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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6. Use of Open Space between Montauk and Sunrise Highways from Varney’s Restaurant to Old Town Road.

The one-mile stretch of Montauk Highway between Cemetery Road and Old Town Road in Brookhaven Hamlet is a rare remaining example of old Long Island highway vista, with forest on the north and the railroad running parallel to it on the south. The area between Montauk and Sunrise Highways, almost completely forested, is perhaps the most difficult in our study area to address, and it should be noted that most of this land is in County and Town hands. The land is too close to the Landfill to recommend housing and too environmentally sensitive for industrial use. Its best use is exactly what it is now – - a natural buffer between civilization and the landfill. Much of this land is already publicly owned, and we recommend that the Town and County continue acquiring parcels in this area, either through tax defaults or outright acquisition.

However, there is one current use in this area that does seem appropriate – the Oaklawn Cemetery. The subject of future land use was brought up at the Oaklawn Cemetery Association’s June 12, 1995, meeting, and their board of directors voted unanimously to include in this report a recommendation that future land use planning for the area from Cemetery Road eastward, be considered for cemetery use. We would like to recommend that an effort be made to consolidate all the public land between Montauk and Sunrise Highways, from Cemetery Road to Carnegie Avenue (paper street), and use TDRs to swap this land with privately held land in the headwaters section of the Beaver Dam Creek, including the Fire Department property and the above-mentioned 9.5-acre parcel straddling the headwaters of the creek. The Post Morrow Foundation has expressed an interest in helping with this endeavor and perhaps with future management of this land.

7. Brook Store

For 180 years a landmark in Brookhaven, the Brook Store is located on the Beaver Dam Creek along South Country Road. The original store was opened in 1815 by Elizabeth Ellison and, for the last century, was alternately known as Valentine’s or the Brook Store. Until the 1970s the Post Office was in a part of the building, which also at one time or other had in it a barber shop, general store, liquor store and boarders.

The Brook Store is located on the only J2-zoned piece of property along South Country Road between Bellport Village and the business district at the end of South Country Road near Montauk Highway. We recommend that this be rezoned to Al, which would be compatible with surrounding land use as well as appropriate for stream corridor protection objectives, and would help protect this historic structure. However, the current owner, Linda Majowka, said that she had successfully fought off such an attempt by the town in 1987. Majowka, while sympathetic to concerns about stream corridor protection, said that there was no reason to rezone since there are regulatory agencies that would prevent the Brook Store from future inappropriate use. She cited as an example the recent denial of her request to sell ice cream.