Town Board notes from March 1 meeting

The Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday passed two resolutions in support of state legislation supporting the creation a Peconic Bay Regional Transportation Authority, which would serve the town and would result in Riverhead and the rest of eastern Suffolk cutting ties from the MTA.

The idea, which has been discussed for at least 10 years, stems from frustrations over the limited train and bus services provided to the East End.

Approval from the state Legislature would be needed to create a new transportation authority and that would be subject to approval from voters in a public referendum.It was not immediately clear if the votes would be tallied across the state or just in the proposed service area.

The proposed Peconic Bay authority would cover the five East End towns plus Brookhaven, and the new authority would be responsible for coming up with a plan for the development and improvement of transportation options, including rail and park facilities, shuttle trains, additional non-stop trains to New York City and back and the reconfiguration of the county-wide bus system.

Assisted living coming?

Riverhead has already been contacted by several developers interested in building assisted care facilities in town, but the town’s current zoning doesn’t allow them.

Now the Town Board is considering a plan to change that. The board has scheduled an April 5 public hearing (that’s a 2 p.m. meeting) on a proposal to rewrite the town’s Retirement Community zoning district to allow such facilities. The proposal would restrict such zoning to the retirement community district so long as they are within 1,500 feet of the town’s water district and sewage district connections.

The proposal requires that 30 percent of the units in a development be designed and dedicated to intermediate or chronic care.

So long, Suffolk Life. Bring on Lowe’s

The former Suffolk Life building on Route 58 was demolished in less than a week after it took several months to rid the building of asbestos. The building was completely leveled by Tuesday. The site will be used to construct a new 128,250-square-foot Lowe’s home improvement store that will include a 31,131-square-foot garden center. A spokesman for Lowe’s said the store is expected to open by the end of this year.  

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