Jamesport shopping center could nearly triple in size

12/02/2015 12:48 PM |

Jamesport Plaza

The Jamesport Center on Main Road — which currently has three vacant storefronts — would expand to more than twice its current size under a proposal currently before Riverhead Town officials.

A sketch plan of the proposed expansion shows a 28,379-square-foot addition planned to the south of the existing 16,394-square-foot plaza.

The proposal will need two variances from the town Zoning Board of Appeals. One would allow more pavement and “impervious surface” than Town Code permits, while another would allow fewer parking spaces than the code requires.

A ZBA hearing on those variances is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in Riverhead Town Hall.

The sketch plan — which is an early version of the site plan application that would go before the town Planning Board, should the applicant get ZBA approval — shows the new building and its parking being built on land that is currently covered in trees, much of which would have to be cleared. The application also shows two new entrances to the plaza on Washington Avenue. Currently, the only access is on Main Road.

The 4.4-acre property is owned by Jamesport Plaza LLC, which is headed by Alan Cardinale of Mattituck. It extends west to Washington Avenue and south of the gas station on the corner of Washington Avenue and Main Road, which has like ownership, under the name Jamesport Station LLC — also headed by Mr. Cardinale.

The application shows the trees to the south of the current plaza and those extending west to Washington Avenue being cleared to make room for the proposed addition and for expanded parking.

A planted buffer would be built along Washington Avenue, according to the sketch plan.

Washington Avenue resident Denise Hansen, who lives near the proposed new entrance to the plaza, says she and her neighbors are opposed to the expansion.

“This would pretty much destroy the residential community on this end of Washington Avenue,” she said in an interview.

“This is just something the community doesn’t need. For him to bring in a big store or even more little stores in a half-empty shopping center, and then encroaching onto the residents of Washington Avenue, is not a good thing,” she added.

Plans at Town Hall give no indication of what stores would be going in the expanded plaza. Mr. Cardinale could not be reached for comment.

The property is zoned Hamlet Business, which allows retail stores, restaurants and professional offices, among other uses.

It does not allow a single retail store to be more than 10,000 square feet, although it would permit a building larger than that comprised of more than one store. That was put in the zoning several years ago to prevent so-called “box stores” from locating in hamlet areas.

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Photo: Trees to the south of this Jamesport shopping center would be cleared to make room for a 28,379 square-foot addition under a plan before town officials. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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