On Thursday January 17th Legislator Sunderman’s Resolution 1157-2018, A Local Law to Preserve Open Space in the Mastic/Shirley Conservation Area was signed into law. This resolution will protect flood prone areas against future flooding and storm damage by creating more open space within the designated conservation zone. “This is a great step forward for the Tri-Hamlet community.” stated Legislator Sunderman “Superstorm Sandy devastated our area and this resolution will help to alleviate these problems in the future”.
This resolution specifically addressed instances where Suffolk County acquires property because of failure to pay taxes. If these acquired properties are within the Mastic/Shirley Conservation area as identified by the Suffolk County Master Plan, than these properties will not be sold at auctions but rather preserved. If there are structures on these properties, they will be demolished and the property will be rehabilitated returning it to open space in an effort to restore the coastal marshes.
Since the recession of 2009 and then later the devastation that was caused by Superstorm Sandy, there is a proliferation of zombie properties throughout all of Suffolk County. This resolution is one way in which Legislator Sunderman is addressing the issue of vacant derelict houses while also preserving open space within a designated Mastic/Shirley conservation zone.
Legislator Sunderman worked diligently alongside the Town of Brookhaven to develop an Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) to deal with the demolition of structures on improved parcels. Through this IMA if the acquired property has a structure, the Town of Brookhaven has agreed to work with Suffolk County to perform the demolition. “This is another great example of multiple levels of Government coming together to work in the best interests of our constituents.” Said Sunderman.
There are many areas within the Mastic Beach and Shirley communities in low lying wetlands with high water tables that have been built upon in the past. During times of severe weather such as Superstorm Sandy or more recent nor’easters, serious flooding has occurred within these areas of the community. Past development in the wetlands prevents the tidal marshes from acting as a natural sponge and soaking up the excess water causing flooding to many properties. This resolution seeks to protect the low lying areas to help restore the wetlands to open space so they can once again act as functional marshes. “I would like to thank my fellow Legislators, the County Executive, and the Town of Brookhaven for their support of this important legislation. This is a step in the right direction to protect my community from future flooding.” said Legislator Sunderman.