Town focuses on Mastic Beach
BY RANDALL WASZYNSKI
Structures on a property in Mastic and one in Mastic Beach have been ordered by the Brookhaven Town Council to be demolished.
“We’ve lived through a very difficult period, not only with Sandy but with the Great Recession, with a lot of foreclosures and a lot of empty, boarded-up houses,” said town supervisor Ed Romaine. “We are trying to work to clean up Brookhaven.”
The structures on these properties will be demolished by the town in 30 days unless a demolition permit is acquired by the property owner before then. Demolishing the property at 185 Patchogue Avenue in Mastic will cost the town $45,000-$55,000, and demolishing the property at 79 Riviera Drive in Mastic Beach will cost $25,000-35,000. Financial impact on the town from demolition expenses are recovered by means of taxes.
The Mastic property has been in foreclosure for the past two years, and the board has already voted in a previous meeting to demolish the remaining structures, as some have been removed over the period. The main structure is a boarded, commercial one-story, three-bay garage with two additions — one of which is a fourth garage bay. It was used as an auto-body repair shop for a time.
There is extensive damage from falling Sheetrock throughout the structure, and both the interior and exterior are littered with debris. Since 2009, 23 incidents have been reported to the Department of Waste Management on this property. It violates the International Property Maintenance Code, International Fire Code and the Code of the Town of Brookhaven on several fronts and has been deemed “in imminent danger of collapse,” according to senior building inspector Robert Incoglioto.
Though a prospective buyer had prepared a site plan and there was progress toward a deal, the buyer recently backed out. The property owner’s attorney came before the board Jan. 25 to request more time to find a new buyer, but it was denied on grounds that surrounding property values are at loss the longer the structures remain.
“Time’s up,” Romaine said. “Because it sits in Mastic is no excuse to leave it in that type of condition for all these years. I’m representing the community. They’ve had it.”
The Mastic Beach property at 79 Riviera Drive consists of a one-and-a-half-story residential home with a single-story addition attached. The structure was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. The floor of an enclosed porch that was once the kitchen has been mostly torn from the foundation, and what remains is deteriorating and unsafe.
There are several exhibits of openings in the exterior wall. The interior is littered with trash and debris, animal feces are present, and the walls are tagged with spray paint. The structure violates the International Property Maintenance Code, International Fire Code and the Code of the Town of Brookhaven on several fronts, according to the building inspector.
The property owners had taken measures to acquire a demolition permit prior to the Jan. 25 board meeting, though they faced an issue in the process as the Village of Mastic Beach is no longer dealing with the situation since it is being absorbed by the Town of Brookhaven. “Trust me, there is no one who wants this house down more than we do,” said Lynn Murcott, the property owner’s sister, before the board.
Permitting is also now required by the Town of Brookhaven’s Division of Environmental Protection for docking in waters in Town of Brookhaven parkland, formally owned by the Village of Mastic Beach. The action conforms with the requirements of other coastal hamlets within Brookhaven, as Mastic Beach continues its transition to the town’s jurisdiction.
The town does not permit docks to be built on parkland, but existing docks will remain open for use to residents who comply with “some sort of liability and protection for this use of these docks,” said town attorney Annette Eaderesto at the Jan. 25 board meeting. “The docks are an important part of recreational opportunities for the village and the community of Mastic Beach. This code change will allow their continued use until the docks are non-repairable.”
Establishing the permit requirement is in accordance with amending Bays and Harbor Bottoms, a chapter of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven that was implemented to regulate the placements of boat moorings in reaction to usage conflicts and concerns of safe navigation. Limitations, restrictions and exceptions regarding use of the docks in Mastic Beach were added to the chapter, as well as the permit application procedure. The Division of Environmental Protection holds granting preferences toward applications for the sole use of a property owner who previously leased the dock, residents of the former Village of Mastic Beach, residents with relevant fishing or shellfishing licenses, and holders of mariculture permits.
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