A Suffolk Supreme Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the Track Gas Station in Mastic Beach, prohibiting the company from operating an illegal taxi cab service and junkyard, according to court records.
Judge Denise F. Molia granted the order Aug. 5 on behalf of plaintiff Brookhaven Town after Five Corners LTD, owner of the gas station, failed to comply with a plea agreement made last year in a lower court to stop the operations, according to town officials and records.
“We’ve been actively pursuing the violations at the Track Gas Station ever since the dissolution of Mastic Beach,” said Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico, who represents the district.
He added that the property on Neighborhood Road has long been an eyesore and a blight problem.
For more than a year, town officials argued with Five Corners in Suffolk County District Court about the compliance violations, town officials said.
“The Track property has been noncompliant for many years, and they’ve chosen to disregard the code violations that were issued to them," Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a statement. "We have provided the owners with more than enough time to fix the problems, but they have forced our hand to take action. I expect them to do the right thing and address the violations and clean up this blight as soon as possible.”
Other violations at the site were having unregistered vehicles, debris and scrap metal, town officials said.
The district case last year ended with Five Corners agreeing to pay a $5,000 fine and cease operations of the cap service and junkyard, town officials said. But the company never paid the fine and only stopped both operations after Brookhaven filed a subsequent lawsuit.
“I’m not sure why they didn’t. My client didn’t comply with the conditions, which prompted the suit,” said Patchogue attorney Larry Davis, who is representing Five Corners. “We are working diligently with the town. The cab service is gone. The site has been cleaned up.”
Brookhaven Town officials have made it a focus this year to revitalize the former Village of Mastic Beach, but admitted the plan is likely years from coming to fruition.
Officials this summer hired an engineering firm to conduct a comprehensive blight study of Neighborhood Road, the main artery of the unincorporated municipality. The hamlet has shown signs of revitalization since it disbanded, as the town cracked down on code violations and ran a marketing campaign describing the area as a "diamond in the rough." In addition, a $9.5 million ambulance headquarters opened in September to anchor downtown.
The lawsuit is ongoing.