On Thursday, May 19, the Mastic Park Civic Association held a meeting, with town councilman Dan Panico in attendance, to answer community questions and update residents about the latest news from the town.
Panico noted that the town is continuing to crack down on so-called “zombie homes.”
“We want to see owner-occupied properties,” Panico said. “We want to see people with pride and improve the overall aesthetic in the area.”
He said that most recently, the town was able to convince two property owners on Neighborhood Road in Mastic Beach to take down their buildings, which were dilapidated and decrepit. One was the old Mommylou’s Cheesecake at 399 Neighborhood Road and the other was the remainder of a foundation from a building that was blown up by a propane explosion. Panico said the owner excavated the foundation of the building and also took down the adjoining building that connected to the foundation.
Panico also spoke about the revitalization of Mastic Beach, where he grew up.
“Mastic Beach is an area where we are going to be seeing hopefully and very potentially a great change to the area,” Panico said.
Beechwood Homes has been brought on by the town board as the master developer for the revitalization of downtown Mastic Beach. Panico noted that the next step for the town would be to enter a memorandum of understanding with the developer. The developer will then go out and put together plans and proposals for what Panico said was “most of Neighborhood Road.” Beechwood Homes has communities and mixed-use retail locations across Long Island.
Illegal dumping is a tremendous issue in the area that Panico addressed, and he said it’s hard to put a finger on the exact reason why people litter.
“Most of the things that we find dumped along the roadside, if you put it in front of your house the garbage men will pick it up,” Panico said. “It’s a bizarre thing, but we’re constantly combating it.”
Panico addressed the clearing on the expressway to the west of the Suffolk County farm that is roughly 300 acres. The land was Suffolk County property and was sold about a decade ago to private developer BRT. Panico said that BRT then sold the property to Kansas City-based Northpoint Development and that Northpoint is going to be building 2.5 million square feet of industrial warehouse on the site.
During the question-and-answer portion of the meeting, many residents brought up the traffic on Mastic Road.
“The traffic here is horrendous,” Panico noted. “There’s no other word for it.”
Panico also explained that the town is still in litigation with the railroads for additional at-grade crossings over the tracks between Mastic Road and William Floyd Parkway. He noted that the railroad wants an overpass or underpass built, but the question is who’s going to pay for it. Some community members brought up making Mastic Road wider in some areas, but Panico said that the town looked at “everything” but that widening areas would create bottlenecks at the pinch points where the road narrows again
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