Message from the Director
Welcome to the Suffolk County Division of Planning & Environment web page. Often the question is asked, what exactly is planning and what does the Planning Department do? As summarized by the American Planning Association, planning is a dynamic profession that works to improve the well being of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations. Professional planners help create a broad, long term vision for the community. They also research, design, and develop programs; lead public processes; perform technical analyses; manage; and educate.
Components of long range planning include establishing goals, analyzing existing and proposed land use, evaluating constraining environmental conditions, tracking demographic changes, preparing population projections and estimates, conducting statistical analysis and recommending ways to implement the plan. A plan can take a variety of forms including: policy recommendations, community action plans, comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, corridor studies, regulatory and incentive strategies, and historic preservation plans.
The Suffolk County Division of Planning & Environment includes a highly professional staff of planners, environmental analysts, cartographers and other specialists. Most of the staff have advanced degrees and decades of professional experience.
Role of the Division of Planning & Environment
The Division of Planning & Environment is responsible for the following:
- Serving as staff to the Suffolk County Planning Commission;
- Preparation of a comprehensive plan;
- Preparation of an official map;
- Provision of assistance to localities, including demographics and economic research, environmental studies and special studies;
- The rendering of advice to local, state and federal government regarding development projects and preservation;
- Administration and professional assistance to the Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality;
- Contribution of staff and assistance to the Long Island Regional Planning Board;
- Coordination of the Suffolk County Planning Federation;
- Maintenance of the Arthur H. Kunz Memorial Library;
- Administration of the Suffolk County Farmland Committee; and,
- The formulation and coordination of all long-range facilities planning among County departments.
The Division of Planning & Environment participates on the Environmental Trust Fund Review Board, Dredging Project Screening Committee, County Farmland Committee, the County Sewer Agency and Agricultural District reviews. The department also assists various Legislative Committees, participates on county committees relating to open space preservation, property conveyance, land exchanges and other planning-related special committees as appropriate.
Composition of the Division of Planning & Environment
The Division of Planning & Environment is comprised of five divisions that provide professional services to Suffolk County:
- Cartography & GIS
- Environmental Analysis (including CEQ)
- Open Space & Farmland
- Planning & Research
- Regulatory Review