Civic Associations

Port Jefferson Station/Terryville civic association listens to a presentation from North Wind's Jim Tsunis on Feb. 27. Photo by Samantha Rutt

By Samantha Rutt

The recent Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association meeting saw presentations from developer group North Wind, the Suffolk County Police Department COPE report and a presentation regarding substance abuse from Kym Laube, HUGS Inc. executive director.

The Feb. 27 meeting began with reports from the board regarding the upcoming board elections. Two of the current members, Charlie McAteer and Sheila Granito, will be termed-out come March. The civic is seeking reelection for all positions and has no current candidates for the recording secretary position.

Only members in good standing may cast a vote for board elections. Those who have paid dues and attended at least three meetings from March 2023 to March 2024 remain in good standing.

Some notable community figures were in attendance: Port Jefferson Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kassay and Skyler Johnson, both Assembly District 4 Democratic candidates; Council District 1 Chief Legislative Aide Amani Hosein and Suffolk County Legislator Steve Englebright (D-Setauket).

The meeting carried on with reports from members of the South County Police Department offering insights from the COPE report from Jan. 23 to Feb. 27. Officer John Efstathiou mentioned for the Port Jefferson Station area overdoses have decreased from this time last year from 4 to 2. Additionally, motor vehicle incidents saw an increase from 43 to 60 over the last year – for the same January to February time period. The officer also mentioned a slight increase from last year of criminal incidences, raising to 63 from last year’s 59. 

“In my opinion, and it’s just my opinion, it’s a safe area, absolutely,” Efstathiou said.

The meeting continued with a presentation from developer Jim Tsunis of North Wind — the organization responsible for the construction of developments like Port Jefferson’s Overbay and Setauket Meadows.

Tsunis showed a 10-minute video where he shared his background and connection with the Port Jefferson Station community sharing that his father was a businessman who made an impact on his PJS community. 

The video also touched on the proposed 5.6-acre Baylis Avenue development property to become Brook Meadows. The proposed development sits along Sheep Pasture Road and Baylis Avenue, and neighbors a current apartment complex and existing railroad tracks.

The presentation also included testimony from four residents about the soon-to-be Brook Meadows site in support of the development — most reasoning with the residential zoning the development would provide over the existing industrial zoning.

Following the video, Tsunis addressed the civic association and their questions. 

Many concerns were raised for the proposed density of the site at 56 units. Civic members asked Tsunis questions about the use of the property, suggesting it could be used for single-family homes instead. Fear of increased density was also raised by Englebright in his statement to Tsunis. 

Englebright shared his experience growing up and around the Island saying that he has experienced the loss of suburbia and does not want that to continue.

“We’re getting into the realm of causing me to wonder whether we’re going to lose a suburban lifestyle over time,” Englebright said. “A density that is urban is being proposed repeatedly. I just want to commend the possibility of a cumulative environmental impact statement. I think that makes a lot of sense — piecemealing what happened to Bayside — there’s nothing left of what I was familiar with when I grew up.”

Additional concerns arouse touching on added traffic from the development, with feedback from other civic attendees supporting the single-car traffic from the residential zoning over the potential industrial-zoned traffic.

Tsunis defended his group’s proposal, mentioning the increase of affordable housing units to the original plan, suggesting a monthly rental price point of around $2,100 for a two-bedroom apartment offered by Brook Meadows. Tsunis also noted an addition to the buffer from the road surrounding the development, a concern raised at previous civic gatherings.

Many civic attendees commented on the presentation and civic president Ira Costell welcomed Tsunis back to continue the conversation as both organizations seek a compromise.

Following the North Wind presentation, Laube from HUGS Inc. shared a PowerPoint presentation, addressing addiction, substance abuse and sharing several statistics relating to these issues.

Laube spoke to the increased ability to purchase substances like cannabis and alcohol as dispensaries are opening and, unlike the past, alcohol sold in various locations rather than solely at liquor stores.

The HUGS representative’s presentation included anecdotes from her lived experiences eliciting many reactions from the audience, offering moments of amusement and response to points made. Laube urged the audience to look at each situation a little differently, to seek the truth and to get involved.

The next civic meeting will take place March 26 at the Comsewogue Public Library. For more information regarding the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association visit its website at www.pjstca.org. 

