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Brookhaven sets hearing on demolishing abandoned Ridge Motel

A view of the interior courtyard of the

A view of the interior courtyard of the Ridge Motel on Route 25 in Ridge which has been abandoned for a decade on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016 Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Brookhaven Town officials have set a public hearing for later this month to demolish the vacant Ridge Motel.

The decision to hold a hearing was held Tuesday night at the town board’s first meeting of the year.

Town inspectors on Dec. 28 determined the two-story brick structure on Route 25 was unsafe. The public hearing will be at Town Hall on Jan. 24.

The abandoned motel, which is owned by Suffolk County, is deteriorating and has become home to squatters, town officials have said. Civic leaders say they have been asking the county for the past year to knock down the building.

In November, Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine sent a letter to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone calling for the motel to be torn down. Brookhaven condemned the property in 2010.

Suffolk officials said they took control of the property through a tax default on Feb. 26, 2015.

However, officials said, county code allowed the motel owner to file a hardship application to pay the back taxes and keep title to the property. The hardship application is under review by the county.

County officials have said the former owner, who has not been publicly identified, is willing to sell the property and said someone wanted to purchase it.

County spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter said in an interview last month that officials have to follow procedures that allowed the property owner to pay back taxes and keep the motel.

“First and foremost, we want to collect the taxes,” she said.

Town officials said the building has created a hardship for nearby residents and business owners.

The four-acre parcel is located in the pine barrens adjacent to Brookhaven State Park and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation preserved property.

“Non-action by the county has made a bad situation much worse and the only solution is to demolish this building and clean up the property,” town Councilwoman Jane Bonner said in a statement last month. “I . . . will keep the pressure on the county until they knock down this eyesore.”

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