Town demolishes condemned home, property to remain open space on lake's shoreline

May 7, 2015 9:27 PM

Brookhaven Town has demolished a condemned home along the shoreline of scenic Artist Lake in Middle Island that was the source of several community complaints.  Town officials said the former homeowners of the house on Lake Drive were issued many violations related to the condition of the house before Suffolk County seized the property due to unpaid taxes. It wasn't immediately known what those violations were.

Brookhaven recently acquired the property from the county in order to demolish the home and preserve it as open space. The dilapidated property was torn down on Monday, town officials said. Several residents complained of squatters living in the residence.

"This parcel has long been an eyesore that has negatively impacted the surrounding neighborhood," Councilwoman Connie Kepert said in a statement.  "The land lies along the shores of the environmentally significant Artist Lake and is a valuable open space acquisition," she said.

Supervisor Edward P. Romaine thanked the community for coming forward with complaints, which resulted in the town having one less blighted home. "This property will forever remain as open space to preserve the beauty of Artist Lake and protect its water quality by removing a septic system from its shore," the supervisor said, referring to removing the home's cesspool.

Meanwhile, the town remains focused on knocking down at least a few more abandoned homes in the near future through Romaine's "Dirty Dozen" list.

Brookhaven Town demolishes fire-damaged house in Medford

April 24, 2015

A fire-damaged Medford house has been demolished by the Town of Brookhaven.

The vacant one-story house on John Roe Smith Avenue was torn down on April 16 after town engineers deemed it unsafe. The cost of the demolition will be added to the tax bill of the home's owner, who previously has been cited for property maintenance violations, town officials said.  The property owner also was cited for an unfenced swimming pool and illegal apartments, officials said.

Councilwoman Connie Kepert said in a statement that the house "has been a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood for many years."

In a statement, Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said town officials will "continue to crack down on property owners who do not maintain their vacant houses and demolish them if necessary."

The Medford house was one of 12 unsafe structures targeted for demolition last year by town officials. Brookhaven officials said nine of those homes so far have been razed. Three more are expected to be demolished by the end of the year.

Councilwoman Connie Kepert Presents on Panel at Vision Long Island’s Annual Complete Streets Summit

April 15, 2015

Farmingville, NY – On April 10, Councilwoman Connie Kepert was a guest panelist at the Vision Long Island Annual Complete Streets Summit held at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale. The annual summit provides a chance for elected officials, planners, engineers, not-for-profit organizations, and community stakeholders to come together and discuss policy changes to make roadways more accessible for all users, including motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

At the event, Councilwoman Kepert presented on a panel about the implementation, design, and regulation of complete streets. In 2010, the Councilwoman sponsored comprehensive Complete Streets legislation that was adopted by the Brookhaven Town Board. The legislation requires that the Highway Department evaluate all roadways during repaving and additions for complete street improvements, such as bike lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks.

“The Complete Streets Summit is always an opportunity to share the techniques being used all over Long Island to make our streets safe and accessible for all users,” said Councilwoman Kepert. “Thank you to Vision Long Island and the Sustainability Institute for hosting the event.” Councilwoman Kepert Honors the Gordon Heights Civic Garden Club and the Youth of the Community.


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Supervisor Romaine and Councilwoman Kepert Announce Partnership with the Friends of Bellport Bay

April 9, 2015

Farmingville, NY – Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Connie Kepert have announced plans for the Town to partner with the Friends of Bellport Bay (FoBB), a newly-formed group whose mission is to improve the water quality of the Bellport Bay. A resolution to authorize an agreement with the Bellport Village Program Fund, the not-for-profit corporation that sponsors the Friends of Bellport Bay, for a shellfish restoration program will be voted on by the Town Board. The agreement authorizes the Friends of Bellport Bay to work as an ancillary program to the Town’s Shellfish Mariculture Program, which grows juvenile oysters, hard clams, and important shellfish species for population enhancement in Town of Brookhaven waters. As part of the agreement, the Town’s Division of Environmental Protection will provide a maximum of 100,000 seed oysters, or spat, per year to the group to plant in Bellport Bay.

The restoration of shellfish populations is strongly encouraged as a method to strengthen ecosystems because shellfish, such as oysters, provide water quality maintenance by filtering nitrogen and particulates from the water. In addition, oysters provide shoreline protection, sediment stabilization, and habitats for other organisms.

“Bellport Bay is one of our most important waterways and the Town is committed to do whatever we can to preserve and protect it,” said Supervisor Romaine. “Our shellfish restoration program will have a positive long lasting affect and thanks to the Friends of Bellport Bay and our Division of Environmental Protection, future generations will be able to enjoy a cleaner, more environmentally stable bay.”

“I am happy that the Town will be partnering with the Friends of Bellport Bay in an effort to strengthen the water quality of the bay,” stated Councilwoman Connie Kepert. “I look forward to continuing to work with FoBB to improve and fortify the conditions of the bay in a sustainable way for future generations to come.”

In addition to the spat donated by the Town of Brookhaven, the Friends of Bellport Bay will also be receiving approximately 30,000 seed oysters from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE) Marine program.

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