Photo from Councilmember Kornreich's office

By Samantha Rutt

Residents gathered at the Setauket Fire Station on Main Street Feb. 5 for the Three Village Civic Association’s first meeting of the calendar year. The meeting agenda featured a presentation by local Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook). The event served as a platform for the councilmember to provide vital updates on community projects, initiatives and future plans, while eliciting engagement and feedback from attendees.

With a focus on transparency and community involvement, the meeting kicked off with an overview of ongoing and upcoming projects aimed at enhancing the quality of life for residents across Three Village. Kornreich mentioned the emergence of a “Founder’s Park” to be constructed near 25A and Gnarled Hollow Road. The park, still in its infancy planning stage, would be set on the presumed landing place of Setauket’s founders. In the park would feature a playground, to be donated by a local family currently fundraising, as well as the historic Roe Tavern, eventually to be relocated to the park’s assumed location. While still in the early stages, the park plans to serve as a place for the community to gather and celebrate its rich history.

Among the key topics discussed was the progress of various infrastructure projects, including sewer system infrastructure. The councilmember emphasized the importance of prioritizing infrastructure investments to ensure the safety and well-being of residents while fostering economic growth and development.

Kornreich explained the necessity of more wastewater infrastructure within the bounds of his district, primarily along 25A. The councilmember further clarified that the installation of sewers and their intended placement is simply theoretical at the moment.

“In theory, the purpose of the sewer study is to determine the feasibility of running a sewer line from the university all down 25A, including Stony Brook village, and connecting to the Port Jeff STP [sewage treatment plant],” he said.

The potential installation of this sewer system would enhance environmental protection for the Three Village community. 

Additionally, attendees were briefed on community related initiatives, including changes to signage displayed along the roadside, the Commercial Redevelopment District legislation, the abolition of both Town of Brookhaven’s accessory apartment and planning boards, and the Highway Department’s upgrades. 

During his presentation, Kornreich laid out the improvements to local highways sharing that the Highway Department will soon install new antique lighting along 25A over the next two years. The department also plans to combat consistent flooding seen along Dyke Road by pitching and adjusting the roadway accounting for overflow of water. 

Kornreich also mentioned the town’s Community Choice Aggregation program, helping the community to understand the realities and complexities of this program. The program’s goal is to help residents who use natural gas to save by opting for a fixed rate. Kornreich explained that all town residents were automatically opted into this program, though since the adoption the National Grid rates have come in under that of the fixed rate. 

“I realize that it’s not a good deal at the moment because the National Grid price, which fluctuates, has on average been much lower than the fixed CCA price since the inception of the CCA,” Kornreich explained. “You can opt in and out of the CCA whenever you want.”

Throughout the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to engage with the councilmember, asking questions and providing feedback on specific projects and initiatives. The interactive nature of the meeting facilitated meaningful dialogue.

As a former president of the civic association, Kornreich expressed his gratitude in connecting with residents and sharing updates on the ongoing efforts to enhance the community. He emphasized the ready availability of his office and staff, calling on residents to stay informed and actively participate in shaping the future of Three Village. 

For those unable to attend the meeting, information and updates on the community and related civic association matters can be found at www.3vcivic.org.

Centereach Civic Association emblem. Photo courtesy Centereach Civic Association

By Nasrin Zahed

Centereach Civic Association’s first meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 9, sought to discuss how the civic intends to conduct meetings going forward, ongoing development projects, education funding challenges and initiatives underscored by community well-being. State Assemblymen Doug Smith (R-Holbrook) and Ed Flood (R-Port Jefferson) along with Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa (C-Selden) expressed their commitment to serving Middle Country residents. Their aim to align economic interests with community welfare set the tone for collaborative efforts.

The evening kicked off with civic members addressing the merger of the Centereach Civic Association with the Selden Civic Association meetings going forward. The decision underlines a commitment to inclusivity and a desire to streamline communication channels throughout the Middle Country community. This approach aims at fostering increased participation, particularly for those members who find it challenging to commute to one central location. The dedication of the two civics to creating structured arrangements for joint sessions signifies a commitment to community engagement and a desire to address all areas their influence might reach.

Changes in meeting schedules and the strategic approach to alternating meeting locations between the Centereach Fire Department and the Selden Fire Department were discussed. 

Community member Katherine Yamaguchi took the floor to passionately discuss Contractors for Kids, her heartfelt advocacy painting a poignant picture of the organization’s unwavering commitment to supporting families in their most challenging moments. With a genuine admiration for Contractors for Kids’ mission to provide financial assistance during times of illness, injury or the tragic loss of a child, Yamaguchi eloquently described the impactful initiatives, including upcoming galas and community-driven fundraising efforts. Her narrative highlighted the organization not just as a charitable force but as a symbol of collective empathy and strength. 

