Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Town of Hempstead Confirms: No Lighthouse Vote on September 22

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This is a quick update, but it's very important.

I have said before that this, the re-zoning hearing, is it. This is the time the Lighthouse Project will be held up, the public can speak specifically on whether or not this is a good project for Long Island, and the organized opposition has its very last chance to emerge. It is of paramount importance that we show up to make our numbers and support clear, and you will hear more from me on this as we move forward. I've been in touch with a few other people, and we have not ruled out some kind of citizen-driven show of support.

Some have voiced anger or confusion that the re-zoning hearing is scheduled for September 22, the day Charles Wang planned to attend the Islanders' exhibition game vs. the Los Angeles Kings at the brand-new Sprint Center in Kansas City. (Blogger's Note: I am shocked - SHOCKED - that our favorite newspaper reporter decided to play this angle almost exclusively in today's piece - though the same newspaper's editorial board demanded the Lighthouse move forward) It's definitely a brilliant piece of political strategy, but some began to exhale because it seemed Charles Wang's request for "certainty" (re-zoning approval) would be met.

Not so fast.

I spoke with an official representative from Kate Murray's office today, and my suspicion is confirmed: there will not be a vote on September 22.

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The Town of Hempstead will hear statements from citizens on both sides of the Lighthouse issue for 9 hours, possibly more, on September 22, but we will not leave the John Cranford Adams Playhouse at Hofstra knowing the project's ultimate fate.

I plan to follow up with the Town tomorrow and attempt to get more details, but this now begs a brand-new question: When will we have a vote?

The schedule is now as follows:

September 8: Town of Hempstead will vote on whether to schedule the re-zoning hearing. If you can make it, I hope to see you there (Hempstead Town Hall).

September 22: Proposed Date for Re-Zoning Hearing

???: Re-zoning vote.

Stay tuned - the clock is ticking.

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  1. is this really a surprise to anybody though? there was noway they would vote on it with a crowd in the room... i have a feeling that the vote for this will b on oct 3rd! it makes the most sense! If the approve it on oct 3rd, then they have the excuse that they are indeed moving forward and need just a "little" more time! if the vote goes the other way then....well.... game over anyways!

  2. Thanks for clearing things up, Nick. :) Like Alex, I question if and why this would be a surprise to anyone who has been following this process over the years. Asking for public input and then not even taking any time to consider any of it is just not how these things work.

  3. Nick,

    Even IF the Lighthouse is approved, why would ANY, let me repeat that, ANY, business want to come to Long Island after seeing this fiasco? The approval process needs to be addressed and revised or NO industry will ever come anywhere near Nassau County. It is a CRIME that something that Nassau County wants, and is welcomed and supported at the STATE level is being held up at the TOWN level. This MUST be changed going forward or no one will EVER consider us for new industry.

    And if it's a no on the Lighthouse? You might as well stick a fork in Long Island as a whole, because there IS NO future here.
    Oh, and as for Eden Laiken, I've said it before and I'll state it once again: AWFUL REPORTER.

    They should give her job to YOU, Nick.

    -Big Van Vader

  4. I am reading from some Islandermania posters who have some knowledge that, at least in theory, the TOH could delay the vote on the re-zoning for months without explanation.

    For anyone who goes to the hearing (I should be able to get there for the evening session) and speaks, not only should we urge approval in the strongest possible way, we also need to demand a timely vote. And I mean real world timely, not political games timely.

  5. MW - you're right. I'm trying to reach out to some knowledgeable people inside the Town to help present a better idea of what to expect. You're absolutely right that they could have this hearing and we could be sitting around waiting for a vote until 2010 - so let's do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen that way.

    Big Van Vader - Sadly, this is not presenting a good picture of Long Island. However, I'm ever the optimist. I still hope the Lighthouse can lead to more good decisions and hopefully change that perception. One thing's for certain: politicians won't change on their own. They need to know we're behind them.

  6. Big Van Vader - can you send me an email, actually? Wanted to tell you something offline.

  7. Hey Nick,

    You hear any peep about the Final Environmental Impact Statement? The TOH didn't issue it, did they? Don't they kinda have to do this along with the zoning? Or is it before the zoning hearing?

    -Big Van Vader

  8. Hey Nick,

    Something NEW to go WTF about.

    Here's MY WTF!!!!!!

    -Big Van Vader

  9. Saw that - I've been warning for months that FP Clark is an issue. Digging around right now and hoping to get something for you guys on this.

  10. I've got something - and it's big. Post coming later.