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Extension of Planning Board approval sought for Wading River development

The attorney representing the proposed Central Square at Wading River development is requesting extension of a previous Planning Board approval that has expired, despite the fact that this project has already received all the extensions town code permits.

The application calls for 52,612 square feet of development on 18 acres on the north side of Route 25A, just east of the CVS pharmacy.

The proposal includes a shopping center, a bank, a 150-seat restaurant and four retail/professional office buildings.

Central Square was one of four large commercial applications on Route 25A that prompted the town to conduct a Wading River Corridor zoning study in that area in 2012. Despite the study, the Town Board at the time did not change the zoning on the Central Square property, which is owned by the Zoumas family. They had successfully sued to overturn a previous town attempt to rezone the property.

The Planning Board had given Central Square a one-year extension in 2015, after the project went unbuilt for three years following its 2012 site plan approval.

Attorney Peter Danowski said he was told at that time that he could not get any further extensions and would have to reapply. But he said the application would be the same as what was previously approved and is seeking to have that prior application simply re-approved.

“To revisit the whole thing again would simply be insanity,” he said.

Mr. Danowski said the applicant has agreed to sterilize the southern part of the property, which is located in the Central Pine Barrens, so it would not be developed, and has also agreed to a cross-easement with the adjacent property to allow traffic to travel from one shopping center to the next without going back onto Route 25A.

Planner Karin Gluth said the town needs to review things like code changes that have been enacted since the original approval and need to be updated. She said the state Department of Transportation also wants an updated traffic study.

“It’s a large shopping center,” Ms. Gluth said.

Planning Board members said they would not require a new traffic study, but did not take any action on Mr. Danowski’s request that they approve the project as it had been previously.

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