Islip Town has begun refreshing its overall vision for development.
The “comprehensive plan update” is a lengthy process that will reconsider the town’s planning vision, first adopted in 1979 with seven goals, among them to promote housing that satisfies a range of personal needs and incomes, to protect natural resources and the environment, and to provide a variety of accessible recreational resources.
Planning Commissioner Dave Genaway told a recent town hearing that those goals remain relevant, but a plan must evolve to respond to current and future challenges — and take account of demographic changes.
Recent data show significant changes to the town’s population and landscape. Islip has become older and more diversified even as it has had relatively low population growth in the past four decades.
Overall, the town has grown by 13,134 people since 2000, with Brentwood alone increasing by more than 10,000, according to the town. Of the town’s 335,000 residents, nearly 87,000 (26 percent) live in Brentwood, a hamlet that occupies just 15.5 percent of the town’s land area.
The lowest population density is found in Great River, which averages just 795 people per square mile. The community occupies 7 percent of the town’s area and has 2 percent of the population.
In Brentwood, Central Islip and Bay Shore, significant growth in the Hispanic population has contributed to overall town diversification, according to the department.
Between 2000 and 2010, the town’s under-40 population decreased by 12,330, while the over-40s increased by 25,261.