HAUPPAUGE, NY July 22, 2015–Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone presented the Suffolk Medal for Distinguished Service on Monday to Dr. Lee Koppelman, whose visionary work as a master planner has influenced Long Island for decades.
“So much of what makes our region great can be ascribed to him,” the County Executive said at a hearing of the Suffolk County Legislature’s environmental planning and agriculture committee. “From our county’s vast open spaces to the tens of thousands of jobs located in the Hauppauge Industrial Park and the Route 110 corridor, we have Dr. Koppelman’s vision and leadership to thank.
On July 20, County Executive Steve Bellone gives Dr. Koppleman a round of applause and a big thanks for his great work and accomplishments which strongly influenced many Long Islanders for decades.
“And like most visionaries, some of his visions were a little ahead of their time,” the County Executive said. “Improved rail transit, improved mass transit, revitalized downtowns, greater diversity in housing stock. These are areas where Dr. Lee Koppelman was an often lonely voice, and now we know, he was 100 percent right.”
Dr. Koppelman was Suffolk County’s first planning director, serving from 1960 to 1988 and led the Regional Planning Board for 41 years as executive director.
He long championed the concept of comprehensive planning, the preservation of open space and protection of the coastal wetlands.
He spoke in support of the County Executive’s Comprehensive Master Plan 2035, entitled a Framework for Our Future, Suffolk County’s first master plan in 45 years. The master plan draws on and unifies five existing studies.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone presented the Suffolk Medal for Distinguished Service on Monday to Dr. Lee Koppelman, whose visionary work as a master planner has influenced Long Island for decades.
“I think supporting the most recent efforts of the Planning Department is a no brainer,” Dr. Koppelman said. “No county anywhere in the nation has achieved the environmental protection that this county has achieved. The county, in my judgment, is in very good hands, and the future of the county is, in my judgment, an absolutely bright one.”
The County Executive described the need for careful planning in current and future projects, citing as examples the Ronkonkoma Hub, a mixed-use transit oriented development at the Ronkonkoma train station, and the Reclaim Our Waters initiative, as part of the foundation for sustainable growth and resiliency in Suffolk County. The County Executive has made water quality his Number One priority.
The new master plan also cites the availability of such world-class research institutions like Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as essential to the county’s future.
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