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Planning Board grants conditional site plan approval for Heritage

11/07/2016 9:52 PM |

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A controversial 124-unit condominium development proposed for Cutchogue quietly took a few steps forward at Monday’s Southold Town Planning Board meeting.

The board granted a conditional site plan approval to Heritage at Cutchogue and deemed it to be consistent with the policies of the town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

The board also adopted what’s known as a finding statement, which concludes the environmental impact studies on the project.

However, there are 43 conditions that must be met, according to town planning director Heather Lanza.

The resolution read at Monday’s meeting said those conditions will be available to the public on Wednesday, since Town Hall is closed on Tuesday for Election Day.

The conditional approval took place at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, and no one from the public addressed the board about it.

Heritage at Cutchogue has faced mostly opposition from residents and environmental groups at public hearings held in past meetings. Opponents have argued that the proposal is too big for the area where it’s proposed and will harm wildlife, impact groundwater and create traffic problems.

The project is planned for 46 acres just north of the Cutchogue Pharmacy on the northwest corner of Griffing Street and Schoolhouse Road. The application also calls for a 6,188-square-foot community center with a 1,125-square-foot swimming pool, one tennis court and a total of 540 parking spaces.

It would have both detached and attached housing units.

The housing is aimed at people age 55 and over, and the applicant’s attorney had indicated at a public hearing in February that they would be willing to install a wastewater treatment system on site.

The Suffolk County Planning Commission in January recommended approval of the project but commented that the applicant should be “directed to continue dialogue” with the Suffolk County Health Department about “advanced wastewater treatment, including the possibility of innovative/alternative nitrogen reducing systems.”

The application actually goes back more than 30 years and the current version of the plan stems in part from a 2014 settlement to a 2009 lawsuit filed against the town by the applicant, resulting in fewer units and a pledge by the town to not rezone the property.

Photo caption: Southold Town Planning Board members at Monday’s meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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