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Long IslandTowns

Mastic Beach makes it easier to renovate residences

Mastic Beach homeowners will no longer have to go before the village planning board for permission to renovate their residences, some of which were damaged in superstorm Sandy.

The village trustee board, in a 5-0 Tuesday night decision, voted to streamline the process for revamping single-family homes, which had included meeting with the planning board for site development plans.

"The village zoning code was only adopted a few years ago. And at the time of adoption, I cautioned that we were going to amend and adjust this code to the realities of our operations," village attorney Brian Egan said during the meeting.

Mastic Beach was formed four years ago, and officials said they are still ironing out the governmental wrinkles.

"The planning board has worked hard on trying to make village procedures much more citizen-friendly, especially in our recovery from superstorm Sandy," Egan said.

More than 60 residents attended Tuesday's meeting. None opposed the change.

Single-family home renovations, rehabilitations or enlargements must still go before the zoning board if a variance is needed, village officials said. Residents constructing new homes must still go before the planning board.

The village board passed the amendment but did not discuss the topic at the meeting.

Village Mayor Bill Biondi did not return phone calls.

Village officials said streamlining the process saves money and time for residents who would otherwise apply for a building permit plus attend public hearings and wait for a decision.

"There's a bit of time [involved], and the planning board felt it could be eliminated," Egan said.

Effective immediately, the building department can assess the permit and approve renovations if warranted. "We're removing that one layer [of government] to streamline the process," Egan said.

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