Bringing people together

FV1Farmingville is a small, unincorporated hamlet in central Suffolk County, just north of the Long Island Expressway, nestled between CR-97 and CR-83 – two major north-south thoroughfares. Its history is typical of small suburban communities, starting as a farming community and slowly developing into a quiet residential neighborhood with strip commercial development.

However, a diverse community like Farmingville is not without issues and with that in mind Sustainable Long Island facilitated a Community Planning Process in 2009 that included preparatory meetings, a best practices tour, focus group sessions, and a community planning weekend.

Among the goals of the Farmingville Community Planning Process were to bring together a divided community and to build consensus around different ideas through the creation and implementation of a sustainable community plan. The project gave hope to residents that it would help unify the community and create a new, more positive image for Farmingville. This project presented an opportunity to bring people together – focusing on positive changes, as well proactive participation in planning.

FV2During the Community Planning Weekend several priorities became clear. Participants wanted to:

  • Preserve the small-town feel which is the essence of Farmingville
  • Foster community pride and enhance community identity
  • Calm traffic and make the area more inviting to pedestrians
  • Landscape and further beautify the community
  • Create public space and define a town  or “hamlet center”
  • Strengthen the local economy, particularly small, locally owned businesses
  • Expand and enhance recreational opportunities

To achieve these goals, community members articulated over 60 recommendations in the community plan, which was accepted by the Town of Brookhaven in 2010, including increasing pedestrian and bicycle safety; adding more parks and recreation areas with a variety of activities for all ages, especially youth; planting trees along Horseblock Road and other landscaping and beautification; implementing traffic calming measures to slow travel congestion, and improve flow and pedestrian safety. Since the plan’s acceptance, anti-graffiti events and activities have been organized around town; the Farmingville Hills Chamber of Commerce has been formed; and a Citizen Advisory Committee was created to help continue guiding implementation.