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Kroemer Ave development hits snag after developer backtracks


The developer of 1.5 acre site on the southwest corner of Kroemer Avenue and Route 58 is having second thoughts about giving 10 feet of land on Kroemer Avenue to Riverhead Town in case Suffolk County ever decides to do improvements on that intersection.

Developer Barclay Erhler received site plan approval from the Riverhead Planning Board in 2016 for a 14,400-square-foot retail building on that corner, and one requirement was to dedicate part of the land to the town. Mr. Erhler had previously dedicated land on Route 58 to Suffolk County and officials say the town land is also need for the county work to proceed.

Currently, traffic on Kroemer Avenue traffic is prohibited from making a left turn onto Route 58 at the intersection, which  also aligns with the entrance to a shopping center on the north side of Route 58.

Although the building has been constructed, Mr. Erhler submitted amendments to his site plan, which include more parking space, less landscaping and the elimination of the offer to dedicate the land to the county.

Karin Gluth, a town planner, said the application cannot be considered complete without the land commitment, and she can’t review the application until it is considered complete.

Mr. Erhler has been trying to develop the property for many years and first received site plan approval from the town in 2008. He then asked for and received several extension to that approval before finally getting approval in 2016.

He said if the county wants the land, they can buy it off him. He asked if any other applicants on Route 58 where required to give land to the town for road improvements.

“All of them,” Planning Board member George Nunnaro said. “If not, they don’t get built.”

Mr. Erhler said he can’t even make a left onto Route 58 from his property. Ms. Gluth said the dedication of the ten feet  may make it possible to make a left from Kroemer. Planners said the dedication is necessary for him to get approval.

Mr. Erhler said when he sees approval for the rest of the development, he’ll make a decision in 48 hours as to whether he will agree to give the 10 feet.

“If this was a big lot, I could see it,” he said. “This just blows my mind.”

Ms. Gluth reminded him that she can’t review the application until the dedication is proposed.

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Photo caption: The development on the southwest corner of the Kroemer Ave and Route 58 intersection. (Cyndi Murray photo)