The town board had nine public hearings on its agenda today, but only concluded two of them. The rest will be taken up at its next regular meeting on Sept. 17.

The board opened and adjourned five hearings on proposed code revisions, four of which pertain to the landmarks preservation commission and architectural review board. The fifth was hearing on a code provision that would deem abandoned site plan applications after six months without a response from an applicant to submission requirements.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio objected to the proposals pertaining to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and asked the supervisor to schedule members of the commission to come in for a discussion at next week’s work session.

Landmarks Preservation Commission chairman Richard Wines wrote to the town board today to request a work session meeting with the board. He said the commission “has some concerns about some aspects of the proposed revisions” and he asked that consideration of the measures be delayed.

Giglio argued that the proposed revisions would have the effect of taking regulatory authority away from the landmarks commission.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Giglio said. She said changing the procedure would add time and unnecessary delay to the application process.

But Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith and Councilwoman Catherine Kent, who is the town board liaison to the code revision committee, both argued that the proposed revisions were attempts to clean up inconsistencies in the code, which says in some places that the commission is an advisory body to the town board and in other places that it has authority to rule on applications, though, under current code, its ruling can be appealed to the town board. Councilman James Wooten said the commission has always been advisory and the decision should be made by the town board.

Two hearings scheduled for today’s meeting on two West Main Street properties alleged to be “blighted” under the town code were put off until Sept. 17.

The board held a hearing on a sewer district extension to incorporate a portion of a Route 58 property being developed as an auto dealership. The owner of the site, the former Out East Family Fun, purchased a parcel of land from the adjacent Foxwood Village that was not in the sewer district, Sewer District Superintendent Michael Reichel said. The proposed sewer district extension would take in that parcel. The rest of the site is already in the sewer district, Reichel said.

Another hearing dealt with the special permit and site plan application of J. Petrocelli Development Associates to renovate a historic home on East Main Street for spa/lounge and hotel uses.

There was no public comment offered on either matter. Both hearings were left open for 10 days for written comment.

In other action today, the board:

  • authorized a request for proposals, due Oct. 9, to site cellular communications towers on town properties at the sewer district, the yard waste facility on Youngs Avenue, the highway department on Osborn Avenue and the highway yard in Wading River;
  • authorized the town supervisor to sign an early voting polling place agreement with the Suffolk County Board of Elections for the use of the town community center at 60 Shade Tree Lane from Oct. 26 through Nov.3;
  • authorized the refunding (refinancing) of $14,075,000, the outstanding principal balance of public improvement serial bonds issued in 2011;
  • approved an extension of the Riverhead Sewer District to take in property adjacent to the Hotel Indigo, which was requested by the owner of the hotel property for purposes of an extension;
  • began coordinated review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act of a site plan application to construct a five-story, 33,858-square-foot addition to the Suffolk Theater, including a 5,643-square-foot stage level expansion for theater support (enlarged stage, green rooms, dressing rooms, storage, and mechanical spaces), a 5,643-square-foot commercial level including up to three retail spaces, totaling approximately 2,360 square feet, as well as restrooms, mechanical space, patio/entrance areas, and access to residential apartments on floors two through five; and residential apartments on floors two through five, consisting of a mix of 28 studio and one bedroom units; the town board classified the application as a Type I action under SEQRA and requested lead agency status;
  • hired four new police officers for the Riverhead Town Police Department: Peter J. Anderson, Daniel G. Clark, Cameron D. Oswald and Craig J. Vasey;
  • hired a purchasing agent, Teresa Baldinucci, to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of longtime purchasing agent Maryann Tague;
  • approved a special event permit for the Snowflake Regatta, set for Nov. 3 on the Peconic Riverfront.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.