Farm Country Kitchen parking plan up for discussion today

The entrance to Farm Country Kitchen in Riverhead. (Barbaraellen Koch)
The entrance to Farm Country Kitchen in Riverhead. (Barbaraellen Koch)

The Riverhead Town Planning Board is scheduled to discuss today Farm Country Kitchen’s plans to have offsite parking.

The Riverhead Town Board took the popular West Main Street eatery to court in 2011, claiming it had a certificate of occupancy only for a take-out deli and had expanded illegally into a full-service restaurant. One of the town’s complaints dealt with the lack of parking at the site, located on the south side of busy West Main Street.

That case is still pending, but one step restaurant owners Tom and Maria Carson took to rectify that issue was the purchase of a .70 acre parcel on the west side of Swezey Avenue, just south of the railroad tracks, to serve as off-site parking. The lot already has a paved parking lot.

Town planning and building administrator Jeff Murphree said the issue is merely on the Planning Board agenda for discussion today at 3 p.m. The applicant will likely need a Zoning Board of Appeals variance too, he said, since the lot they bought is 243 feet from the main building and the Town Code only allows off-site parking within 200 feet of a business.

• The Planning Board may also make a decision on Guddha Co. LLC’s application to put a 24-seat, 3,200 square foot fast food restaurant on a .3 acre parcel next to Taco Bell on the northwest corner of Harrison Avenue and Route 58. 

The board voted  to table its decision on the application for two weeks a month ago, after it became clear the vote would be tied, since one member was out. At its meeting two weeks ago, the board again tabled the vote for two weeks because newly appointed Planning Board member Stan Carey wanted to get more information before voting.