Despite efforts from a local civic organization to halt it, the Riverhead Town Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to issue a land clearing permit for the Knightland shopping center proposed at the intersection of Sound Avenue and Route 25A in Wading River.
The board had planned to vote on a similar resolution in August, despite a court case filed by the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition challenging the town Planning Board’s approval of the project. But a last minute court ruling put that vote on hold.
In December, a state appellate court ruled that the RNPC and others who had brought the lawsuit didn’t have legal standing to sue on the matter, and dismissed the case.
With the lawsuit out of the way, the Town Board discussed the clearing permit briefly at last Thursday’s work session and agreed to issue it.
“I note that my client has paid all of the required site plan fees and the substantial building permit fees, and both a clearing permit and a building permit should now issue,” said Peter Danowski, the attorney for Knightland owner Kenney Barra, in a letter to the Town Attorney Bob Kozakiewicz on Monday. Mr. Barra also owns the adjacent East Wind Caterers.
Knightland’s plan calls for 32,500 square feet of retail space and a 4,900-square-foot restaurant in a complex comprising 24 small buildings.
RNPC said on its web site that the court ruling dismissed their case “without ever considering the merits of the lawsuit brought on behalf of the community.”
Mr. Danowski said at the work session that his client has paid $23,000 in building fees, but that they are not removing or importing any sand or material and will not have to pay the $2 per cubic yard fee the town charges for excavations or importation of material from construction sites.
The meeting starts at 2 p.m. and New-Review reporter Tim Gannon will be live blogging. Click below to follow or comment, and see the full meeting agenda and resolutions packet below that.