2 Suffolk communities fight development of Gyrodyne property

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Residents from two neighboring communities are joining to voice their opposition to the development of the Gyrodyne property.

Developer Gyrodyne wants to develop the 75-acre property in St. James to build businesses, a hotel and assisted living facilities.

Herb Mones, of the Three Village Civic Association, says residents are the ones who are going to pay the price for the project. He says Smithtown and Stony Brook have joined forces to fight the development.

Gyrodyne was once a defense contractor that produced drone helicopters for the military. That has James Bouklas, of the We are Smithtown Civic Group, worried.

"This is a defense manufacturer from the '50s, '60s and '70s before we had strong environmental standards," says Bouklas. "We've seen across Long Island and across the country that these types of defense manufacturers left toxic chemicals in their wake."

Bouklas wants a more comprehensive environmental study done.

The town of Smithtown issued a statement to News 12 saying, "It's continuing its analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the Gyrodyne project according to state law."

The CEO of Gyrodyne tells News 12 that not developing the land isn't an option. He says he's been working closely with the community to build something that everyone can benefit from.

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