Riverhead Plans Corridor Study from Aquebogue to Laurel

While this nine-acre property on Route 25 in Jamesport is being cleared to make way for a tree farm, many other development proposals for the Route 25 corridor are cause for concern for residents.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said at Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board meeting that the town is planning to embark on a corridor study of Route 25 from Route 105 to the town line in Laurel, after concern from many Jamesport residents about impending development along that stretch of road.

Mr. Walter said the town has solicited a proposal for the study from Frank Fish of BFJ Planning, the firm that did the town’s recent Wading River corridor study, and will discuss the proposal at an upcoming town board meeting once it is received.

Mr. Walter’s comments came after Laurel resident Laura Jens-Smith, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a town board seat this past year, pointed out several discrepancies in the town’s zoning code along that corridor.

Ms. Jens-Smith pointed out that it has been 12 years since Riverhead’s last master plan, and she believes the zoning that came out of that plan should be re-examined.

She pointed out that, in Jamesport, properties zoned “Rural Corridor” are allowed to have retail uses, but in other areas of town retail is not allowed in the Rural Corridor zone.

Ms. Jens-Smith also pointed out that properties closer to Jamesport that are zoned “Village Center” require that buildings be in keeping with the existing streetscape, and the front of those buildings is required to face the road, but the code doesn’t mention whether buildings in the Rural Corridor zone must face the road.

She also said the Rural Corridor zoning made reference to projects as needing to contain a minimum of four buildings, with a maximum building size of 5,000 square feet each.

“You should take a look at that, so we’re not behind the eight ball” once development is proposed in those areas, said Ms. Jens-Smith.

“I’m working on it diligently,” said Mr. Walter, who added that he’s enlisted the help of new town board member Tim Hubbard, who lives in Aquebogue.

The Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association will be discussing the developments proposed for that corridor at a special meeting Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the Jamesport Meeting House.

 

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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