Business Profiles

Two-story restaurant being pitched for Route 58 in Riverhead

Riverhead, Taco Bell, Nathan's Famous, Route 58
TIM GANNON PHOTO | A two-story restaurant is being proposed for a sliver of land between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue.

There’s only 3/10th of an acre between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue, according to Riverhead Town records, but a Westhampton developer is seeking to squeeze a two-story, 24-seat fast food restaurant on that land.

The application on file at the town planning department is from Guddha LLC of 23 Homestead Avenue in Westhampton Beach and calls for a  2,720-square-foot restaurant with 24 seats and 15 parking spaces.

The property is zoned Business Center, which requires at least a half acre to build, but the applicant claims that since it’s a single and separate lot that was created in 1950, prior to the advent of zoning, he can build on it.

The address of Guddha LLC is the same as that of M.V. Chockalingham, who was listed as the property owner back in 2006 when Westhampton-based developer Elliot Gallin proposed to build a 1,025 square foot Nathan’s Famous restaurant on the same property.

At that time, Mr. Gallin and Mr. Chockalingham were involved in litigation with each other, as Mr. Chockalingham was trying to remove Mr. Gallin’s group from the project because he was unhappy with the pace of the application.

That lawsuit is listed in court records as having been disposed.

The name of the proposed restaurant was not included in the recent application.

The Suffolk County Planning Commission had recommended rejection of the first application back in 2006, calling it a “unwarranted over-intensification of the use of the premises.”

The prior application also did not get town approval, but wasn’t rejected either,  as the applicant apparently never followed through on it at the time.

The current application doesn’t list a specific tenant for the restaurant and has yet to be discussed before the town Planning  Board.

The applicant acknowledges in his site plan that he will need Zoning Board of Appeals relief from minimum rear yard and parking setback requirements and from maximum front yard setback requirements. The application shows the parking toward the front, or south, of the property, fronting Route 58, access to the site coming from a new curb cut on Harrison Avenue.

Representatives of Guddha did not immediately returned a phone call seeking comment on the application.

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