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.