Civics turn up heat; launch ‘Save Wading River’ campaign

02/24/2011 7:01 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Traffic on Route 25A in Wading River

A civic organization is launching a “major campaign” to convince the Riverhead Town Board to declare a moratorium on new commercial development along Route 25A in Wading River until a comprehensive study of the area is launched and completed.

The Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, which seeks to link environmental and civic organizations throughout the town, says it is refusing to give up on its call for such a study, even though the town Planning Board unanimously rejected Supervisor Sean Walter’s call for one in early January.

There are currently four commercial development projects proposed for Wading River, with three of them on Route 25A and the other at the Great Rock Golf Course. The four projects total 130,000 square feet of new development.

The civic coalition claims in a press release sent Wednesday that this amount of development “would destroy the hamlet economically and in terms of quality of life.”

The coalition is calling its campaign “Save Wading River” and says it will include “community education, a review of legal
options and a concerted effort to make the Town Board more accountable to the people.”

“If these projects are all built, Wading River as we know it will be utterly destroyed,” said the group’s president, Dominique Mendez. “The Town Board must declare a ‘time out’ while the impacts on home values, local businesses, traffic and quality-of-life are cumulatively assessed.”

Ms. Mendez said that since the Planning Board is not an elected board, it is less accountable to the people, which is why they are centering their efforts on influencing the Town Board.

Mr. Walter, himself a Wading River resident, has repeatedly said he is opposed to the amount of new development proposed in Wading River, but that he’s not sure what can be done. He has said he’s worried that if a developer challenges a town decision in court and wins, a judge could simply declare a project approved, as others have done in several recent cases in town.

tgannon@timesreview.com

Comments

comments

19 Comment

  • If it will bring some tax relief to our area to help pay for better schools, I am all for it.

  • Good luck with that, but it seems the almighty dollar always wins out over the quality of life of the residents and tax payers of the area.

  • Good luck with that, but it seems the almighty dollar always wins out over the quality of life of the residents and tax payers of the area.

  • Well, here we go again – the have-nots trying to stop the ones who have. Why do the ones who perhaps don’t own property always try to deny the ones who do own property the right to use the property as it’s properly zoned for. Taking property rights away is practiced in Russia. The new coalition that wants to put a moratorium on land use will only initiate a prolonged lawsuit that will end up in favor of the defendants of this ligation. Once again, the taxpayer will end up paying for this ligation through our taxes. If you are a taxpayer, you should be concerned

  • TAX RELIEF FOR THE SCHOOLS YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING.THE BUSINESSES WILL GO TO THE IDA.IF THEY DON’T RECEIVE A TAX BREAK FROM RIVERHEAD .THEY THEN GO TO THE COUNTY AND THE COUNTY WILL GIVE THE STORE AWAY …MORE OF A BREAK THAN RIVERHEAD IDA WOULD GIVE. SAD :( BUT TRUE……

  • That’s the way its always been, Riverhead Native. People like the Coalition’s president, who recently got her place in the country, want to deny everyoneone else their place in the country. To hell with property-owner rights…just like the debacle at Sound Ave and Park Road.

  • LaurieD,
    You’ve got it right as usual. Bravo! Do any of the bright lights championing the rights of the haves, truly understand the issues involved here? Big deal, bring in the CVS and the catering hall and give our unemployed residents a chance for low paying, go nowhere jobs at the expense of what is perceived as outsiders who now live in the community, pay taxes and came here to find a better way of life to have it all destroyed by the insiders who stand to make a handsome profit from developers. Long Island is the most expensive areas in the nation, and one of the reasons is the never ending business tax breaks doled out which are supposed to lure business here and provide jobs for people. Would you like to work for $7.00 per hour, no benefits, etc. or be a corporate exec of the same company earning $700K with full benefits, stock options,profit sharing a generous pension guaranteed by an ironclad contract? No brainer. Bring in a manufacturing company for green energy, computer science, social services,training organizations to equip people for better paying jobs. Encourage local fledgling industries by providing them with tax breaks instead of corporate giants that don’t need it. In the meantime, look beyond the greed factor and try to some good for your fellow man and woman

  • One might consider moving upstate where it will forever be rual and poor and you can have all the open space you want forever. It would only be a 30-40 min dive in your Prius to get milk (unless you own a cow).

