Riverhead Town is inviting residents to take part in a community forum on the design of downtown Riverhead with planning firm Urban Design Associates Thursday evening, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Center at 60 Shade Tree Lane in Aquebogue. 

This will be an opportunity for residents to take a direct role in deciding what future development in our downtown should look like by speaking with the planners and architects who will be creating the new pattern book for Downtown Riverhead.

“I encourage residents to attend and have their voices heard,” said Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith. “Community input is such an important aspect to development in our downtown, and it has been missing for too long. Whether the issues are walkability, transportation, or the character of the area- this public forum will be an opportunity to ensure that residents can have their say in the future in what is all of our downtown.”

“It is so important that residents attend and be heard. The future of our downtown is still being decided, and our residents have to be centered in that process,” said Deputy Supervisor and Liaison to the Downtown Revitalization Committee Catherine Kent. “We as a community get to decide what our downtown should look like, and I am asking that residents use their voices to be part of that discussion.”

Urban Design Associates bases their design strategies around building consensus through a community planning process. Their progress in this project relies on residents and local stakeholders to be part of the process, making community participation key to the success of the creation of this pattern book.

Holding meetings with the public and stakeholders is Step 1 in UDA’s approach to this project with further action being taken after hearing public comment. Decisions made about the pattern book will be informed by this public forum.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she 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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