(BALDWIN, N.Y.) - Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé (D - Freeport) joined leaders of the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, the Baldwin Civic Association, New York State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin and smart-growth advocates outside the Baldwin LIRR station on Thursday, April 21 to demand that Town of Hempstead officials stop making excuses and start making Baldwin downtown revitalization a top priority.
“I have been hearing time and time again from the people of Baldwin - we have to get this going. This is truly a grass-roots, up-from-the-community vision that is many, many years in the making,” Legislator Mulé said on Thursday. “We demand immediate action from the Town of Hempstead. I say to the Town of Hempstead - do your jobs and get these projects going now!”
The call to action came one day after Legislator Mulé and community advocates successfully got the Town of Hempstead to abandon what would have been a devastating one-year development moratorium within the Baldwin Overlay District - zoning that was established two years ago to streamline development and incentivize Baldwin as a destination for private-sector investment. In addition to Legislator Mulé and Assemblywoman Griffin, speakers included former Baldwin Chamber of Commerce President Ginny Foley; Baldwin Civic Association President Darien Ward; Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander; and longtime Baldwin resident and community advocate Sara Hill.
Legislator Mulé and these local leaders argued that any moratorium would have delivered a fatal blow to the current community-driven, bipartisan plan for no good reason and would have usurped the will of Baldwin residents whose pleas for downtown revitalization have gone unanswered for more than three decades.
It would have furthermore potentially jeopardized $10 million in State funding that the community pursued to support this long-sought revitalization initiative and diminished the impact of the County’s $11 million infrastructure investment in the Grand Avenue corridor - a project Legislator Mulé shepherded through the Legislature.
While town officials have stated that they will be tabling the proposed moratorium during its Tuesday, April 26 Hempstead Town Board meeting, Legislator Mulé warned that this is only the first step in a longer battle to finally get shovels into the ground.
“We are pleased to see that the Town saw reason and is not pursuing the moratorium. This is a victory for the people of Baldwin who rose up to protest this unjust and unnecessary proposal,” Legislator Mulé said. “However, in their announcement, the Town stated some things they wanted to do differently and the reasons for them, but the reasons make no sense. Why are we still waiting for the Town to move forward with their part of the plan?”
PHOTO CAPTION - Legislator Mulé, at podium, with supporters of Baldwin downtown revitalization at the Baldwin LIRR station on Thursday, April 21.
PHOTO CREDIT - Office of Legislator Debra Mulé