The Riverhead Town Board on Thursday discussed setting public hearings on zoning changes intended to allow movie theaters on Route 58, where the town has been trying to convince Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., to locate at the former Walmart site.
Current zoning limits movie theaters to downtown.
The board is planning to vote Tuesday to schedule three public hearings regarding movie theaters. One that will allow movie theaters as a special permit use in the Shopping Center zoning category, which includes a number of Route 58 locations such as the former site of Walmart, which is vacant, as well as the site of Sports Authority, which is going out of business.
The prior administration removed movie theaters as a permitted use on Route 58 in hopes of attracting them downtown. While there were several proposals discussed, none were ever approved or even formally proposed. There also had been a number of movie theaters proposed and approved on Route 58 before the zoning was changed in 2004, but none of them were ever built either.
The board also discussed the large number of special events being planned at the former Calverton Links property and it reviewed other draft resolutions for Tuesday’s regular meeting at its work session Thursday.
To read a recap of News-Review reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the work session, click below.
Photo Caption: The former Walmart building on Route 58. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)