and she was kind enough to do a full blog entry with the following:

By this time, it is clear that the Lighthouse at Long Island is a project like no other; to say it’s big is an understatement.

The process that any project which applies for a zoning change must undergo is long and voluminous. The process, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), is New York State law and was put in place to ensure sound development. For a project the scope of the Lighthouse at Long Island, the SEQRA process is even more complicated. This process is really the “timeline” we are working through.

The Lighthouse Development Group has been and continues to work with the Town of Hempstead on getting to a Summer 2009 start date. The LDG is also committed to working with Nassau County government and the Planning Commission as the process continues to move forward.

So what is the the State Environmental Quality Review Act? NYIFC did a little looking and it involves the following here which is not centric to the Lighthouse but the general guideline.

Environmental Impact Statement is an (EIS) for those wondering. I included a graph of how the process works that can be enlarged.

Kate Murray in her interview gives us a few names of the agencies and what she has tried to do but a lot of broad strokes, no deadlines but to recap her comments:

We held two scoping hearings in May. As part of that scoping document, it’s dependent on input from all parties that may identify environmental issues in need of a response. For example, the New York State Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, Nassau County Department of Health, LIPA, KeySpan, the water department, on and on and on.

All of those departments can and will comment on the implications of this kind of project. To speed that process along, we’ve been forwarding to the Lighthouse Group the issues that are being identifying at the scoping sessions so they can get a jump on trying to address them, come up with responses. So this way the developers’ draft of the environmental impact statement will probably be in 90 percent range by the time they actually receive the scoping document itself. Most times, I mean always, you go through this environmental review, then you hand over the documents to the developers. That’s the first time they get a word of the issues that were brought up during the scoping sessions, and then they begin to craft a response. With the Lighthouse Project, as those issues are coming up, we’re literally funneling them to the Lighthouse people so they can almost simultaneously come up with responses, investigations, etc…

Again, at this point we should have a deadline where all parties must get back to the county or the developers with their findings. Scott Rechler has been part of a lot of developments in Nassau County with Reckson, no doubt he and Mr Wang know the details and deadlines so they can make alterations.

For NYIFC I think it would be easier for hockey fans if there was more transparency with the dates, deadlines, agencies so we understand the process.

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