Mattituck’s future will take center stage next Tuesday, when Southold Town officials bring a new corridor study of the hamlet to residents for questions.
The Town Board will hold its board meeting at 7:30 p.m. March 14 at the town Human Resource Center on Pacific Street in Mattituck instead of Town Hall. After the regular meeting, there will be a presentation on the corridor study, and Town Board members and planning staff will take public comments.
Mattituck Chamber of Commerce president Donielle Cardinale plans to attend, and said she wants other Mattituck residents to participate.
“Being a part of the meeting is a great idea. It’s a great opportunity to know what’s going on,” she said. “They definitely are encouraging local businesses to have input. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to have a say and a voice.”
The corridor study, prepared by the consulting firm of Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, was commissioned by the Town Board last year when Mattituck was in the midst of unprecedented development, including construction of two new banks and an application to build a 7-Eleven on the site of the former Citgo gas station at the corner of Main Road and Factory Avenue.
One of those banks has opened and construction on the other stopped without explanation last fall. The 7-Eleven received the go-ahead from the Southold Planning Board just before Christmas last year.
The corridor study focuses on possible zoning changes in an area running from the Long Island Rail Road trestle in Laurel to the intersection of Route 25 and Pike Street, just west of Mattituck High School, along with areas surrounding the railroad tracks between Route 25 and Route 48 near Love Lane.
The report recommends that the site of the Capital One corporate office building on Route 25, which is currently in a “B” zoning district, be rezoned as a modified “B” zone, which would remove retail and restaurants as permitted uses.
Redevelopment of the Capital One building “could potentially yield a shopping center with a supermarket and additional retail. Such a development would detract from the established shopping areas in the hamlet,” according to the study.
The report also suggests giving the owners of the Mattituck Plaza shopping center incentives to improve aesthetics and pedestrian safety by allowing them to construct another building along Route 25 “in a way that improves street-front aesthetics and promotes walkability.”
The study also urges the town to push the Mattituck Plaza and 7-Eleven owners to engineer a way to provide cross-access between the properties, despite a steep grade difference between the two sites.
The report makes use of 2010 census figures indicating that Mattituck residents are younger and more likely to have families than residents of the Town of Southold as a whole. Mattituck’s residents are also more educated and tend to earn more than residents of the town as a whole, with a median income of $74,045.
In an attempt to accommodate the hamlet’s young families, the study urges the town to promote multi-family housing in several areas, including the area of Route 25 between Bay Avenue and the Presbyterian Church. That would “simultaneously create a larger base to support existing businesses and may create a market for additional businesses,” according to the study. Such development may require a transfer of sanitary credits, which could be facilitated by the town.
The study recommends rezoning a business district that contains several private houses on the south side of Route 25 between Legion and New Suffolk avenues to residential office.
“This zoning change is important if the town wishes to prevent a continuous retail strip between the Love Lane business district and the business around the Mattituck Plaza Shopping Center,” according to the study.
The study suggests rezoning the light industrial areas north of the railroad tracks to a category similar to neighborhood business, where health care offices, pet grooming facilities, repair shops, gyms and day spas would be allowed, but any retail uses would be limited to products that were made on site.
The study also calls for promoting multi-family development in those areas.
It suggests that all new development around Love Lane be required to comply with architectural standards to preserve the historic character of the small shopping district, and that the town encourage second-story apartments above Love Lane shops. The study suggests that better signs for municipal parking lots surrounding Love Lane be installed.
It also calls for the creation of a Mattituck Business Improvement District and a Transportation Improvement District, both of which would be special taxing districts to raise funds to promote and provide local traffic control measures.
The study calls on the town to hold a public art initiative to help beautify Mattituck’s downtown, improve sidewalks throughout the study area, add sidewalks to Factory Avenue and provide bike racks and bike rental services in the area surrounding the train station and the Matt-A-Mar Marina on Mattituck Creek. It also proposes crosswalks across Route 48 at Westphalia Avenue and Love Lane and improvements to the Route 48 crosswalk at Wickham Ave.
A full copy of the report is available at Mattituck-Laurel Library or on the town’s website at http://126.96.36.199:2040/weblink7/Browse.aspx.