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Next series of meetings on comprehensive plan scheduled to begin April 12

The next round of community meetings on Riverhead Town’s comprehensive plan update will begin April 12 at Riley Avenue School, according to Jefferson Murphree, Riverhead Town’s building and planning administrator. 

The 6 p.m. meeting will focus on environmental sustainability and renewable energy, Mr. Murphree said at a meeting Monday afternoon. 

After collecting significant public input for the plan last year, the town is ramping up its work on the plan for this year. 

Following meetings, all at 6 p.m. at Riley Avenue, will each focus on a different key topic.

The second, on April 14, will be on economic development in downtown and Route 58. 

Housing and community services will be the topic of the third meeting on April 25.

The April 26 meeting will focus on transportation, utilities and infrastructure, Ms. Murphree said. 

The last forum is on agriculture, farmland and historic preservation, according to Mr. Murphree. It will be April 27.

All of the meetings will be available via Zoom as well as in person.

In the fall, the town focused on getting input for the plan with four hamlet meetings and five topic meetings, as well as a community survey. 

The town spent January and February compiling the data obtained from for the surveys. 

“After that, we’re going to start formulating our initial recommendations on the findings that are the result of all the community input that we’ve had,” Mr. Murphree said. “We’re looking at approximately June or July timeframe for getting out the preliminary recommendations. 

“Hopefully by the end of the summer or September we’ll actually come out with the first draft of the plan.”

The town’s update for the plan projects completion of the entire project in the winter of 2022-23. 

Mr. Murphree urged residents to look at the town’s website for information.

“We will be posting a lot of information for everybody’s input going forward,” he said. 

Mr. Murphree said one of the hot topics for the input the town received was the Sound Avenue Scenic and Historic Corridor. 

“The town is looking for direction with all the traffic we’re getting,” he said. 

“We’ve been working on this project for a little over a year,” said Bob While, the project manager for the comprehensive plan update and a consultant with AKRF, Inc..

He said that prior to Monday’s meeting, all of the meetings on the comprehensive plan update had been virtual. 

Mr. While said the five key topics they’ve come up through the outreach are environment, economic development, housing and community services, transportation and infrastructure, and agriculture and farmland presentation.

“We want a plan that has near-term objectives and longer term objectives,” he said.

The results of the survey showed that farmland and open space preservation were the most important issues, according to 70% of the respondents. That was followed by reuse of vacant retail space on Route 58 (56%) and reducing traffic congestion, with 50%.

The survey results found that the top reuse needs and opportunities for Route 58 were entertainment, at 53%.