The community is eagerly anticipating several upcoming development projects that promise to enhance the overall quality of life in the area. These initiatives span various sectors, including infrastructure, public safety and environmental conservation. Residents can look forward to improved road networks, upgraded drainage systems and the replacement of outdated guardrails, ensuring safer and more efficient travel. 

The commitment to restoring essential services, particularly in education and social services, reflects a dedication to the well-being of families and the broader community. Additionally, the focus on veterans initiatives, mental health services and support for Gold Star families that were discussed underscores a commitment to honoring and assisting those who have served their country. 

The civic association is set to receive a $5,000 refund in relation to the holiday seasons tree-lighting ceremony. The conversation around this financial matter involved deliberations on how to handle the refund, and led to an open discussion with the attending neighbors on how best to redistribute the funds back into the community.

Assemblymen Smith and Flood emphasized the need for increased preservation of Long Island farmland, acquiring development rights and engaging in sustainable aquaculture practices. The upcoming projects align with a vision of responsible growth that prioritizes environmental conservation. 

The assemblymen also discussed their dedication to Long Island schools and the work being done to restore and raise education budgets. With cuts being proposed throughout local school districts by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) 2024-25 budget, Smith and Flood both shared their commitment to representing communities such as Middle Country in their efforts to get state aid reinstated. The assemblymen went on to discuss how the taxes local Long Islanders pay is not proportional to the return received through state funding in necessary areas.

Overall, the Middle Country community is poised for positive transformations that will contribute to a more vibrant and inclusive future.

Pictured above, the PJSTCA executive board. File photo by Raymond Janis

By Samantha Rutt

Nearly 60 community members gathered at Comsewogue Public Library Jan. 23 for the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association meeting. The crowded gathering touched on a wide range of topics from amending and establishing new organizational bylaws, to local fire station renovations and closing with a presentation from developer group, R&M Engineering, of Huntington. 

A few noteworthy officials were in attendance, county Legislator Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), former Port Jefferson deputy mayor and state Assembly District 4 candidate Rebecca Kassay (D-Port Jefferson), and Skyler Johnson (D-Port Jefferson Station), also an Assembly D4 candidate. 

The meeting began with a brief announcement with regard to the updated bylaws of the association to be reviewed and eventually voted upon. Before the Jan. 23 meeting, the updated bylaws were posted to an online forum where members were able to voice any concerns or objections. The presentation of the amended bylaws was met with a handful of responses from attendees with concerns mainly centered around voting status. It was noted that all members in good standing, having paid dues, attended three or more meetings per year and reside in 11776 ZIP code would be eligible to vote. Additionally, comments or concerns can be placed via the online forum before the official vote sometime in March.

Following the brief presentation, civic president, Ira Costell, acknowledged the community’s representation at a recent Town of Brookhaven board meeting addressing the upcoming Staller development. 

“I want to compliment us as a community, whether we were for it or against it. I believe we held ourselves in good regard in front of the Town Board with decorum, decency and cooperation, which is the hallmark of our community,” Costell said.

The development has been a significant topic of concern for the civic in recent months. Civic member Paul Sagliocca recently filed a FOIL request and learned that 60 people sent emails with regard to the upcoming development, eight in favor and 52 with concerns or objections. 

“The town clerk gave me 60 letters, eight of them were in favor as it stands right now, 52 had concerns whether it was an objection, or they were afraid that it might be [built] too high or an influx of traffic.” Sagliocca said, “We broke down to 12% in total favor of what’s going on there, as opposed to 88% wanting some more input to get to the final product.” 

The meeting continued with another presentation from the civic association president noting the ongoing vote at the Terryville Fire Station for renovations. At the time of the meeting, the station had received nearly 200 votes. The station, originally built in 1974, is in need of repairs and updates. A plan including several updates, will be decided from the Jan. 23 vote.

“The substation on Old Town Road was originally built in 1974, now 50 years old, with the ethic and the culture of what existed 50 years ago, not what exists today,” Costell said. “Volunteers are crammed into every single inch, to the point where it could be unsafe in terms of the ability to respond and maneuver around the facility.”

Costell urged members of the community to get out and vote regardless of their chosen stance on the issue. 

