Uniting a community behind a common goal, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby joined with Uniondale residents, business owners, civic leaders, and educators to unveil the township’s Uniondale Vision Plan. Also present at the Vision Plan press conference were the town’s funding partners for the visioning study, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Legislator Kevan Abrahams. State representatives at the unveiling included Senator Kemp Hannon and Deputy Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper.
Developed in direct collaboration with the community, the Vision Plan reflects local objectives that are to be achieved through a clearly defined action plan. The Plan’s recommendations are intended to contribute to Uniondale’s sustainability and viability in commercial, residential, university and other community sectors.
“I want to thank all of the residents and other stakeholders in the Uniondale community for helping to develop a blueprint for a more prosperous and vital Uniondale,” stated Murray. “I especially want to recognize Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby for working tirelessly to bring this plan to completion.”
The Goals and Objectives, the foundation for defined areas of action under the Plan, cover areas such as beautification, traffic and transportation, economic development and sustainability of residential neighborhoods.
“Uniondale is a great community,” observed Goosby. “By identifying key objectives and acting on them, we can enhance the quality of life experience for those who call Uniondale home.”
The officials termed the Uniondale Vision Process the culmination of a multi-faceted community planning process that began in earnest in late 2011. Visioning process elements included community participation exercises, public meetings, surveys of residents (included English, Spanish and Haitian Creole language questionnaires), several “break out” charrettes and outreach meetings with key stakeholders (school district, chamber of commerce, civic associations, etc.).
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano stated, “Kate Murray and I are committed to working together to improve our economy and quality of life in Uniondale and Nassau County. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government to achieve the common goals set forth in this Uniondale Vision Plan.”
The town employed noted planning consultants, VHB Engineering, as well as Hofstra University to assist in developing the $102,000 visioning blueprint. Hofstra conducted community surveys and initiated outreach on no-cost university programs available to the community, while VHB conducted project research, historical analysis, design work and field studies associated with the project. The cost of the project is to be split between Nassau County and the town, drawing upon federal grant funding.
Key “vision elements” detail a plan of action in four major categories (beautification, traffic and transportation, economic development, sustainability of residential neighborhoods). An outline of Vision Plan elements include:
- Expand Community Cleanup Efforts
- Enhance Hamlet Gateways
- Improve Streetscapes
- Develop Commercial Area Design Guidelines
- Commercial Code Enforcement
- Upgrade Commercial Facades
Traffic & Transportation
- Pursue traffic safety and calming measures
- Support Bus Service and Routes
- Add/Relocate Bus Stops
- Improve Bus Stop Aesthetics
- Improve Bus Stop Access
- Improve Pedestrian Flow Across Roadways
- Upgrade Sidewalk Facilities
- Promote/Enhance Bicycle Facilities
- Promote Safe School Routes
- Brand Uniondale as a “Global Village”
- Utilize Social Media and Technology
- Reinforce Uniondale as a “College Town”
- Enhance the Re-energized Chamber of Commerce Role in Uniondale
- Re-develop Underutilized Parcels
- Attract High Quality Commercial Uses
- Develop Zoning Sub-Districts
Sustainability of Neighborhoods
- Providing a Greater Range of Housing Opportunities
- Support Uniondale Land Trust’s Efforts to Secure Property for Redevelopment
- Expand Privately-Owned Community Center
- Provide Recreational/Open Space Opportunities
- Balance Community Needs of Seniors, Teens and Others
- Promote Environmental Sustainability
“The key ‘vision elements’ in Uniondale’s Vision Plan outline a defined course of action for delivering on the promise of Uniondale’s future,” said Goosby. “I am dedicated to the success of this Plan.”
Murray and Goosby indicated that the community’s Plan established a vision, both for the near and long term, with a clear agenda designed to shape Uniondale’s future. The collaboration of federal, state, county and town governments with residents, business owners and all other stakeholders is at the core of regulatory changes, the pursuit of project funding and the implementation people’s priorities.
As a celebratory kick-off to the Vision Plan unveiling, the Supervisor and Councilwoman announced a streetscape project that will take place along Uniondale Avenue across from the library. The project will feature about 150 feet of brick paved walkway, Victorian streetlamps, new concrete and decorative benches.
“This Vision Plan was created by and belongs to the people of Uniondale,” concluded Murray. Indeed, the involvement of the community and the commitment of government officials, and everyone invested in this great community are the keys to a prosperous future for Uniondale.”