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Planning Board approves PBMC’s site plan for expanded oncology center

Peconic Bay Medical Center has received town approval, with conditions, to convert a portion of the former P.C. Richard appliance store on Route 58 into a cancer care center.

The Riverhead Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan application during a work session last Thursday. The application is “administrative,” meaning it did not require a public hearing for approval.

Under the proposal, PBMC would convert 7,740 square feet of existing vacant space into an oncology center. That space is part of the 21,156-square-foot building currently occupied by ProHealth.

The amended site plan will address a parking space deficiency at the property, which was discussed at a Sept. 19 Planning Board meeting.

In order to be granted a certificate of occupancy, a covenant from the Planning Board requires the hospital to provide bus transportation for their employees to and from the location for two years, then return to the Planning Board..

The two-year timeline allows PBMC to determine if it will acquire the neighboring Bishop McGann-Mercy High School property or expand elsewhere.

At the September meeting, PBMC president and CEO Andrew Mitchell said he “might be in negotiations” with the Diocese of Rockville Centre to purchase Mercy.

Mr. Mitchell, who attended the meeting with PBMC representatives Kimberly Judd and Darrin Busio, did not provide any additional information.

A previous version of the resolution granted a building permit to PBMC if it follows through with the parking covenant. Mr. Mitchell requested the language be modified so that, in agreeing to the covenant, PBMC can obtain a CO, not a building permit.

Planning Board attorney Richard Ehlers said the board would entertain an application at any time in the future to remove the restriction on parking.

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