Mattituck’s popular Love Lane may soon see a shopping center nearby opening its doors to the public.
At Monday’s planning board work session, a discussion centered on an application put forth by the T.K. Alpha LLC Shopping Center, to be located at 535 Pike Street, approximately 100 feet east of Love Lane, in the hamlet business zoning district.
The board reviewed revised and “scaled back” plans submitted by the applicant, Edward Broidy, a Southampton real estate developer.
The proposed project, which now calls for two retail shops and two affordable apartments upstairs, would be sited on a 2,573 square foot parcel near the Long Island rail road tracks.
Town Planning Director Heather Lanza said there were two main issues – landscaping and parking concerns.
Lanza said Broidy would like to keep an old brick building set back on the property for principal use as a second retail opportunity
Plans for the project have been before the board in the past; Lanza said on Monday that the project doesn’t meet code requirements for landscaping but because of the size and “unique” shape of the property, “the planning board can accept alternatives” to address landscaping issue.
The most critical concern, Lanza added, is parking. With nine spaces proposed, Broidy is “two short” of the 11 parking spaces required, should the second building be kept for use as an accessory structure. And, should future plans for the site include a business such as a restaurant, anywhere from 11 to 22 parking spaces would be required.
The plan, Lanza added, is a “great” addition to the area, and the affordable apartment component in keeping with the Mattituck corridor study. “His big problem is parking,” she said.
Lanza said she did a quick parking analysis of municipal parking spots in the area and determined a total of 175 spaces are available. “It looks like municipal parking is already at capacity,” she said.
Broidy, Lanza said, should provide enough parking to accommodate whatever business takes up shop on premises – Goldberg’s bagels and a men’s clothing shop were proposed possibilities.
“He wants to keep the rear building but it’s causing him a lot of problems,” she said.
Both Lanza and planning board member Donald Wilcenski agreed a workable solution might be for the applicant to forfeit use of the rear building and instead, utilize that space to mitigate parking concerns.
“I think this is a great use for the parcel – and a positive,” Wilcenski said. “But parking is a problem. He’ll have to lose that building to create more parking, but that’s his decision to make.”
On weekends, parking becomes an even greater concern as visitors crowd Love Lane and congregants head to the
Lanza said the board’s recommendations on the revised plans and redesign, including allowing a variance for landscaping issues and the need for additional parking, would be forwarded to the town’s zoning board of appeals.
Board Weighs In On Town Code Proposal
Lanza led a discussion on a town board initiative that would allow for some special exception limited retail sale of goods in areas zoned light industrial in area hamlets. No code has yet been developed, Lanza said, but said some retail use might be acceptable as long as no one “abuses” the privilege.
Lanza recommended such sites be within a quarter mile of hamlet centers.
Currently, she said, some retail used already exists in pre-existing, non-conforming situations and other areas. “It happens,” she said.
But the goal is to keep such retail situations as close as possible to hamlet centers, she said.
“The key word is flexibility,” Wilcenski said.
Lanza assured the process is early on. “This is a long way from happening.” A code still needs to be drafted and reviewed and vetted by the town’s code committee; many future opportunities to discuss the issue still exist.
“Overall, the theory of keeping this as close to the hamlet center as possible makes great sense,” Wilcenski said.
Mattituck Creek Proposal Vetted
The board held a lengthy discussion over a project proposed by applicant James Neumann to create a total of five lots from a 24.9 acre parcel with one existing house bordering Mattituck Creek.
Surveyor Howard Young was onhand to discuss issues of concern with the board. A 20 percent slope map must be provided before the plan can be approved, the board recommended.
Issues discussed included setbacks from the road and wetlands. And, said town planner Mark Terry, the issue of emergency access is critical on the narrow. “It’s a complicated issue,” he said.
Young agreed to come back before the board with the 20 percent slope map for future discussion.