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Development slated to transform boarded-up home into four-unit townhouse

A rundown house located at 48 3rd St. is slated to be redeveloped into a two-story, four unit townhouse. 

The downtown Riverhead property sold earlier this year for $210,000 to Hammer Brothers Enterprises, LLC, according to a real estate transfer posted in April.

A site plan application for the project is currently before the Riverhead Planning Board. Planning aide Greg Bergman outlined some of the specifics of the project at Thursday’s meeting.

The new construction would have a total floor area of just over 4,000 square feet. Each unit will have a covered porch, a kitchen, living room and 1/2 bathroom on the ground floor and two bedrooms and full bathroom on the second floor. Mr. Bergman did not have a precise figure on the square footage of each unit, but estimated they would divided equally and about 1,000 square feet.

Demolition of the current two-story, bright blue single-family home is already underway. Details on pricing for the units were not immediately available. Representatives for the applicant did not attend Thursday’s meeting.

“There’s graffiti on the back [of the house], beer cans and garbage all throughout the site,” Mr. Bergman said. “This would surely be a nice improvement from a boarded up, dilapidated building.”

Stanley Carey, the Planning Board chair, said the size of the units are a “little bigger than we’ve seen recently,” but thought the project was “great.”

The Planning Board Thursday approved a resolution to request lead agency in the New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act review.

Mr. Bergman said the site plan will require three variances. The setback in the rear yard is only 12 feet 4 inches when the requirement is 25 feet. A proposed driveway is 20 feet wide and the minimum requirement is 24 feet. A proposed parking stall is also smaller than required, but Mr. Bergman said that can be addressed through a revision.

The plan also does not have a handicap accessible aisle for the handicap stall, Mr. Bergman said. The applicant has indicated the walkway in the front of the house will be a flush curb, “so it can serve as an accessible aisle,” Mr. Bergman said.

The development plan also proposes lighting, landscaping, and stormwater management.

Mr. Bergman said the Landmarks Preservation Commission has reviewed the plans. The commission voted to allow the demolition of the existing building, Mr. Bergman said,  “on the condition that the revised plans meet any of the commission’s concerns and will be resubmitted.”

As a commercial operation, since there are more than three units, the developers would need to hire a solid waste management company for trash pickup.

Planning members raised concerns about the north side of the building’s proximity to the Long Island Rail Road tracks. Mr. Bergman said he could refer the plans to the railroad.

“When that train rolls by, it’ll shake your house a little bit,” he said.