Plans for a 7-Eleven convenience store on West Main Street near Osborn Avenue received final site plan approval last night by the Riverhead Planning Board.

The applicant will demolish an existing vacant building on the one-acre site situated on the Peconic River and build a 3,075-square-foot one-story building to be occupied as a 7-Eleven convenience store. The existing vacant building was previously used for an auto repair shop.

Site of former auto repair shop on West Main Street planned for a new 7-Eleven. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Planning board Vice Chairman Ed Densieski abstained from the vote, which granted approval 4-0. Densieski thanked the planning department staff and the applicant for their hard work to improve the look of the proposed building.

“It’s a heck of a lot better but it is in a historic district downtown and I don’t think the 7-Eleven logo colors are appropriate,” Densieski said before voting. He said he preferred prefers pastels or earth tones to the corporate logo’s orange and green theme and he argued for that change at prior meetings. The developer said the client, 7-Eleven, would not agree to the change.

Riverhead Raceway site improvements

Board members reviewed an application by Riverhead Raceway to make landscaping and site improvements along its northern boundary which fronts Route 58. The raceway owners want to remove the existing chain-link fence and vegetation and place boulders along the front property line.

Planning department staff member Greg Bergman recommended that the board require the raceway to augment existing vegetation rather than remove what’s there.

“The existing vegetation is sparse, but staff does not recommend removal,” Bergman told the board. “It would remove any visual screening…Removal is contrary to what the board has strived for along Old Country Road.”

Planning Board Chairman Stan Carey noted that the board has been requiring properties in that area of Route 58 to put in “gentle berms” and plant them.

“Why would we vary from that?” Carey asked. “Put in a slight berm with plantings and put in these rocks behind it.”

The applicant’s intent is “to take an old, tired site and make it more aesthetically attractive,” said the raceway’s engineering consultant, Tom Wolpert of Young and Young.

“If you go by there now, it looks like a prison, surrounded by a chain link fence with barbed wire. We’re trying to make it less institutional and more attractive,” he said.

“We’re certainly in favor of making it look nicer,” Carey said.

The raceway will return to the planning board with “more detail” about the improvement plans.

Plan for retail shops and apartments on E. Main Street gains preliminary approval

The board last night granted preliminary site plan approval for a site plan application to develop a vacant parcel at 836 East Main Street with a mixed-use building consisting of 6,558 square feet of ground-level retail and 6,780 square feet of second-floor residential apartments. The plan proposes eight apartments ranging in size from 532 square feet to 980 square feet.

The .77-acre site, located on the northeast corner of East Main Street and Prospect Place, is within the Hamlet Center zoning use district.

Planning board member Joseph Baier voted no on the application, objecting to the size of the apartments.

“I don’t like anything less than 600 square feet,” he said, reiterating an objection he consistently voiced about the apartments at the mixed-use development on the corner of Osborn Avenue and Pulaski Street.

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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.