Shirley residents should soon have some visual relief, as the New York Department of Transportation has promised to have the property visible from Sunrise Highway, which was recently littered with dumped boats, cleaned up.
“The Department of Transportation has been in touch with the owner of these illegally stored items and issued a timeline for their removal,” said NYSDOT spokesperson Stephen Canzoneri.
A few months ago, Town of Brookhaven supervisor Ed Romaine reported the discovery of several private boats on New York State Department of Transportation property located at the end of Maple Avenue in Shirley.
The lot is littered with at least 20 boats, Romaine explained, also noting that the town was able to write tickets and have a few of the boats on neighboring town property removed. Last month, the NYSDOT responded for comment about the situation, noting that they were aware of the property concern and were working to resolve the issue.
The property is fenced and marked with “No Trespassing” signs and several trees. Behind the trees, numerous boats, cars, trailers, and related equipment were dumped on the property.
According to the Town of Brookhaven, the parcel is zoned A-1 and the storage of such is a non-permitted use. Romaine’s major concern with the dumping is that is has become home to a homeless encampment.
“It’s a quality-of-life issue and just because it’s a moderate to low-income area, they don’t care,” he said of the NYSDOT’s inefficiency of clearing up their property last month. “This is shameful.”
According to the NYSDOT, they have surveyed the property and spoken to the adjoining residential property owners in an attempt to identify the owner of the unauthorized stored materials. Additionally, a sign was posted on the property giving the owner of the boats until Feb. 28 to remove them.
Soon after the sign was posted, a lawyer contacted the NYSDOT stating his client will be removing their private property from the area with a detailed timetable for the actions, the NYSDOT recently wrote in a letter addressed to Romaine. Even still, after 60 days, if the owner does not comply, the NYSDOT said they will work with the New York State Attorney General’s Office on formal eviction proceedings.
However, Romaine pointed out that it is March and the boats are still there, and that giving the owner of the dumped boats 60 days is “unacceptable,” he added.
“They don’t want to do the work needed; they are not community friendly,” Romaine added, demanding the NYSDOT remove the boats from their property immediately. “The boats are on your property—get the job done.”
Since the boats have still not been removed, Romaine added, he will be reaching out to the NYS Comptroller’s Office and Governor’s Office for action.
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