Town Targets Sun Ming For Blight Sanctions

A hearing to weigh whether the former Sun Ming restaurant, pictured Monday, should be added to the town’s blight registry is coming up in March.

A hearing to weigh whether the former Sun Ming restaurant, pictured Monday, should be added to the town’s blight registry is coming up in March.

What once was a popular Chinese dining destination on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington near Melville may soon be a destination for a town-mandated clean-up crew.

Huntington’s town board will consider on March 10 whether to declare the home of the former Sun Ming Restaurant, located at 1000 West Jericho Turnpike, a blighted property under town code.

The restaurant, located at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Round Swamp Road, has been closed for several years, and the building has since fallen into disrepair; it is boarded up, overgrown and tagged with graffiti.

Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland, who sponsored the initial blight code, is also leading the charge on this upcoming resolution to add Sun Ming to the list.

In December, the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals rejected a proposal to convert the Sun Ming property into a mixed-use building with six apartments above a retail store. The board ruled that the applicant, architect Edward Dickman, failed to provide adequate proof to warrant a special use permit and variances, criticized proposed traffic flow at the site and said the plan was out of character for the neighborhood.

Alissa Taff, president of the Civic Association of Sweet Hollow, said she supports the town’s push to clean up the property.

“You should have to keep it up to code until you sell it… They should be responsible for maintaining it like anybody else,” she said.

The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall.

Registering a blighted residential property costs $2,500 per year; for a commercial property, the fee is $5,000. Those cited can enter an agreement with the town to remedy code violations; if those fail, the town has the power to come in and clean the property up themselves and bill the property owner.


Anti-Blight Law Nets Beautification Funds, Too

As the Huntington Town Board set the wheels in motion toward addressing an eyesore on West Jericho Turnpike, they also on the same day created a new way to finance the beautification of deteriorating parcels.

The town board on Feb. 10 unanimously approved earmarking for a beautification fund $1,500 of the fee assessed each time a property is registered on the town blight list.

Those uses could include: beautifying public space through plantings, infrastructure improvements, fencing, public art, other architectural features, installing lighting and surveillance cameras, environmentally friendly infrastructure upgrades, efforts to remove and discourage graffiti, and remediating environmentally challenged public properties.

Registering a blighted residential property costs $2,500 per year; for a commercial property, the fee is $5,000.

The beautification fund will be governed by a committee consisting of the town comptroller, the director of the Department of Planning and Environment, the town engineer, the town’s chief sustainability officer and the intergovernmental relations coordinator, or a representative of each. That committee will report its findings and recommendations to the town board and will have the power to apply for grants in addition to the finances from the blight registry fee carve-outs.