Late August target for Riverhead master plan

Riverhead Town’s master plan update could be finished before the end of August, according to Sara Yackel, an environmental engineer with BFJ Planning, the firm hired by the town to complete the project. 

The town is required to hold a public hearing on the draft generic environmental impact statement for the plan, also known as the comprehensive plan

That hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 20, at 6 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall.

“We’re very excited to present the document,” Ms. Yackel said.  

“This a huge milestone,” Riverhead Supervisor Tim Hubbard said. 

The town has updated its master plan only three times; previous updates were done  in 1973 and 2003.

“We’ve a fair amount of input from the community,” Mr. Hubbard said. “We’ve got a lot of ideas and now we have to sort it out and make it work.” 

This is the current Town Board’s first go-round on the master plan revision. 

The previous board originally hired AKRF Environmental, Planning and Engineering Consultants in 2019 to do the update, under an agreement that required the firm to reach certain milestones over an 18-month period. 

That board later voted to sever the agreement over deadline issues, and the current Town Board hired BFJ Planning, which had previously bid on the work but was passed over for AKRF. 

In addition, the Town Board voted this year to terminate the contract of Jefferson Murphree, who had been in charge of the town planning department as well as the master plan update. 

Noah Lavine of BFJ Planning said draft chapters from the update are posted on the town’s website.

“We had 42 comments on the post in 32 days since February,” he said.