An aerial view of Nassau Coliseum

An aerial view of Nassau Coliseum Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

David Pennetta has it exactly right ["How about a grander vision, Nassau?" Opinion, July 29]. Sprawl is dead. Long Islanders themselves realized decades ago that strip malls, parking lots and six-lane highways with traffic lights do not a community make.

But all is not lost; the answer is right in front of us. There are more than a few successful thriving towns across Long Island that could serve as models for future development of the Coliseum and other sites. These communities are the envy of their neighbors. Why? They have villages: dense areas complete with shops, restaurants, pedestrian-friendly walkways, parks and mixed housing.

Humans long to be part of a community, that's why we came out of the caves to begin with.

Joseph Fantozzi, Massapequa
 

A major flaw in the latest plan to develop the 77 acres containing the Nassau Coliseum is that the parcel is being looked at as a separate entity with the focus on rebuilding the Coliseum. It should rather be considered as a connecting hub to tie together and enhance the disparate communities surrounding the parcel and the outlying sprawl that has grown piecemeal on Long Island over the past centuries.

The county's job should be to furnish a cohesive vision to guide private development while it provides the necessary accompanying infrastructure and services to allow profitable development to take place. The dollars spent on infrastructure should benefit the general public and taxpayer. The dollars spent on development should benefit those willing to invest them from the private sector. The overall plan should increase the quality of life and add value to all of Long Island.

Why not use a consortium of developers, spreading the risk, with each providing expertise from a wide array of experience? The team could include but not be limited to county officials, the state Department of Environmental Control, the state Department of Transportation, Waste Management Services, Hofstra University, Nassau Community College, the Simon Property Group that owns Roosevelt Field, Charles Wang and the Islanders. The emphasis should be on tying the existing communities together to prepare for future growth and the changing demographics of our population.

Let's not be shortsighted and instead use the latest technology and best design to showcase how a smart growth plan can be cost effective and beneficial to the public, while being profitable to the private investors. After all, as Long Islanders and taxpayers, we all have skin in this game.

Jeanne Edwards, Bay Shore

Editor's note: The writers is a licensed real estate salesperson for Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
 

Regarding Jimmy Castellane, head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk, and his complaint about thousands of his workers sitting home idle ["Nassau voters say NO," News, Aug. 2]: Open your eyes. Look who is doing all the construction work on Long Island: mostly illegals.

The reason is businesses can pay them less, with no benefits, and work them all kinds of hours and even have them work on Sundays. Can your people compete with that? Businesses are going to China for the same reason.

To stop this, businesses have to be fined big-time by the government, and it should be publicized any time they are caught.

Albert J. Prisco, East Northport
 

Private capital needs to be attracted to purchase and develop the 77-acre Nassau Coliseum site. And I don't mean enticed with subsidies and tax abatements. I mean that government needs to simply get out of the way and let the property be developed without dictates.

Thousands of real estate developments all over Long Island that were economically sound have been stopped by town and village governments influenced by political special interests or the personal egos of those in government.

Nassau County must appeal to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, because the state has authority over the Town of Hempstead and zoning. The 77 acres must be rezoned to its "highest and best use" and sold to private developer(s).

New York State has an interest in assuring Nassau County's economic health. The proceeds from a land sale could be used to pay down Nassau County's debt, and the millions of dollars in real estate taxes generated from private development would reduce residents' taxes.

Most important, less control over real estate by town and village governments will benefit Long Islanders and result in lower taxes and a more vibrant and well functioning real estate market. Let the failure of the $400 million bond referendum be a lesson to all of us.

Clifford Sondock, Jericho

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Land Use Institute, a think tank focusing on land-use issues.