Town Board, developer talk Sound Ave. deal

In March, county lawmakers authorized planning steps toward the possible acquisition of 15 acres at the northwest corner of Sound Avenue and Park Road in Baiting Hollow for parkland. But last Thursday, the property’s owner met with Riverhead Town Board members in a closed-door session to discuss a lawsuit settlement that would allow him to build houses there.

Ed Broidy told the News-Review before the meeting that he was looking to finalize the settlement, which would allow for 16 clustered housing lots and would preserve a seven-acre farm lot fronting rural Sound Avenue.

Asked about the county’s plans to purchase his property, Mr. Broidy said, “They haven’t shown me any numbers yet.”
The resolution passed by the Suffolk County Legislature allows for preliminary steps toward acquisition, such as appraisals, surveys and title searches on the land.

Mr. Broidy was one of three property owners who sued the town after it changed the zoning at the Sound Avenue and Park Road intersection in 2004. His Boom Development application initially sought to build a 22,000-square-foot shopping center in 2003, but the town later changed his property’s zoning, along with that of two other parcels, to prevent commercial development.

Mr. Broidy filed a lawsuit on the zone change, which occurred after his project was submitted and met with opposition from residents looking to preserve the Sound Avenue corridor’s rural nature. He later entered into settlement discussions that involved residential development of the property instead.

He indicated Thursday morning he doesn’t have a preference as to whether the property is developed residentially or sold to the county.

Boom Development’s commercial application was one of two plans for the intersection that were opposed by nearby Reeves Park residents. The other, from Kenn Barra’s EMB Enterprises, prevailed in a lawsuit against the town. Mr. Barra’s land is also being considered by Suffolk County for acquisition.

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