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ZBA grants special exception for PBMC as it plans to relocate offices to former Mercy property

Peconic Bay Medical Center plans to use the smaller of two buildings on the former Bishop McGann-Mercy High School property as office space.

PBMC was granted a special exception from the Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals Thursday. The special exception allows a change from one non-conforming use to a different non-conforming use. The school was considered a non-conforming use, as is the office.

The ZBA voted 4-0 in favor with ZBA member Daniel Zaweski absent.

The former Mercy property is 23 acres and fronts on Ostrander Avenue, Middle Road and Roanoke Avenue. PBMC’s proposal is to use the former convent, which later became a junior high school, for office space. 

It is the smaller of the two buildings on the property, attorney Kimberly Judd said. The hospital has no plans yet for the larger building.

PBMC is in the process of selling the administrative building it owns on Second Street to Riverhead Town, and those hospital employees would be moved to the Mercy convent building, Ms. Judd said.  

She said there have been several ZBA rulings in recent years that allowed far more intensive uses than office. 

Richard Israel, who has served on the hospital board and lives near the hospital, asked that the next office use have limits on how late it’s open.

Arthur Crowe, Jr., PBMC’s chief operating officer, said the office primarily operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“The majority of the employees should be leaving by five or six o’clock,” he said. 

Ms. Judge pointed out that the former Mercy parking lot is used by the hospital employees for office workers and medical staff as well, and that they have shift changes. 

Ms. Judd said that PBMC currently has no definitive plans for the Mercy property other than the office use.