The new owners of the former Bayview Inn and Restaurant in South Jamesport are seeking a variance from the Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals to convert the property’s main building into five apartment units.
Gattofreddo, Ltd., — which is headed by Southampton attorney Richard Mathew — wants to subdivide the 20,000-square-foot property into two separate lots, said Adam Grossman, the attorney representing Mr. Mathew. The Bayview Inn and Restaurant closed a few months ago.
The first proposed lot would measure around 14,000 square feet and include the property’s main building, Mr. Grossman said. A second 6,000-square-foot lot would include an existing cottage east of the inn that currently has two efficiency units.
The property’s main building dates back to 1860. Before it became a restaurant and seven-room inn a decade ago, it operated for many years as a veterans home.
Mr. Grossman said the ZBA variance his client is requesting essentially proposes “to have a use that’s closer to what the current zoning allows.”
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Angela DeVito, president of the Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association, said her organization has not officially taken a position on the application, but it does have questions.
“I’ve been researching this,” Ms. DeVito said. “The question is, if the pre-existing uses run with the land and the land gets subdivided into two parcels, which parcel gets the pre-existing use? This is a question that needs to be raised. I will be intrigued by their presentation.”
The property’s current zoning is RB-80, which essentially calls for minimum residential lot sizes of two acres.
“There’s nothing in [South Jamesport] that conforms to zoning,” Mr. Grossman said Monday, indicating that none of the hamlet’s homes include two acres of property despite what the zoning calls for.
“The inn has been in existence well before zoning, dating back to the 1800s, and my client is proposing to have a use that’s closer to what the current zoning allows,” he continued. “We’re hoping the ZBA appreciates that and sees it as a benefit to the community.”
Mr. Grossman explained that Gattofreddo wants to swap a use that doesn’t conform with zoning — the hotel and restaurant — for apartments.
The company’s application on the matter was adjourned at last month’s ZBA meeting and is scheduled to be heard again Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. In addition to relief from the minimum lot size rule, Gattofreddo is asking for several variances on the amount of distance required between neighboring properties. They’re also requesting a variance for a 100 percent impervious surface — instead of the maximum of 15 percent — and no landscape buffer instead of the required 10 feet.
Mr. Mathew originally proposed seven apartments in the main building but later reduced it to five, Mr. Grossman said. If Mr. Mathew’s request for five apartments is granted by the ZBA, the property’s adjacent cottage will go back to being a single-family home, he said. The proposal does not involve the expansion of either building and all work being proposed is interior.
Mr. Grossman said Mr. Mathew was the private mortgage lender to the property’s previous owner, Front and Center, which was headed by Bob Patchell.