“I think it would be great if we can help support them. That’s just my pitch. Feel free to take a look at the numbers and decide whether or not it’s not your cup of tea. But either way, please just let’s go out as a community and vote,” Costell urged. 

Up next on the docket, developers from R&M Engineering stood before the civic to deliver a presentation listing their proposed 45-unit development, Cordwood Estates. The development property spans 5.5 acres and will be utilized as a retirement community at the corner of Terryville Road and Old Town Road. The proposal includes a plethora of ranch-style homes, each with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a single car garage. Residents will have access to outdoor space and recreational facilities including sport courts and a pool. 

The audience took turns asking questions and listing concerns throughout the presentation addressing several topics. Among the most pressing concerns were that of traffic increase and poor location of ingress and egress points. A concerned resident took note of the proposed development’s exit points as they neighbored an already dangerous intersection. Additionally, comments were made with concerns for the existing vegetation, sewage and wastewater infrastructure as well as the affordability of the site. The proposal still has to go before the Town Board for approval. 

The next civic association meeting will be held Feb. 27. All other dates and meeting minutes information can be accessed via www.pjstca.org.

Open space across the LIRR railroad tracks in Port Jeff Station for proposed 48-unit housing development. Photo by Lynn Hallarman

By Lynn Hallarman

Monday night, Jan. 8, members of three civic associations — Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station/Terryville and Three Village — gathered to hear the case for a proposed residential housing complex adjacent to the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Port Jefferson Station. 

Hauppauge developer Jim Tsunis, managing member of Northwind Group, in front of a crowded room at the Port Jefferson Free Library, reviewed the architectural plans and concept renderings for a 48-unit multifamily development to be located on 5.6 acres of fallow farmland at 16 Baylis Ave. known as Brook Meadows. The site plan includes a clubhouse, outdoor recreational areas, a playground, barbecue pits and parking. All the units are to be two-bedroom rental apartments with eight units set aside for affordable housing. 

Ana Hozyainova, president of the Port Jefferson Civic Association, moderated the discussion. Approximately 20 audience members spoke for and against the proposed development. Present at the meeting as observers were Brookhaven Town District 1 Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook), Suffolk County Legislator Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and the recently appointed chairman of the Village of Port Jefferson Planning Board, Ray DiBiase. 

Tsunis’ site application, reviewed by the Suffolk County Planning Commission, requesting a zoning change from light industrial to residential was disapproved in October. The Brookhaven Town Planning Board will then consider the commission’s recommendation in their deliberation about the zoning change. No final decision has been made to this point in time. 

The overarching concern noted by the commission in their report was the placement of a dense residential community among several industrial properties, including proximity to the former Lawrence Aviation Industries site. The Monday night civic meeting focused on allowing community members to voice their concerns and review those cited by the commission directly with Tsunis. 

Lively discussion

Comments from the audience were predominantly about the big-picture impacts of the project on the surrounding communities, with traffic issues as the number one concern. Several residents pointed to already glutted roadways around the proposed development and intolerable spillage into neighboring residential streets of commuters, trying to find a way around a backup.

“In the last five years, you can wait through three lights if you were on Sheep Pasture Road before you get through,” Port Jeff village resident Suzette Smookler said. 

Another longtime Port Jeff resident, Mary Negra, received loud applause for her statement about the cumulative impacts of multiple housing projects over the past few years on the overall quality of life in the village. 

“Every development adds another burden, and the layer of burdening has become untenable,” she said.

A flash point for Port Jeff civic members has been the exit and entry route to the proposed development. The access, which crosses the railroad tracks, is the only way out — this single access worries civic members about how residents would escape under emergency conditions. Tsunis responded to this concern by informing the group that he is revising the plan to include a “gated emergency route” for fire trucks and ambulances. 

According to the Suffolk County Planning Commission report, this one access point flows into a residential area in Port Jefferson village, adding more stress to the intersection of Sheep Pasture Road and Route 112. The report predicts several hundred more vehicle trips per day would pose “added public inconvenience to existing and new residents.” 

Several residents voiced opinions in favor of the development. Some people viewed residential housing as a better option than using the land for light industry. Other residents expressed their desire to see the Upper Port shopping district revitalized and perceived more residential development supporting that goal. Others wanted more affordable local housing so their children can live in the area. 

Still, several residents pushed back on the notion that more housing leads to community revitalization, pointing out the incremental loss of supermarkets, hardware stores, post offices and other services as commercial areas are turned into housing. 

“Port Jefferson has lost most of its shopping. All this traffic on 112 is being pushed through to Route 347 for people [to find what they need],” another resident said. 