  • So based on your opinion, residents that have little to no education don’t deserve to have jobs? Are you making light of people that work for min wage? Must be nice to be sitting in your castle casting judgement. This sounds eerily close to the Civic Assoc President’s speech. Self appointed representative of the neighborhood, what a joke! Instead of seeing everything as a problem, why don’t you offer a solution. Perhaps you like seeing schools cut teaching jobs, classrooms getting larger and children receiving a sub par education. Hey, worked for you right?

  • I find it funny that this woman is allowed to spew her misinformation in the papers and get away with it. I wonder if she shops in Riverhead? Residents there “lost their peace and quiet” when developing of 58 happened. Not in her backyard, that’s very apparent. But it’s ok in other areas. Let’s face facts, Riverhead is close to broke. Without development and more tax revenues, how are you planning on generating the much needed money to fund the infrastructure?

  • Laurie D, why are you screaming? Anyways, how about a solution to the financial problems facing the town? Nothing to offer? Wow, that’s a shocker. You people come on here to rant and rave but offer no viable solutions. Nobody wants development in their towns but yet everyone wants great schools, clear, safe roadways and low taxes. Just waive your magic wand and maybe some money will appear in the bank account. I would love for all you naysayers to go into the unemployment office and preach to the people in line. Make sure you tell them that there are plans in the works to create local jobs but that you are against them because you want Wading River to remain a desolate, dreery place to live. Also be sure to point out that if the development doesn’t happen here, it will happen somewhere else, but not close enough for them to work. I’m sure they would love to hear your sob story.

  • Just curious after re-reading your post, what corporate giants are involved in these development plans? Kenny Berra who has operated an excellent addition to the neighborhood? Great Rock Golf who is owned by local men and maintain a great eatery option for the area and increase home values on the property? Or the other guy that has been trying to develop land he has owned for the past 15 years? Just curious of the corporate giants that will be coming in to ruin your picnic.

  • Just curious after re-reading your post, what corporate giants are involved in these development plans? Kenny Berra who has operated an excellent addition to the neighborhood? Great Rock Golf who is owned by local men and maintain a great eatery option for the area and increase home values on the property? Or the other guy that has been trying to develop land he has owned for the past 15 years? Just curious of the corporate giants that will be coming in to ruin your picnic.

  • Laurie is correct. There will be no tax increase to offset the schools because the town will give away tax credits, like they did with the new hotel and the aquarium. It will be another 10 years till the aquarium pays taxes and 10 for the hotel. We do not need any more $8 an hour jobs. We have plenty of them. We need real jobs so that people can pay the horrendous taxes in the town of Riverhead. You have a huge disparity, where the people making an average of 46,000 per HOUSEHOLD are supporting teachers earning over 100,000, and 8 assistant superintendents earning over 170,000. Viable solutions? It isn’t a racetrack, as some people would like. We need research jobs, skilled labor jobs, white collar jobs.

  • You believe that a motorsports park is not a viable solution??Every survey taken in the last 5 years overwelmingly supported a motorsports park.Many examples of race facilities that were built in NJ,FLA,NC and I can keep going. have become large tax dollar printing machines
    producing MILLIONS of $$$$ in sales tax for thier counties.The large influx of people coming to theses venues also support the hotels,resturants,supermarkets,gas stations and many other retail stores.If you people take your BLINDERS off you could see that the property where fighter jets were a regular sound could save Riverhead town from bankruptcy.And YES,I am a proud member of LIMA!!!

  • As far as I see it, it’s not the have-nots trying to stop the ones that have. I also don’t see this as an issue of curtailing or limiting property rights.

    This concerns issues of zoning (what was intended and understood by the community prior to the unexplainable last-minute changes from what was originally recommended by the Final Draft Master Plan), the community’s quality-of-life, proper land use and land planning, traffic and safety issues and a scrutiny of the developers’ commitment to the betterment of the community through the creation of quality, permanent jobs and the establishment of shops & businesses that truly serve the existing residents’ needs and not solely a transient clientele with no ties to the area.

  • If the zoning says something is allowed, and the development complies with the zoning, it should be allowed. Commercial development is good for all of us in the town. Commercial development reduces the burden on homeowners to pay for schools, etc. However, in order for commercial development to genuinely help all the people in our town, there should be no tax breaks! Make them pay. If a project is not economically viable while paying taxes, then it should not be built, with the possible exception of providing high paying jobs.

  • Gary, GREAT PHOTOS ! Not just this game but for all the photos of the Mattituck sports teams you have taken and shared.