McKeown sisters at Beaver Dam Creek and South Country road

Brookhaven & South Haven Hamlets

Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York

Brookhaven/South Haven Hamlets Study

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Chapter IV: Land Use in the Hamlet

1. Guiding principles – Brookhaven Village Association Zoning and Development Policy

Brookhaven Hamlet lies entirely within the Brookhaven Town-defined Critical Environmental Area, and much of the Hamlet is within the New York State-defined coastal area. We are also the largest historic district (settled in 1678) in Brookhaven Town. See Plate 2.

The Brookhaven Village Association believes that the pastoral, semi-rural character of the community is one of its most important assets. Another is its water resources: Bordered on the east by the wild and scenic Carmans River and on the south by the Great South Bay, and with the mostly protected 2.5-mile-long Beaver Dam Creek running through the middle, our Hamlet is surrounded by a wetlands environment. We believe that any development that takes place within the Hamlet should preserve these assets as much as possible,


The BVA’s comments on any proposed development will be based on the following criteria which are designed to further that above aim:

bullet Wetlands. No development should take place on wetlands, either construction of buildings or any kind of fill. Existing filled wetlands should be restored. State and Town wetland laws should be strictly enforced, particularly provisions pertaining to setbacks from wetlands. Furthermore, if proposed developments contain wetlands, these wetlands should not be included in yield calculation and no wetlands should be destroyed in exchange for the creation of other wetlands.
bullet Agricultural property. The BVA encourages the continuation of agricultural use of farmland within the Hamlet. We would like to encourage farmers who have decided to sell or develop their land to first meet with groups such as the Peconic Land Trust who can council farm owners on ways to preserve open land while still having the same economic results. We also encourage farmers to look into Suffolk County’s Farm Preservation program, in which they could sell development rights to the County,
bullet Trees. Strict adherence to the Brookhaven Town Tree Law, which requires a permit to remove trees from all commercial and industrial property and residential parcels in excess of two acres.
bullet Roadways. In order to preserve the rural character of the Hamlet we wish to avoid wide roads with curbing. Because the Hamlet is an historic district, developers have the option to go either with the standard 50-foot-wide road and curbs or with country lanes, such as the ones we presently have. We also feel that street lights are not in keeping with the rural character of the community.

Voted on each year since 1988 by the Board of Management. The above version was voted on April 2, 1995.