By virtue of their joining the Long Island Builders Institute, LIBI builders demonstrate their personal commitment to the principles of honesty, fairness and decency in all their dealings with their associates, contractors, local residents and municipal leaders and staffers and demand the same from their fellow LIBI builders.
Housing Goals For Each Long Island Town
Housing production on Long Island has continued to decline since peak production of 25,000 housing units per year in the 1970s. In 2009, Long Island may see less than 1,000 units produced. For that reason, each municipality on Long Island should have a housing goal and update that goal annually. This goal should encompass how many housing units are started each year, as well as how many are for sale versus for rental. This will encourage municipalities to pro-actively zone areas appropriate for growth. The goal should include a diversity of housing types.
Open Space Initiatives
The Long Island Builders Institute supports the preservation of open space as it enhances the value of our communities. LIBI welcomes the opportunity to preserve open space when such preservation is directly related to the protection of the environment and the avoidance or minimization of significant adverse impacts. When feasible, such preservation should be accomplished without cost to the taxpayers. All preservation efforts need to have a commensurate increase in density on another suitable parcel. If not, the preservation represents nothing more than a sterilization of property.
Planning / Permitting Process
The development process on Long Island presents a variety of increasingly complicated and time-consuming obstacles. The Long Island Builders Institute calls on local and state governments to create a fair and predictable process for residential housing whenever and wherever appropriate.
LIBI calls on local towns to adopt practices and policies that actuate pro-active zoning in the planning department to direct development. LIBI also would like to see each municipality embrace the following practices: provide a requirements checklist for what applicant needs; provide an online instruction set or guidelines explain land use applications; have opposing comments mediated by a project coordinator employed by the Town with Director of Planning making final determination if no resolution is achieved; develop a work-flow-chart which contains time tables for every aspect of the application process; make timing more predictive; have project coordinators determine if the application can move forward in the application process while external agencies complete their review independently; implement sketch plan process; and update all land use applications for the Town Board, Planning Board and Planning Division to allow for electronic filing to reduce paperwork and paper processing.
A region can only be as strong as the infrastructure that supports it. Long Island’s economy has remained relatively strong over the years but its ability to grow has been hampered by Long Island’s insufficient transportation options, lack of adequate sewer capacity in Suffolk County and an aging sewer structure in Nassau County. Road improvements, more mass transit where realistic and applicable (i.e. along Route 110 corridor) and new sewer design and construction would stimulate the local economy and help preserve Long Island’s quality of life. An enhanced infrastructure would make it easier to meet the growing demand for higher-density, multi-residential living in downtown areas which in turn would make the preservation of open space more viable.
The Long Island Builders Institute strongly urges our elected officials to do what they can to ensure that the stimulus funds currently available be used to improve Long Island’s infrastructure and welcomes the opportunity to explore where private development can make road improvements and sewer creation / expansion happen faster than the public sector, in exchange for development rights.
Fair Labor Practice
Long Island Builders Institute builder members create quality products at a fair price and while doing so obey the law of the land, particularly as they apply to labor. They demand the same of their sub-contractors: those subcontractors are required to carry workmen’s compensation insurance, liability and FICA. They all pay good and fair wages and they are required to employ workers who reside legally in this country. LIBI builders strive to hire the most qualified subcontractors based upon their cost, schedule and quality performance, and reputation. The contractor’s “union” or “non-union” status is irrelevant. LIBI builders operate “open shops,” which enables them to choose freely and to award their work to the most qualified contractor, using schedule, price and quality as decision making criteria.
The Long Island Builders Institute embraces the concepts of “smart growth” and “sustainability.” LIBI sees transit-oriented development, infilling, brownfield rehabilitation and the creation of exciting, convenient and pedestrian-friendly communities as the key to Long Island’s future. LIBI encourages its members to consider re-development and the preservation of open space whenever possible.
Long Island Builder Institute members look to meet the housing needs of all Long Islanders, especially since an adequate workforce and workforce housing are key to any region’s survival. LIBI members are committed to constructing affordable housing where it is economically, environmentally and socially feasible to do so – with an emphasis on sustainability – particularly through the effective use of density bonuses. There are many models around the country that have been successful and LIBI is committed to educating the public and the municipalities on these models for success.
The Long Island Builders Institute encourages sustainable, flexible, energy-efficient, construction methods to promote a healthy indoor environment to promote a healthy indoor environment and energy efficiency. LIBI also encourages efforts to promote the reduction of the carbon footprint of the region’s housing.
LIBI recommends market-driven incentives and regulations as an effective means to that end. LIBI also maintains the position that the National Green Building Standards, validated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), should serve as the residential industry’s green-building benchmark.
The Long Island Builders Institute supports all local, state and NFPA applicable codes. Readily available fire safety products such as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers provide sufficient safety and protection for the residents of single family and two-family housing units. Any measures beyond that would be prohibitively expensive and unnecessary. These measures include fire sprinklers which would only add cost to the home and make it more difficult for the average buyer to purchase a house.