07/07/15 1:58pm


The Riverhead Town Board held a public hearing at its meeting Tuesday on a proposal to ban elected officials from being on the executive board of political committees, a move that would require town Republican leader Mason Haas, who is also an elected assessor, to give up one of those positions. (more…)

07/07/15 12:00pm
Sears in Riverhead

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Sears closed its downtown Riverhead store in 2006.

Saying he’s fed up with the owner of several long-vacant buildings in downtown Riverhead, Supervisor Sean Walter says he is now in support of considering condemnation of the former Sears building and some other buildings owned by that company.

But Sheldon Gordon, a principal in Riverhead Enterprises, which owns several downtown buildings including the Sears building, said in an interview Monday that a proposal for the Sears buildings and several buildings he owns to the east of that is not dead.

“There’s a strong possibility it will move forward,” he said. (more…)

07/06/15 6:00am
07/06/2015 6:00 AM

With news late last month that the New York State Legislature extended the 2-percent property tax cap another four years, we took a look back at the property tax warrants — the amount of property taxes collected by the town each year, including school, town, county and other taxes — in the two North Fork towns to see if taxes had increased at a lesser rate since the law was enacted.

We found that not only had the tax warrant increased at a slower pace in Southold and Riverhead towns since 2012, it did so at a significant rate. (more…)

07/03/15 12:42pm
07/03/2015 12:42 PM
A two-story restaurant is being proposed for a sliver of land between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The 16-seat restaurant is proposed for a sliver of land between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead Town Planning Board has rejected a proposal to build a new restaurant on three-tenths of an acre between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue.

The board voted 3 to 2 against the preliminary site plan at Thursday’s meeting, with Ed Densieski, Stan Carey and George Nunnaro opposed and Richard O’Dea and Joe Baier in favor.

“I’m a strong supporter of property rights,” Mr. Densieski said. “But this is the epitome of poor planning.”

He added public safety is an important issue that must be considered.

Planning Board attorney Bill Duffy said he may recommend the board also vote against the final site plan at a future meeting.

Applicant Chuck Chockalingam of Guddha LLC, who acquired the lot from the county in a tax default, has decreased project’s size to a 16-seat, 1,300-square foot restaurant. The project, which dates back to 2012, at one time called for a 24-seat, 2,720-square foot restaurant.

In 2006, someone leasing the property from Mr. Chockalingum had submitted an application to build a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog restaurant.

As for the latest proposal, Mr. Chockalingum said the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals granted his request for variances on the required setbacks last week. The ZBA’s action, in fact, was re-approving the request that had expired.

Mr. Chockalingum has claimed that he’s allowed to build a restaurant since the property’s designation as a single and separate lot was created in 1950 before local zoning.

In March 2014, the Planning Board voted against a resolution approving the project following a debate in which Mr. Chockalingham, who said he is of Indian descent, implied there was a bias against him, though stopped short of calling it racism.

The normally talkative Mr. Chockalingham left the room without comment after Thursday’s vote.




07/03/15 5:00am
The glazed over window of the long-vacant West Marine building in downtown, not to mention the bricks falling apart, are things town officials hope to see less of

The former West Marine building in downtown in April. The building is vacant. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Riverhead Town may soon borrow a page from East Hampton Village in requiring owners of vacant stores in the downtown area to spruce up their windows with attractive displays, rather than just having an empty building or a window covered with newspapers.