Kornreich told TBR News Media that the vast majority of the calls that come into his office are opposed to the addition of any new residential properties.

“Residents feel it’s hard to justify using residential units as a tool to revitalize an area which is going to just add more population and more stress to our infrastructure,” he said.

The meeting closed with a vote limited to Port Jefferson civic members to express the association’s agreement or not with the recommendation of the Suffolk County Planning Commission report  to disapprove of the zoning change. The vote came in at 14 in agreement with the disapproval of the zoning change from light industry to residential. Five votes disagreed with the decision to deny the zoning change application. One person was undecided. 

Representatives of Bicycle Path Group LLC present redevelopment plans for the property at 507 North Bicycle Path. Photo by Raymond Janis

Members of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association went back and forth Tuesday night, Dec. 19, wrestling over conditions for land development within the hamlet.

During its December meeting, the body heard presentations from two separate applicants before the Town of Brookhaven. In a show of local oversight, the civic opted to submit letters for both applicants with conditions.

Representatives of Bicycle Path Group LLC, owner of the property at 507 North Bicycle Path, presented plans to renovate a 4,000-square-foot commercial building into a medical office and construct a separate 20,000-square-foot medical office on the 2 1/2-acre parcel.

Members posed various questions surrounding architectural design, landscaping, parking and proliferation of medical office space locally.

Also before the civic Tuesday, representatives of Riverhead Building Supply explained the setbacks involved with its proposed special-use permit for a masonry showroom at the company’s newly-acquired Hallock Avenue property, seeking to bring the current facilities on-site up to code.

Civic member Jen Dzvonar, also president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, introduced a resolution to write a letter of no objection for the proposed renovations for the masonry showroom.

Lou Antoniello modified Dzvonar’s resolution, offering to issue a letter of no objection, subject to improvements to the landscaping at the entrance of the property.

Countering, Dzvonar suggested the conditional letter would place unnecessary impediments upon the local business owner: “I think to try to request exactly what plants, what trees and what flowers they’re going to be putting on their property — I mean, you don’t ask that of your neighbor,” the chamber president said.

Antoniello, however, referred to the modification as a “simple request to see somebody’s landscaping plan,” adding that it establishes a precedent for future development.

“It doesn’t mean they’re not going to come to our community and build — it doesn’t mean we’re discouraging” the property owner, he said. “Precedent is the word we should use here. So when people drive by existing businesses, they say, ‘This is what the community expects.’”

Following these deliberations, the members approved Antoniello’s conditional letter of no objection.

Returning to the proposed medical office, the body again opted to exercise its land use oversight function. The members agreed to issue a letter to the property owner, requesting tweaks to the site plan to accommodate resident concerns over architectural style and parking.

The civic will meet again on Jan. 23.

The Three Village Community Trust, the Three Village Civic Association, the North Suffolk Garden Club, the Three Village Chamber of Commerce and students and faculty at the Stony Brook School, and the Three Village Historical Society are partners in a Beautification Project at the Stony Brook Train Station.  Over the past year, significant progress has been made removing debris, weeds, and invasive plants from the landscaped beds. And a wide variety of Long Island native plants have been added to the landscaped beds.

As part of their ongoing efforts, the Stony Brook Train Station Beautification Committee invited local artist Michael Rosengard to create a unique art installation at the Station titled ‘All Aboard – Home For The Holiday.’ This outdoor work of art, located outside the front entrance of the historic Stony Brook Station House, creates a sense of wonder and whimsy to those walking or driving past the Station, highlights the history and importance of the Long Island Rail Road, celebrates the accomplishments of the Beautification Project, and helps kicks of the Holiday Season.

The community celebrated the opening of the exhibit on Monday, December 4th!

By Samantha Rutt

Three Village Civic Association held its monthly meeting at the Setauket Firehouse Monday night, Dec. 4. The meeting was well attended by members of the community and featured guest speakers, New York State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk ) and Assemblyman Ed Flood (R-Port Jefferson).

Civic president Charles Tramontana reminded the community of next Tuesday’s fire commissioner vote. The vote will be held at Setauket Fire Department Station 3 on Nicholls Road from 2-9 p.m. Anyone who is registered to vote is eligible to participate.

Palumbo and Flood updated the body on various developments in Albany, including the state budget, recent bail reform laws, community projects and wastewater infrastructure. They also took questions from the audience.

