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Lee Koppelman, longtime Long Island urban planner, has died

John Griffin
Stony Brook University
Lee Koppelman, the master urban planner of Long Island's environmental stewardship, has died at 94.

Long Island urban planner Lee Koppelman has died at the age of 94. 

Stony Brook University, where he taught, confirmed his death Monday.

Koppelman started off as a landscape architect and civic leader in Hauppauge until he was selected by Suffolk County’s first executive, H. Lee Dennison, in 1959 to shape how the new local government would actually work. 

"Lee Koppelman was one of the nation’s most eminent urban planners and the chief planner of Long Island for over 40 years," said Leonie Huddy, chair of the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University. "He promoted environmental sustainability on Long Island and was instrumental in guiding Long Island’s land use and development regulation, promoting affordable housing and the expansion of its transit system.... He will be sorely missed."

In 1965, Koppelman became the first planning director and the leader of the Long Island Regional Planning Council, spending four decades designing Suffolk County roads, mass transportation and parks.

Koppelman also cared deeply about the environment and sustainability. Throughout his career, he fought to preserve open space and farmland to protect agriculture and safe drinking water.

Brooke is a former intern with WSHU Public Radio.