Rendering of proposed development at 205 Osborn Avenue, Riverhead.
Image: G2G Group website.

A public hearing on the site plan application for a five-story, 50-foot-tall mixed-use building on the corner of Osborn Avenue and Court Street will take place on Dec. 7 at 2:05 p.m.

The proposal by G2D Group of Huntington currently includes 37 rental apartments on the second through fifth floors, ground-floor offices/conference rooms, a rooftop patio area for use by building residents and related site improvements such as parking, lighting, landscaping, and drainage systems.

The developer sought nine variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals, seeking relief from zoning code requirements for minimum front, side and rear yards, off-street parking setbacks, minimum parking stall size, vegetative buffer size and parking lot planting requirements and certain lighting requirements.

The half-acre site is located within the recently enacted Railroad Avenue Urban Renewal Overlay District.

An Aug. 26 public hearing before the ZBA drew opposition from neighboring property owners — Suffolk County Historical Society and Riverhead Free Library — and members of the community.

The ZBA on Sept. 23 granted six of the nine variances sought, denying the requests for “up-lighting” in violation of the town’s “dark skies” code, for exterior lighting at more than 16 feet above grade and for relief from the minimum parking stall size for all stalls. The applicant asked to make all stalls 9 by 20 feet instead of the required 10 by 20 feet. The board allowed a combination of 15 full-size stalls (10 by 20 feet) and 20 compact-car size stalls (8 by 16 feet.)

The variances sought would not result in a project tat is disproportionate to the property size, the ZBA determined. “The building is significantly below the maximum lot coverage permitted by the code,” the board said in its decision.

The variances will not result in “an undesirable change to the neighborhood” and “to the extent the variances will contribute to a change in the character of surrounding properties or neighborhood, the change is one which the town has expressly communicated a desire and an intent through the adoption of their strategic plan and the overlay zoning for the Railroad Avenue Urban Renewal Area,” the ZBA decision said.

“The request variance will not have an adverse impact on the physical or environment conditions in the neighborhood/district as the current neighborhood is blighted and unwelcoming,” the board wrote. “In fact the addition of this building and uses will improve the area.”

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