Suffolk County Executive names sustainable expert Director of Planning

Suffolk Executive Steve Levy announced Wednesday, March 16, the nomination of Sarah Lansdale, executive director of Sustainable Long Island, to become the next Suffolk County Director of Planning.

“Sarah Lansdale is a thoughtful and proven planning expert who is respected by community residents, developers and environmental leaders alike,” said Levy. “She is a sustainable development advocate whose expertise and planning acumen will greatly benefit the residents of Suffolk County and the development of the ‘2035 Comprehensive Plan’.”

Levy’s appointment of Lansdale, the first woman to ever lead Suffolk’s Planning Department, is subject to legislative approval. A nominating resolution will be introduced at the March 22 general meeting of the legislature.

As executive director of Sustainable L.I., Lansdale, has been at the forefront of land use planning and community development in economically distressed communities, overseen the adoption of 10 land use plans at the municipal level, and helped to secure the investment of $500 million in private equity and public funding for mixed-use, transit-oriented development projects.

At Sustainable L.I., Lansdale has also worked extensively with elected officials from multiple jurisdictions, labor, civic associations, clergy, education, business and labor leaders to increase residents’ access to employment and housing opportunities through the community revitalization efforts.

Pending legislative confirmation, Lansdale will succeed current Planning Director Tom Isles who is set to retire in March after ten years at the helm of Suffolk County planning and more than 32 years in municipal planning.

The mission of the Planning Department is to provide county government with professional planning serves to assist in the development of policies and programs that foster appropriate growth and development in a manner that ensures protection of natural resources and environments. The Department works cooperatively with the ten towns, 33 village governments and Suffolk County Planning Commission in accomplishing this mission.

Lansdale has worked as Sustainable Long Island’s second Executive Director since September 2004. She holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from New York University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies and Agricultural Economics. Sarah also has extensive community outreach experience, including two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.

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