The Riverhead Town Board has decided informally to enter into a professional services agreement with a consultant to study zoning and land use along Route 25A in Wading River, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.
The town has been under pressure from civic organizations to restudy the zoning in that area in the wake of four large commercial development projects recently proposed in Wading River, with three of them on Route 25A.
The Town Board met with Frank Fish of BFJ Planning in open session at last Thursday’s work session to discuss the study in general, and then later in closed, executive session to discuss the cost of the study.
Mr. Walter said on Friday that the study will cost about $42,000 and will be limited to commercial uses in the Wading River Route 25A corridor.
BFJ Planning also did a Route 25A Corridor Study in Brookhaven Town, stretching from Wading River to Mount Sinai.
“We will pay them about $42,000 to do the visioning, the environmental work, and to help us write zoning,” Mr. Walter said Friday. “The visioning will consist of meeting with property owners and residents and try to really solidify what it is that works in Wading River.”
The board is expected to formally hire BFJ Planning at its next meeting on Wednesday, July 6, which is a 2 p.m. meeting.
Representatives of the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, the Wading River Civic Association, the North Fork Environmental Council and the Group for the East End have not only called for a study, but also for a moratorium on processing existing development applications in this corridor while the study is taking place.
“There’s no board support for that,” Councilman George Gabrielsen of the moratorium.
But Mr. Walter said it’s too early to make a decision on whether to have a moratorium.
The study is expected to take about six to eight months to complete, Mr. Gabrielsen said.