Planning Board Notes: Brewery traffic raises some concerns

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company worker Enfivfo Cruz cleans windows that line the former Lucas Ford showroom on Main Road in Peconic. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company worker Enfivfo Cruz cleans windows that line the former Lucas Ford showroom on Main Road in Peconic. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. is close to opening the doors to its second location in Peconic, but the popular brewery has some work to do before receiving site plan approval from the Southold Town Planning Board. 

During a work session Monday, town planners outlined more than a dozen recommended changes to the proposed site plan, which calls for the renovation of three existing buildings for a brewery, tasting room and restaurant, and the construction of a new storage building, on the property. Planning officials said most of the concerns with the proposal — which Planning Board members expressed support for Monday  — are because they expect the brewery will attract lots of patrons to Main Road and Peconic Lane.

“You’ve already had success and built one of the biggest breweries in the region,” principal planner Mark Terry told brewery co-owner Rich Vandenburgh. “This will be very popular.”

One key change the brewery owners will likely have to make to the site plan deals with the two exits proposed on the property. While cars would still be allowed to enter the property from both Peconic Lane and Main Road under the planning department’s recommended changes, all cars would be required to exit only onto Peconic Lane, planning officials said. The entrance from Main Road would also be moved farther east, away from the intersection.

Additionally, Planning Board chairman Donald Wilcenski said the board is going to ask the New York State Department of Transportation to study the need for a traffic light at the intersection, a recommendation made by the only resident to speak at the June 2 public hearing on the proposal.

Planning Board member Jim Rich, an assistant chief with the Southold Fire Department, said he has concerns about the increased traffic at the intersection.

“There are a lot of accident calls there,” he said. “Probably one a month.”

While Mr. Vandenburgh agreed with much of the suggested changes Monday, he did express concern over the 90 parking spaces that may be required. He also said a suggestion to run a roadway across the parking area of the property from Main Road to Peconic Lane would force more trees to be removed from a wooded portion of the site.

“That’s the nicest part of the property,” he said. “I’d hate to have to cut through any of it.”

Planning officials said a stop work order on the storage facility construction has been issued by the town’s building department because it did not meet setback requirements, but Mr. Vandenburgh assured the Planning Board that the storage building would be moved farther back on the property.

The Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals is expected to issue a decision this Thursday, June 19 on a special exception to open the tasting room in one of the existing buildings.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., which opened on Carpenter Street in Greenport in July 2009, is expected to host a grand opening party and fifth anniversary celebration at the new location on Saturday, July 12.

Mr. Wilcenski said the Planning Board wants to work with the brewery to make sure it opens on time.

“We want to keep you moving,” he said. “We don’t want to see you stopped.”

New B&B coming to Peconic?

A brewery might not be the only new business headed for Peconic Lane — a bed and breakfast could be in the works, too.

Attorney Patricia Moore of Southold asked the Planning Board Monday if a B&B would be a permitted use on the subdivided property at 3025 Peconic Lane, where her client has found a buyer who’d like to build one there.

Planning officials assured Ms. Moore that the property’s current residential zoning would allow for a five-bedroom bed and breakfast that could serve up to 10 patrons at a given time.

Ms. Moore said the buyer is already in contract to purchase the property, which is located nearest Route 48.

“It could help generate tourism,” she said, noting that it was appropriate the bed and breakfast discussion took place soon after the nearby brewery site was reviewed by the Planning Board. “Peconic Lane is about to get busier.”

Hotel, winery not permitted at Mattituck site

If the Planning Board has its way a winery will never be a permitted use at 1605 Wickham Avenue in Mattituck, but the attorney for the current property owner said she hopes that changes.

Attorney Gail Wickham of Mattituck said she’s going to ask the Town Board to overrule the Planning Board’s recommendation that a winery, a normally permitted use under the proposed limited business zoning for the undeveloped parcel, not be allowed to open at the site.

“I don’t want to see you handcuffed, but a winery there feels out of place,” Mr. Wilcenski told Ms. Wickham, who was appearing on behalf of property owner Harold R. Reeve & Sons, Inc.

The Planning Board also proposed adding a restriction against a hotel on the 1.8 buildable acres in the proposed subdivision, which Ms. Wickham agreed would not be a suitable use for any prospective buyer interested in developing the site.

Town planners had also suggested the Planning Board consider restricting a restaurant from being built on the property, which connects to Route 48 just west of the Dinizio Service Center, but members ultimately decided to allow that potential use. Other permitted uses under LB zoning include machine shops, funeral homes, museums and pet care facilities.

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