Blue Point could soon be home to one of the largest open areas in Brookhaven Town as a councilman is advocating a town purchase of 17 acres along Maple Street, once known as the Kurt Weiss Greenhouse/Scro property.
But while most residents favor a park effort, not all are in agreement to the exact type of park should be created. The Blue Point Civic Association is holding an informational meeting on November 13 at the James Wilson Young Middle School, beginning at 7 p.m., to discuss why the site should be an ‘active’ park rather than a ‘passive’ park.
Initially the land was going to be bought from the current owner by both Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town with potential use as an ‘active’ park, which could include a skateboard park, playing fields, a community garden area, a concert gazebo, memorial garden, walking and biking paths and even a community center.
But then Brookhaven Town Councilman Tim Mazzei spearheaded a town-only effort for Brookhaven to buy the land using open space funds. Such use will only allow a ‘passive’ park which could feature walking trails and possibly a gazebo and benches.
“The residents told me they don’t want skateboard parks and favor a passive park,” Mazzei told Patch in a phone interview, adding he hopes to have signed contracts within two months and have the park open by next Spring.
“I was also concerned about whether the county would have the funds to do the park purchase and create and maintain the park,” he added.
Suffolk Legislator Rob Calarco, who was heading up the county’s role in the initial park partnership, commended Mazzei’s action.
“I applaud him for doing this,” Caralco told Patch in a phone interview.
But not everyone is happy with Mazzei’s decision. Blue Point Civic Association President Ed Silsbie said his group has very supportive of the ‘active’ parkland partnership effort and has been involved for years working toward ‘good outcome’.
Mazzei's resolution move caught the group off guard, he said, and shut out from the new project effort.
“We learned the town passed a walk-on resolution (an off-the-agenda resolution) to pull the purchase out of the county's hands and buy it as open space. We've asked for information and participation in the process, we have been told to stay out,” he told Patch in an email. “Looking at the project so far we feel that a real park is better than 17 bulldozed acres with a walking path."
He said the park has the potential to be as successful as the Heritage Center park in Mt. Sinai, which is a two-decade joint effort by the county, town and a property trust organization. The site boasts a community center, playing fields, walking path, a play ground, and ornamental gardens.
“We acknowledge today's economics will not build much. Our government found the money to buy it, they can also find a way to hold the land until we can design/build a park,” he wrote, noting he believes most residents don't want a 'passive' park.
“The BPCCA understands that much of our community would like an active park. Buying it as open space cancels any future ability to meet that desire.”