Riverhead Ciderhouse seeks to legalize expansion; hearing set for Feb. 2

The Riverhead Planning Board will hold a February 2 public hearing on a proposal to legalize Riverhead Ciderhouse’s expansion of a building on Sound Avenue that had been done without permits. 

Riverhead Ciderhouse proposes to legalize a 1,294 square foot expansion of an existing 3,186 square foot outdoor patio area. The application also calls for the conversion of a portion of the wine storage area into an additional tasting room area. That would bring the total size of the expansion to 5,150 square feet.

The plan also calls for the construction of 36 additional parking spaces within a 311,396 square foot parcel that is currently improved with a 108,178 square foot single story building. 

That building is used for processing and bottling of cider, as well as agricultural storage.

The Planning Board resolution considers the expansion to be an “unlisted action” under State Environmental Quality Review Board and does not recommend a coordinated review with other agencies.

The draft resolution also issues a “negative declaration,” meaning that it “will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts.”

The seven-acre Baiting Hollow property once housed Blackman Plumbing was first approved by the Planning Board in 2015, according to town planner Matt Charters.

It later received an amended approval in late 2017, he said. 

Originally called “Grapes and Greens” when it was launched in 2012 by J. King Food Service Professionals, with support from the Lond Island Farm Bureau and a $500,000 State grant.  

The Sound Avenue business now goes by the name “The Riverhead Ciderhouse” and has a “cafe menu” that services sandwiches, pizzas, donuts and pretzels, and chicken tenders, among other other items. It has been operating for several years. 

The Feb. 2 Planning Board meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.