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Town OKs land purchase to protect Carmans River

The quiet hamlet of Yaphank on July 12,

The quiet hamlet of Yaphank on July 12, 2011. The community in Brookhaven Town was settled in 1726. It was a booming mill town in the 1850s, according to historian Karen Mouzakes, and is home to a collection of historic homes, including the Homan-Gerard House and the Robert Hewlett Hawkins House, both on Yaphank Ave., and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Main Street. The Carmans River runs along the community. Credit: Carl Corry

The Brookhaven Town Board has approved the purchase of nearly 200 acres of undeveloped land in Yaphank as part of the Carmans River conservation plan.
Among the acquisitions is a planned joint purchase by the town and Suffolk County of 171 acres owned by developer AvalonBay Communities Inc. on the north side of Mill Road, near Doral Lane. Brookhaven and the county are to split the $8.09 million purchase price.

The town also has agreed to pay $1.43 million to buy a 17.35-acre property owned by homeowners on Mill Road at Garden Lane. The homeowners had bought the land about 30 years ago to protect it from development, town officials said.

“The acquisition of more than 17 acres of land located on Mill Road in Yaphank represents the latest addition of properties which will remain forever wild and insure that the Carmans River remains one of the jewels of the Town of Brookhaven,” Councilwoman Connie Kepert, who represents Yaphank, said in a statement.

Funds for the purchases would come from a special fund to buy land in the fragile Carmans River watershed, which runs 10 miles from Middle Island to Great South Bay. The town board last year approved a plan to preserve land in the watershed by buying undeveloped properties and imposing more restrictive zoning along the river.


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