Last month Eric Alexander, Director of Vision Long Island, gave a presentation about downtown redevelopment on Long Island. While "mega-projects" may get all the press and some of the controversy, many smaller - medium scale projects have been approved and built in downtowns throughout the island. They are one of the many things helping to revitalize Long Island’s many Main Streets.
Over 10,000 units of housing have been approved over the last eight years in downtowns and near train stations, though not all have been built. Long Island may have a reputation for NIMBYs blocking development, but there is quite a lot being built that doesn't make the cover of our local paper. These smaller projects have garnered significant public support, but are rarely get coverage outside of weekly newspapers. Ten communities across Nassau and fourteen more across Suffolk have made significant progress revitalizing their downtowns or making steps towards creating new ones. Fourteen more are just getting started.
Another common excuse for why things aren't getting done, or at least seems that they aren’t, are the many municipalities and layers of government on Long Island. However, when compared to other suburban states, LI has a similar amount or fewer number of municipalities per capita. Long Island has 119 municipalities including cities, towns, villages and counties with a total population of 2.852 million – about 23,966 people/municipality. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all have a higher number of municipalities relative to their populations.
Overall, Long Island has seen much improvement in many of our downtowns and may not be deserving of our NIMBY reputation.