Mattituck 7-Eleven nears approval phase

Controversial plans for 7-Eleven at the corner of Factory Avenue and Route 25 in Mattituck will come up for discussion again before the Town Planning Board next Monday at 4 p.m.

The board’s work session could be the last before it takes the steps necessary to move on to a vote, town planning director Heather Lanza said this week. Any vote would have to come after a final public hearing.

At the last hearing on the proposal more than a year ago, many residents spoke against it, saying it would only make traffic in the area worse and lead to other problems.

The 7-Eleven would occupy the site of a Citgo station that closed several years ago. The owners plan to remove the gas pumps and canopy and build a 685-square-foot addition to the gas station building, roughly doubling its size. If the plan is approved, one of two curb cuts on Route 25, just east of the traffic light at Factory Avenue, would be removed.

The town’s review of the project has been at a standstill since mid-summer, when an independent traffic consulting firm was brought in to analyze a report prepared by 7-Eleven’s traffic consultants. The New York State Department of Transportation has reviewed the project favorably because it eliminates an exit from the property that is too close to the traffic light at Factory Avenue.

The 7-Eleven discussion will come just weeks before the town expects to receive the first draft of a Mattituck corridor study analyzing potential future development in the hamlet.

The corridor study is being prepared by the consulting firm Nelson, Pope and Voorhis. The town commissioned the review even as the board balked at the supervisor’s call for a moratorium on development in Mattituck. The study will examine current and potential land use along Route 25 from the Long Island Rail Road trestle in Laurel to the end of the business district, just east of Mattituck-Laurel Library, as well as a small section of Route 48 zoned for light industrial use.

Ms. Lanza said the study will recommend zoning changes for some individual properties and road access changes along the south side of Route 25 from Four Doors Down east. It will also include several traffic-calming recommendations for the blind curve at Love Lane. The consultants also will recommend a traffic-calming study of the intersection of Route 25 and Factory Avenue.

The town applied for a $2 million grant in 2009 to cover traffic-calming measures and improved pedestrian navigation of the curve at Love Lane, but did not receive it. Ms. Lanza said the town hopes to reapply for the grant the next time it becomes available.

While the corridor study has been in the works, construction in Mattituck has continued. A 4,200-square-foot Chase Bank, for which ground was broken early this summer, is expected to be finished by the end of the year. Farther east on Route 25, work stalled several months ago on construction of a Hudson City Savings Bank branch.

According to bank representatives, Hudson City would be a tenant of that property, owned by Mattituck attorney Dan Mooney. The two-building project, approved by the town’s Planning Board last year, originally was to have included both the bank and a separate medical complex, but only the bank building was constructed before work stopped late this summer. Mr. Mooney could not be reached for comment.
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