Vote Delayed On Long Island ‘Smart Growth’ Community

Jan 5, 2017

A public hearing was held Wednesday to help determine the fate of what was once the site of the world’s largest hospital. The Suffolk County Planning Commission heard testimony on the proposed Heartland Town Square Development at the former Pilgrim Psychiatric Center in Brentwood, Long Island.

Speakers voiced concerns over whether unions and local workers would be hired, whether the groundwater would be safe and whether or not already congested roads could handle increased traffic.

Robert Feliciano, with the Brentwood School District, said the district cannot accommodate the influx of students that would come from the development.

“I will do everything in my power to fight this project. Whatever that takes, whatever it means,” Feliciano said.

David Wolkoff and his father, Gerry, are the developers for the project. Wolkoff said young professionals are desperate for affordable housing on the Island. He expects the project will move forward.

“You don’t go into development if you’re not a cockeyed optimist. So you always hope for the best,” Wolkoff said.

The planning commission postponed a vote on the project until its next meeting on February 1.