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Riverhead Town updating its website to include recent Master Plan information

Riverhead Town is updating its website in anticipation of using it to store information connected with its comprehensive plan update this year, according to Jeff Murphree, the town’s building and planning administrator. 

Up until this week, he said, the online link connected a reader to the 2003 website, which is the last time the town updated its master plan.

“Our website was in dire need of updating,” Mr. Murphree said at Thursday’s Town Board work session. The town hired consultants AFRF and L.K. McLean Associates (LKMA) for $675,000 in 2019 to update the plan. 

When new information is received regarding the master plan, the town will put that information on its website, Mr. Murphree said. 

The new information is located under “Draft Town of Riverhead Comprehensive Plan Update.”

The website now has information on the goals of the plan, the consultants leading the update, zoning maps and maps of hamlets within the town, the masters of the community advisory committee for the plan, a Power Point overview of the plan and a public outreach plan for the update. 

The Comprehensive Plan, also known as the Master Plan, is designed to guide future goals and objectives of the town. Officials say the plan will provide direction for future activities over a 10-to 20-year period after its adoption.

Part of the master plan update will include a survey which will have about 25 questions and will take about 15 minutes to fill out, Mr. Murphree said. “We expect it to go live in mid-March,” he said. 

The makeup of the committee came under criticism for not including members of environmental or civic groups.

“We heard that this committee was too top-heavy with real estate interests,” Mr. Murphree said. “We believe it’s a well balanced list.”

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar announced the committee in January and said its members “bring a wide variety of expertise and experience in the fields of health care, education, natural resources, agriculture, real estate and economic development.”

Councilwoman Catherine Kent questioned why the committee was not appointed by resolution. She said that’s how it’s been done in the past with committees.

Mr. Murphree said this is an “ad-hoc” committee which will “go away” once its mission is complete. 

Ms. Kent said there also are concerns that many of the committee members don’t live in Riverhead Town. 

The committee members are:

Ms. Aguiar; Deputy Supervisor, Devon Higgins; Councilman Tim Hubbard; Building and Planning Administrator Jeff Murphree; and Planning Board Chairman Stan Carey.

Also on the committee are Robert Carpenter of the Long Island Farm Bureau; Mitch Pally, of the Long Island Builders Institute; Ike Israel of Richmond Realty; Bryan DeLuca, executive director of Atlantis Holdings; Christine Tona, interim Riverhead School Superintendent; Andrew Mitchell, former president and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center; Ray Coyne, Superintendent of Recreation; Chuck Thomas, Conservation Advisory Council; Police Chief David Hegermiller; Dawn Thomas, Community Development Director; Frank Mancini, Water District Superintendent; Michael Reichel, Sewer District Superintendent

and Town Attorney Bob Kozakiewicz. 

One problem officials identified in having public meetings is the presence of COVID-19, Mr. Murphree said, indicating that public presentations may have to be done by Zoom rather than in person.