The site known as Sharper’s Hill in Jamesport will be preserved, County Legislator Al Krupski announced tonight during Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter’s State of the Town speech at a dinner meeting in Polish Town.
The owner of the 10-acre Sharper’s Hill and the 32-acre adjacent parcel to its north has agreed to sell the land to the county. The site was once slated for 42,000-square-feet of retail, professional office and bistro uses, a controversial plan approved by the Riverhead Town Board in 2012 despite community outcry.
The property changed hands following a foreclosure proceeding and the new owner, Robert DeNoto entered into negotiations with the county and eventually came to terms.
The 10-acre parcel fronting Main Road will be preserved for use as a hamlet park, Krupski said tonight. The 32-acre adjacent parcel to the north, which contains prime agricultural soils, will be preserved through the county’s purchase of development rights program, Krupski said.
The Town of Riverhead will maintain the hamlet park, the legislator said, extending his thanks to the town.
An ancient Native American burial ground on the site will be preserved, Krupski said.
The County Legislature must approve the purchase before it is finalized.
“This action by the county precludes massive commercial development which would have literally overwhelmed the hamlet of Jamesport. It preserves the character of the rural corridor, the backbone of our agriculture and tourism-based economy,” said Save Main Road representative Larry Simms of South Jamesport.
In addition to Save Main Road, the Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association, the Long Island Indigenous People Museum and Research Institute, the Setalcott Nation, Group for the East End and the North Fork Environmental Council support the acquisition, Krupski said.