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If there is something that I have not really given enough attention to, it is the all important and deserving Lighthouse Project. It’s not for any specific reason really, it is something I REALLY want to happen for both Long Island and the New York Islanders, I just haven’t blogged about much of anything really which you all already know.

I opened up Newsday today as I do every morning and read every story as I sipped my scolding hot 7-11 coffee and found a story on the Lighthouse Project. It is something that has been a regular fixture in the local section of the paper as of late, as the momentum for the project has been steadily increasing over the last few months. I will be honest about one thing, no – make it two things; I REALLY hate politics, I mean with the fire of a thousand burning suns type of hate and I really don’t know enough about the process to make educated comments regularly. It’s not that I haven’t been afforded opportunities to either – Katrina Doell of the Lighthouse Development Group has invited myself and other bloggers to countless public and private meetings and rallies – they are usually while I am at work and for the most part cannot sneak out (trust me, I would if I could in order to educate myself).

In case you do not know, the Town of Hempstead is opening up the enviornmental review to “local government officials, representatives from involved agencies such as the state departments of Transportation, Health and Environment; the Uniondale school district; and residents near the site” for a 45-day public comment period. Whatever enviornmental concerns there are with any of the groups listed, they will work through them together and move another step closer towards allowing Charles Wang and Scott Rechler to break ground or in any case onto the next step in the process.

Here is the Newsday story:

The public will soon be able to weigh in on the environmental impact of the Lighthouse project, which proposes a community around an upgraded Nassau Coliseum.

Lighthouse principals Charles Wang and Scott Rechler have proposed a $3.7-billion development to include 2,300 living units and 1.5 million square feet of office space, shops and restaurants.

On Aug. 4, the Hempstead Town Board is expected to hear concerns from local government officials, representatives from involved agencies such as the state departments of Transportation, Health and Environment; the Uniondale school district; and residents near the site.

Hempstead officials said its consultants will use input from the public hearing to make sure all issues are addressed in a final environmental impact statement.

Some weighed in with concerns early on in the process.

Nassau County’s public works officials said in a May memo they would need proof the project has sufficient facilities to store drainage runoff, a proper destination for storm water overflow and an erosion control plan.

County health officials said in a 2008 letter they were concerned about water and sewer availability; the design of the sewage disposal system; any potential contamination on or surrounding the site; whether a licensed inspector will check for asbestos before any demolition; and hard-wired carbon monoxide alarms and a ventilation system in the underground parking garage.

An attorney for Garden City has cautioned that if the environmental review is “short-circuited” and doesn’t adequately address the adjacent village’s concerns, including water and air quality, they would sue the town and developers.

Hempstead Village officials have said the Lighthouse draft environmental report ignores their community’s downtown redevelopment, and that a lawsuit is possible.

Uniondale school officials have said they believe the developers’ estimate of an additional 330 school-aged children is low.

Today, the Hempstead Town Board is expected to declare the Lighthouse developers’ draft statement on environmental impact ready for public review, opening a minimum 45-day public comment period.

The August 4th meeting will take place at Hempstead Town Hall and is two sessions: 9:30am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. If you can make it, I urge you to show up in support of the project – but remain respectful in doing so (naturally).

Update 12:00pm

Just got word from the Lighthouse Group that there is also a meeting this week and a clarification of the Newsday article:

At the regularly scheduled Town of Hempstead Town Board meeting at 10:30 a.m. on July 7, the Town Board will take a step toward final zoning approvals with a vote on the completeness of the Draft Generic Environmental Studies. These studies were conducted in cooperation with the Town of Hempstead. The meeting will be held at Town Hall, located at One Washington Street, Hempstead, NY.

Please note, a story which appeared in the July 6, 2009 edition of Newsday incorrectly stated that this meeting was being held on July 6.

The same Newsday story also indicated that the Town will be holding public hearings related to the project on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. More information to follow from the Town of Hempstead on the time and location of this important meeting. The public hearing is the most important time for supporters of the project to turn out and let their voices be heard. Please put this date on your calendar!

We look forward to seeing you at these important events.

For more information check out Katrina Doell’s blog The Light Post or The Official Lighthouse Project website.