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08/31/14 11:00am
08/31/2014 11:00 AM
Canada geese in the Peconic River just south of Riverhead's West Main Street. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Canada geese in the Peconic River just south of Riverhead’s West Main Street. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

In an effort to spur forward movement on lots along the Peconic River, Riverhead Town is expected to apply for a special Department of Environmental Conservation classification for acreage on West Main Street.

The Riverhead Town Board got an update last Wednesday from Charles Voorhis of planning firm Nelson, Pope and Voorhis on the $567,000 Brownfields Opportunity Area grant it received in 2011.

Mr. Voorhis told board members that the DEC was supportive of the town’s plan to apply for a Wild, Scenic and Recreational River community designation for the parcels. The designation would restrict certain types of development but incentivize developers to rebuild on the properties in other ways.

“They were very much in agreement with the overall concept,” Mr. Voorhis told the board.

The application would affect just over 200 acres along the river.

Non-river-related commercial and industrial uses, as well as government and institutional uses, are allowed under the community designation, but prohibited under the current recreational designation, according to the state.

The bulk of the area along the Peconic from Mill Road west to Calverton is zoned “recreational” under the Rivers Act designation. The category limits new one- and two-family residential development to two-acre minimum lot sizes, requires new lots to have 200 feet of shoreline, and limits commercial development to river-related uses that are less than 10,000 square feet, or industrial uses that are limited to light manufacturing or warehousing.

NPV have already reported back to the Town Board several times with progress on their efforts. The firm has suggested making Peconic Avenue a one-way street to mend traffic woes, this effort to lobby New York State to reclassify several parcels along the Peconic River to improve their uses, and pitched a movie theater and/or grocery store in the downtown area.

Supervisor Sean Walter said he was initially skeptical that the town could effectively use the grant for a study. But the results of the plan so far have changed his mind.

“I am a 180-degree convert,” he said, specifically citing the traffic analyses done by the planning firm. The Town Board will vote on a resolution soon to approve the application, which will allow the planning firm to send it to the DEC.

08/30/14 4:30pm
08/30/2014 4:30 PM
A 46-lot subdivision is proposed on this farmland north of Sound Avenue in Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A 46-lot subdivision is proposed on this farmland north of Sound Avenue in Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

After neighbors came out in early August to oppose the plan, the Riverhead Town Planning Board closed a public hearing last Thursday on a subdivision plan for land near the intersection of Sound and Roanoke Avenues after developers increased the size of the lots, as the board had requested.

The proposal to turn 27 acres of farmland into 46 separate plots spurred resistance from neighbors — and some board members — during a public hearing Aug. 7. Neighbors objected to the development of the property and the board said the small lot sizes would increase density too much.

“What attracted us to the area 20 years ago was the fact that it was a vibrant farming community,” said John McAuliff at the time, who added that the subdivision would contribute to the “commercialization of Sound Avenue.”

The smallest lot will now measure about 12,000 square feet, while some lots were smaller than 10,000 square feet in the original proposal. Space was made to increase lot sizes by eliminating space which had been drawn up in between the lots. The number of parcels will remain the same, at 46.

The new larger plot sizes, along with a buffer zone around the property, mitigated some of those concerns, the developer’s attorney Charles Cuddy said.

Mr. Cuddy told the board that developers needed a conditional approval so they could work to preserve some of the plots.

“Now is the time we need to go to the county,” Mr. Cuddy said. “We really are looking to go and preserve the site.”

08/28/14 12:42pm
Residents from East End communities packed a Wainscott TV studio for a special meeting on aircraft noise Wednesday evening. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

Residents from East End communities packed a Wainscott TV studio for a special meeting on aircraft noise Wednesday evening. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

Too low, too loud, too many.

That was the consensus from nearly 50 residents from East End communities who spoke at a packed public meeting Wednesday evening about a record number of aircraft — mostly helicopters — buzzing their homes this summer.  (more…)

08/22/14 3:00pm
08/22/2014 3:00 PM
Densieski. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Ed Densieski, a former town councilman, spoke against the proposed mixed-use plan for EPCAL. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Riverhead Planning Board member and former town councilman Ed Densieski has slammed a plan to split the 2,300-acre Enterprise Park at Calverton into 50 mixed-use lots, saying the proposal would only lead to the site being turned into a residential area.  (more…)

08/22/14 1:00pm
White-tailed deer grazing in Southold Tuesday. Supervisor Scott Russell has called reducing the local deer population the town's number one priority.  (Credit: Katharine Schreoder)

White-tailed deer grazing in Southold Tuesday. Supervisor Scott Russell has called reducing the local deer population the town’s number one priority. (Credit: Katharine Schreoder)

Last year, a total of 30 deer that had wandered onto Half Hollow Nurseries in Laurel were shot and killed. The shootings were all legal, allowed by off-season nuisance permits issued by the state.

This year, not a single deer has been killed there during the off-season, said general manager Karl Novak.  (more…)