Residents brought feedback on the Ronkonkoma Hub project to Thursday’s public hearing at Brookhaven Town Hall in Farmingville
The public, whom filled the auditorium to capacity, had a mix of positive and negative reactions throughout the nearly three-hour public hearing on a proposed $475 million development that could bring a mix residential, commercial, hospitality, retail and entertainment among other possible uses to the Ronkonkoma train station area.
The project and its concept photos were presented, which are also available on Brookhaven’s website. Supervisor Edward Romaine emphasized both that no votes were taking place at the hearing, and that eminent domain, which some business owners were concerned about, is not currently taking place.
Most of those speaking during the public comment section offered support of the project.
Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce president Denise Schwarz said that the chamber is supporting the development, as long as those owning property in the area are given fair compensation.
“The chamber feels that the project would only brighten our way of living, and give new opportunities to residents and businesses that want to call Ronkonkoma home,” Schwarz said.
A few residents felt the project could keep young adults on Long Island, who they say are leaving due to a lack of places to live.
However, increased capacity and potential traffic issues were cited as a concern toward the project.
“The density of this project is off the charts,” Bruce Edwards of Ronkonkoma’s Islip side said. “I would like to see a more reasonable density.”
Edwards also said that more involvement and planning needs to be done on the Islip Town side of the project, calling current studies that did not include it “incomplete and faulty.”
Two residents, one a 70-year-old retiree and the other who owns a dental business, both said they chose their property to specifically live and work near the train station, and now face possible relocation due to the project.
After the meeting Romaine told Patch that while the overwhelming number of those speaking were positive, the concerns that were brought up by a number of residents are going to be looked at by the consultants.
Councilman Tim Mazzei, whose coverage area covers the Ronkonkoma Hub, also noted the positive reactions, and that there are areas to still work on.
“I think the traffic and parking concerns are legitimate concerns, and we are going to talk to our planning department about that and talk to Tritec about that and hopefully work on that a little bit better,” Mazzei said.
Romaine also said he would be happy to work with Islip Town if they have any concerns with the project, noting that Islip Town has the Serota Builders’ Islip Pines project currently in discussions that also borders Brookhaven Town.
What are your thoughts on the Ronkonkoma Hub project? Did you attend the hearing, and if so what did you think of the public hearing? Talk about it in the comments below this post.