One of the foremost issues discussed was that of last week’s Brookhaven Town Board meeting, a redevelopment plan for Jefferson Plaza in Port Jefferson Station calling for adding homes to the shopping center, built about 1959. The project is set to include 280 apartments and a retail area, including a food court, gym and other shops.

Attendees addressed concerns about the potential development, urging for a more logical and in-line suburban development plan. Carolyn Sagliocca, vice president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association, attended the meeting to voice concern over the potential development. She asked for the Three Village community’s input on the matter.

“What a nightmare is happening around us,” she said. “I wanted to let everyone know that public comments are open for 30 days following the hearing.”

Monday’s civic meeting also mentioned the omission of wastewater infrastructure on recent ballots and the growing concern for a better infrastructure plan. Suffolk County Legislator-elect Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) spoke briefly on the issue.

“Sewers are a tool, they’re not the answer,” Englebright said. “If you look at what the three large sewers on the South Shore of Nassau County have created, they’ve drained the water table,” adding, “It’s a matter of, like with many things, a matter of balance.”

The meeting also included a collection of healthy canned food items for the Stony Brook Food Farmacy food pantry.

The meeting highlighted the importance of open dialogue and community engagement in addressing critical issues facing the Three Village area. The association holds monthly meetings that are open to the public. 

For more information about the Three Village Civic Association, visit its website 3vcivic.org.

In this episode, we offer live updates from Brookhaven Town Hall as the future of Jefferson Plaza in Port Jeff Station hangs in the balance. Plus, a shocking turn as a fire engulfs the Tesla Science Center in Shoreham — we unpack the latest details and discuss restoration plans. Winter sports season previews and valuable insights on managing your investments are all in one episode.

Join us for a dive into local news on The Pressroom Afterhour: Keeping it Local with TBR.

Visit tbrnewsmedia.com to read these stories and more. Follow us on:

 

Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich presents a new architectural rendering for the proposed redevelopment of Jefferson Plaza during a Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association meeting Tuesday, Nov. 28. Photo by Joan Nickeson

The Brookhaven Town Board will hear public comments on the Jefferson Plaza shopping center in Port Jefferson Station, a proposed redevelopment project with the potential to reshape the face of the hamlet and reorient its long-term trajectory.

The board will hold a public hearing Thursday, Nov. 30, to consider rezoning the 10-acre parcel, owned by Hauppauge-based Staller Associates, to a Commercial Redevelopment District, a new classification within the Zoning Code crafted “to stimulate the revitalization of abandoned, vacant or underutilized commercial shopping center, bowling alley and health club properties.” [See story, “First of its kind: Brookhaven Town Board to review new zoning category for Jefferson Plaza in Port Jeff Station,” Nov. 16, TBR News Media.]

In the runup to the public hearing, the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association held its general meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 28, to establish a set of priorities for overseeing the proposed redevelopment.

Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) attended the meeting, identifying four primary areas of concern based on feedback he has heard from the community: traffic, density, height and architecture.

Kornreich said several of those concerns could be addressed through a 35-foot cap on building height. “What I’m going to be looking for is not four stories but a maximum height of 35 feet, which is the same maximum height that you can get in any residential area,” he said.

Leaders and members of the civic association generally favored the 35-foot cap.

The councilmember stated his intention for the developer to adhere to the conditions outlined under the Zoning Code instead of pursuing variances and other relaxations of use.

Regarding architecture, Kornreich said he had consulted with the developer, advocating for “a little bit less of New Hyde Park and a little bit more of New England.” He then presented an architectural rendering of the new proposal that was received favorably by the civic.

Much of the meeting was opened up to members, who offered ideas and raised concerns. Among the issues deliberated were the potential relocation of the post office on-site, availability and diversity of retail options at the property, possible tax increases and related traffic and environmental impact.

Jennifer Dzvonar, president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, endorsed the redevelopment initiative. “It’s very blighted,” she said. “A lot of local stores are leaving there,” adding, “We want to keep expanding and revitalizing the area.”

Charlie McAteer, corresponding secretary of PJSTCA, discussed the possible community givebacks that could be offered through such redevelopment.

“We have to work on … a purchase of some open space in our hub area that’s forever wild,” he said. He added that this form of local giveback would cushion the deal for surrounding neighbors “because they’re giving us, the community, something that we would like.”

Following discussion, the body authorized PJSTCA president Ira Costell to deliver a statement Thursday night to the Town Board representing the collective views of the organization.

The public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville.