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Planning Board: Heritage at Cutchogue’s environmental study draft isn’t ready

09/15/2015 4:51 PM |

Heritage at Cutchogue

An environmental impact study on the proposed 124-unit Heritage at Cutchogue housing development isn’t ready for primetime, Southold Town said Monday.

The draft of the study, which was given to the town’s Planning Board, is “inadequate for public review,” said planner Mark Terry. The draft will have to be revised by the developers, who are proposing a 55-and-over community built on 46 acres on Schoolhouse Road, including a tennis court, community center and outdoor swimming pool.

During a recent preliminary public hearing on the project, speakers said they were concerned by possible effects the development may have on water quality and traffic in the area.

At Monday’s meeting, Mr. Terry brought up those same topics, saying the draft had “deficiencies” in how it reviewed groundwater contamination and traffic. Among the problems with the drafted study:

• It didn’t address how to handle contaminated soil during construction.

• It didn’t look at arsenic contamination already present on the site, nor did it investigate whether watering the contaminated soil would make the otherwise stationary arsenic flow into the environment.

• The draft also had 24 deficiencies related to traffic concerns, such as issues with accident data, traffic counts, whether the correct agencies were contacted for the study and which roads were studied.

John Wagner, the attorney for the project, said the developers would update the draft and return it to the Planning Board for further review.

The latest version of the project came about a year after the developers and Southold Town agreed to put a 2009 lawsuit against the town — which alleged the town maliciously hindered development — on hold.

As part of the agreement, the town won’t change the property’s zoning or allowable uses until the proposal is evaluated by the Planning Board. The developers agreed to reduce the number of housing units and designate a portion of the parcel as open space.

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