Written by Rachel Shapiro Friday, 18 June 2010 00:00
Holding their first official meeting this week, the Greater Farmingdale Community Land Trust has a goal to be an active voice in the community when it comes to land development.
Its board, consisting of President Chuck Gosline, Vice President John Capobianco, Secretary Tom Sullivan, Trustee Rich Gosline and Trustee Cheryl Parisi, welcomed the dozen or so Farmingdale residents to the meeting on June 15, clarifying what it is their group is hoping to do.
They want to “participate as stakeholders in the community,” Chuck Gosline said. “To create projects for the community’s benefit.”
The group’s goal is to acquire land and act as a developer on the community’s behalf, looking to “change the face of the downtown community,” Gosline said.
With advice from New Directions Community-Based Research Institute, a company that specializes in “research, planning and the design of collaborative partnership programs to create new local institutions,” according to their website, the land trust is working with the community, for the community.
“The New Directions model has been used with success, deployed and used around the country,” Gosline said. “We’re not reinventing the wheel.”
With advice also from intellectuals from local institutes of higher learning, including Molloy College, Farmingdale State University and NYIT, the group is not simply venturing out on their own.
“We have to partner with business,” Gosline said. “We can’t do this alone.”
Stepping up as advocates for affordable housing in the Farmingdale community is one of the group’s main goals, but so is establishing a community center and creating small businesses along Main Street.
Gosline said there is land owned by the Town of Oyster Bay that he is hoping can be the subject of talks between the group and the town government, possibly to be used for a community center.
“We are membership driven,” Capobianco said. “Everyone in the community can chip in and have a say.”
The land trust evolved from the Discover Farmingdale Study Group, created several years ago “to provide a forum for community members to engage in a community based planning project that we believe can promote more community stewardship toward helping to improve the future health and welfare of the greater Farmingdale community,” according to a letter from the group sent to Farmingdale residents in 2009.
Now the group has changed its name to the Greater Farmingdale Community Land Trust Inc. and is renewing its commitment to the community.
“The idea is to make Long Island affordable again,” Capobianco said.
“The land trust gives the community their voice back and gives them the vision they want to see,” Rich Gosline said.
At its brief first meeting, the group recognized Bob Mulvey as honorary co-founder for his guidance and mentorship that has benefited the group for years as it has developed.
“Bob is the quintessential gentleman,” Gosline said.
The land trust will meet every month at the Farmingdale Public Library. For more information, visit their Facebook page or contact Chuck Gosline at 516-346-7411 or via email at ckgosline@ optonline.net.