»CLEAN AIR/DRINKING WATER PROTECTION
The air we breathe, and the water we drink, are absolutely critical to our survival. The preservation of water and air quality must be the highest items on any political agenda.
What sense does it make for us, as Long Islanders, to tear down our trees and ruin our scenic landscapes in order to build strip malls and giant shopping centers that are going to be left largely vacant? If Long Island is going to grow and develop, it must be smart growth that respects the need to maintain reasonable population density — and any such growth must keep a firm eye on maintaining our environmental quality of life.
»STOPPING THE PRIVATIZATION OF OUR PUBLIC PARKS
Public parks exist for the benefit of the public! Local government exists to look after the welfare of the local community — and that means that public parks must be a public responsibility!
»PROTECTING OUR NATURAL WATERWAYS
The Long Island Sound, South Shore estuary, and Peconic estuary must be cleaned up and protected from future pollution. This is a public health issue — our drinking water quality depends on these bodies of water.
»IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL CODE ENFORCEMENT
Laws are meaningless unless local governments devote the resources and manpower necessary to enforce them. Too many well-meaning environmental regulations are being undermined by developer-funded politicians that simply will not enforce the laws that are already on the books.
The Voters Forum supports the goal of preserving 25,000 acres of open space and 10,000 acres of farmland before final build-out of Long Island, projected 2015. This initiative would protect drinking water and preserve habitat while contributing to the economic benefits of tourism, farming and second-home industry. At the same time, it would help control over-development.
Current farmers should not be forced to sell their land to developers wanting to build condos on tiny plots of land. We must work intelligently to make farming profitable, so that Long Island can maintain the rural and suburban character that draws so many tourists and visitors to our shores every year. However, we must not permit farmers who have sold their development rights to the public, to build on up to 25% of their land, anyway.
The U.S. must end its dependency on foreign fossil fuels. By investing in solar, wind and other alternative energy sources, we will break this dependency, clean our air and improve our environment.
Birds and other wildlife are not only intrinsically valuable — they also are economically valuable for Long Island's tourist industry (and the many businesses that it supports). Forests and other natural habitats must be protected and preserved for ourselves and our childrens' future.
»ENSURING SUSTAINABLE LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT DENSITY
Zoning laws must be used to prevent high concentrations of populations. Houses must not be built on tiny plots of land, and farmland should not be subdivided to build such housing projects. Any density increase over as-of-right entitlement must include commensurate public benefits.
Downtown areas need to be renovated and revitalized to prevent the type of suburban sprawl that is so harmful to Long Island's environmental quality of life. Downtown areas that are left unsightly are also bad for business and likely to promote crime. More action must be taken to ensure that we do not allow rundown downtown areas destroy the suburban character of our communities.
»FINAL BUILDOUT OF LONG ISLAND
The next decade will witness the final development phase on the East End of Long Island. It's time that we ask ourselves exactly what kind of island we want to live on, and make decisions about what development really makes sense for us as Long Islanders.
More must be done to correct the pollution abuses of the past! The environment we live in cannot be left to languish because of a lack of state funding.
»CURBING LIGHT POLLUTION
Light pollution must be reduced to preserve Long Island's suburban and rural character.
»A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE FOR LONG ISLAND
There is a definite lack of vision about what we should be doing to ensure the future of our energy supply. More power, and greener power, is absolutely essential to our energy future. Our electricity rates remain among the highest in the country, and there is no good plan on the table yet to remedy this situation.