Wading River study approved; Giglio opposes

The Riverhead Town Board on Wednesday officially voted to hire a consultant to study Wading River’s zoning along Route 25A, where several large commercial proposals are pending.

But the vote was not without opposition.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio cast the lone “no” vote on the resolution that authorized Supervisor Sean Walter to sign a contract to pay BFJ Planning of Manhattan a maximum of $44,000 to update the town’s master plan for Route 25A and write zoning to reflect those changes.

Ms. Giglio said the town did a Wading River hamlet study in 1989, and that study recommended the creation of a new main street running parallel to Route 25A south of what is now Walgreens, but that recommendation was never followed.

“We have ample information from previous studies,” Ms. Giglio said. “Spending another $42,000 on a study makes no sense.”

The other three board members who were present supported the new study. Councilman John Dunleavy, who is recovering from a mild heart attack, was absent.

Architect Martin Sendlewski argued that if the town is going to make changes to the zoning in Wading River, it needs to study the other hamlets in the town as well, because if less development is ultimately allowed in Wading River, that development will move to another hamlet.

“We’ve spoken to attorneys and planners and people who do this exclusively for a living and they disagree with you,” Supervisor Sean Walter told Mr. Sendlewski.

Wading River Civic Association president Sid Bail thanked the board for approving the study, which his association and others have pushed for.

He said BFJ, which studied Route 25A in Brookhaven Town, “is a very good firm.”

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