Movement Forming to Preserve Open Land Near Highlands

Petitioning to save open space near condominiums in Upper Port Jeff.

Residents of the Highlands at Port Jefferson have taken up the charge of saving the six-acres of open space near the condominium complex that belongs to the village by forming a grassroots movement calling itself “Highland Park.”

Kathleen Riley, a resident of the Highland condominium complex in the village, showed up at the village board meeting on Feb. 6 to read a statement imploring the mayor and board of trustees to take actions to preserve the space as parkland.

“Because I have such faith, and trust in all of you, that you hold the best interest of this village in the highest regard, I have little doubt that you will act on this request with caring, diligence and dispatch,” she said.

Riley was joined by another resident, Christina Giacomazza-Yost, near the Port Jefferson Library recently to gather signatures, on a petition supporting their effort and making sure the village got the message, according to a report on the Port Times Record's website._

According to village attorney Barry Warren, Port Jefferson has already started looking into recording the property as dedicated parkland.

“I’ve been directed by the mayor to look into whatever steps needed to make that property parkland in perpetuity,” he said.

Mayor Margot Garant said that the village will not make any decisions until they receive a report from Warren. At the meeting, Warren assured residents that if the village decided to do so a recording can be completed “a matter of months not a matter of years.”

rosario romano February 18, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I remember that this parcel was given to the village to ease the approval process for the Highlands and discussion then was for such things as a swimming pool which was not a feature at the Country Club. An Arts Center was also discussed. Leaving it as open undeveloped land was never a topic at that time. Besides with all the complaints of loitering around that area wouldn't a development of this area help limit this problem? R Romano
BillLongisland February 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM
I feel this is a ruse by the Highlands to "save" or "put aside" this property for future use. Someone has some plans "cooking" other than "saving it". It's a common "trick" in this area, to use "High and Mighty" words to conceal True Motives about land use. These "Tricksters" want to put this land parcel in the back of the collective Public Mind and discussion, so they can "sneak something through" at a decent interval of time. Land is still a very valuable commodity in this locality, whether it be in an incorporated village like PJ, or in the "free for all" land market of Brookhaven. If past is prologue, you can bet someone has "Commercial Designs" on this property.
diamond February 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Village residents should support the village residents who are standing out in the cold to have us sign the petition. This is the best way to preserve the open space that is constantly trying to be developed. Mr. Tsunis has proposed a land swap that is not in the best interest of the residents. Our Mayor and Boasrd whos major concern is the Commercial District. Would junp to the swap if the pot was sweetened.Barry Warren Dosent have to take 4 to 5 weeks to find out what has to be done,he has known all along, this is a stall tactic by the mayor and her Board. The resxidents of this village have to wake up, go to meetings, ask questions before it is too late. Diamond


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