A code amendment adopted Nov. 15 prohibits parking or storage of cars, trailers, boats and campers in front yards of homes, except on driveways. Image; Google Maps/November 2019

Parking vehicles in “non-driveway areas” of a front yard is now a violation of Riverhead Town Code.

The Town Board on Tuesday approved a code amendment to prohibit parking, placement or storage of vehicles, including boats, trailers, RVs and campers in non-driveway areas of the front yard of all one-, two- and multifamily dwellings.

The new code is intended “to maintain an appropriate visual quality for residential properties, residential subdivisions, preserve property values, protect neighborhood character and safeguard quality of life by prohibiting use of non-driveway areas for parking of vehicles,” according to the legislation, which passed by a unanimous vote of the board.

The code defines a driveway as a “distinct area of a parcel situated partially in the front yard and sometimes extending to the side yards…constructed of asphalt, pavement, cement, stone, pebbles or other non- vegetative material such as compacted dirt, which automobiles use for means of egress from or ingress to a parcel of real property and/or by which automobiles may park on the property, not including the parking area within a structure such as a garage.”

A “front yard” is the “area between the street right-of-way and the front line of the main building projected to the side lot lines,” as defined in the new code.

A violation is punishable by a $500 fine.

The Riverhead Town Board at its Nov. 15 meeting. Photo: Denise Civiletti

In other action at Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Board:

Adopted by a 3-2 vote an operating budget for 2023. Supervisor Yvette Aguiar and Council Member Ken Rothwell were both opposed.

MORE COVERAGE: Riverhead’s 2023 operating budget, raising tax rate more than 4%, approved by 3-2 vote, with Aguiar and Rothwell voting no

Approved a budget transfer to cover the cost of loose leaf pickup in the current fiscal year. The board authorized the transfer of $194,000 from the fund balance in the town’s general fund to pay for the pickup. Leaf pickup will begin the week of Nov. 28, Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski said.

MORE COVERAGE: Riverhead’s leaf pickup to begin week of Nov. 28, after Town Board votes to pay for it out of the general fund

Authorized a consulting contract to study the feasibility of a downtown parking garage. The garage is proposed to be located in the parking lot north of East Main Street between Roanoke Avenue and East Avenue. The town will pay consultant Level G Associates of Old Bethpage a fee not to exceed $14,500, unless otherwise authorized in writing, to conduct the study.

Level G Associates specializes in feasibility analysis relating to the development of parking structure, according to the Town Board resolution passed unanimously on Tuesday.

The purpose of the garage would be to replace “parking that will be lost through the redevelopment of the central riverfront area as public space,” the resolution states.

Approved the installation of an electronic information sign for the town square. The solar-powered sign, which has a 42-inch screen, will provide information about upcoming events and attractions. It will cost $15,000 plus $1,000 per year for four additional years.

Set a public hearing on proposed changes to the town’s Community Development Block Grant budgets for 2021 and 2022 to transfer funds from the home improvement program, which provides assistance to income-eligible home owners for home repairs, to the budget line for parking and pedestrian improvements. The amendment would move $75,000 from the 2021 CDBG budget and $50,000 from the 2022 CDBG budget. The hearing will be held Dec. 6 at 2:05 p.m. Written comments may be submitted until 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 6.

Set a public hearing on a code change to raise certain site inspection fees. The board set a public hearing for Dec. 6 at 2:10 p.m. on a proposed town code amendment to raise the site inspection fees for Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans from $110 per hour to $130 per hour, payable by the developer for a town-retained consultant. A stormwater pollution prevention plan is required for all developments disturbing more than five acres of land. The purpose of the stormwater pollution prevention plan is to ensure that proper controls are in place during development and construction to prevent erosion and pollution from stormwater runoff.

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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.