Chapter I: Introduction
Carrying out the Hamlet Study
This study began in March 1995, with a letter from Councilman Felix Grucci to Tom Ludlam, President of the Brookhaven Village Association, inviting the BVA to participate in the program of hamlet studies being carried out under the direction of Dr. Lee Koppleman, the Town’s planning consultant. We determined early on that the study should include not just the Brookhaven hamlet, but also the adjacent hamlet of South Haven, as the two hamlets share similar community concerns and historical background, and together form a naturally contiguous ecological unit. Thus, the boundaries of the study area have been defined to extend from the Bellport Village line on the west to the Carmans River on the east, and from the Great South Bay on the south to the Sunrise Highway on the north.
At a meeting in May with the BVA Board and other representatives of the study area, Dr. Koppelman made clear the primary objectives of the Hamlet Studies. They provide an opportunity, and a challenge for residents to focus on what it is that makes their communities unique: to define each community’s vision of itself 5, 10, … 50 years into the future, and to determine the highest priority elements for each community in a long-term plan – a plan that will guide the Town in decisions on zoning, residential and commercial development, public services, infrastructure of streets and highways, etc.
In the months since then, the BVA, South Haven Civic Association, Post Morrow Foundation and other interested members of the community have been meeting regularly to study the area’s demographics, history and economics, while reviewing zoning and land use, and soliciting community input on a wide variety of issues concerning our study area. In June, we mailed questionnaires to all households in the 11719 zip code area (which coincides nearly exactly with our study area), soliciting responses from the entire community on the core issues of this study. We received 120 replies (a 10% response) to our 23 questions, with more than 80 people adding written comments. The questionnaire, with a tabulation of the responses and a sampling of the written comments, is given in Appendixes A and B to this report,
In mid-June, after the questionnaire had been distributed, the annual General Meeting of the Brookhaven Village Association served as a forum for further public discussion, with about 70 people attending. In general, we have found widespread support within the community for the effort that has gone into this study, and we believe that there is a strong consensus of agreement with the tenor of this report, the selection of issues to be addressed, and the priorities reflected in our recommendations.