A proposal to build a cluster of residential homes in Mattituck was met with objection from dozens of neighbors who told Planning Board members Monday night the project is another example of “Mattituck becoming the Riverhead of the North Fork.”
During a public hearing in Southold Town Hall, residents told the board that negative environmental impacts and disruption to their small community are just a couple of reasons why they should vote down the Koehler Family Limited Partnership proposal.
The 15-acre property, located at New Suffolk Avenue and Marratooka Road, is currently the site of a single-family home. The owner wants to demolish the existing building and subdivide the parcel into eight lots. Roughly nine acres would be preserved as open space and the remaining lots would become a waterfront housing development, according to Planning Board documents.
Under Southold Town code, the owner is required to provide one affordable housing unit. The site plan indicates that the affordable home would be located elsewhere in Southold Town.
“The land, which comprises the beauty and natural resources of our town, is being repeatedly lost to development… for no reason other than the almighty dollar,” said Jerry Diffley of Luptons Point Road, located to the south of the Koehler property. Mr. Diffley is also president of the Mattituck school board.
“We have plenty of homes for sale in Southold Town,” he continued. “We need affordable housing, not a development on an open agricultural space and certainly not one that is developed on our waterways.”
The displacement of wildlife and the addition of more septic systems in the neighborhood were also major concerns for residents.
“We have exchanged ducks for docks,” said resident George Kreiling. “It sounds funny but people keep putting in docks and the ducks are leaving. I am concerned about the creek itself. All the cesspools will be draining into it. What will happen to our water?”
Many questioned why the land couldn’t be preserved.
Representing the property owner, Fredrick Koehler, was Tom McCarthy of McCarthy Real Estate Inc. in Southold. He said the previous property owner had attempted to sell the property to the town for preservation, but the deal fell through.
“Preservation was an option on the table from the previous owner and it was denied,” Mr. McCarthy said. “The design of this subdivision was done to try to keep as much of the scenic vistas as possible. Yes, there will be noise during construction. It is unavoidable and it is necessary.”
Planning Board chairman Donald Wilcenski advised residents that the public hearing was only the beginning of the site plan review process.
“Every item mentioned today will be addressed,” he said.
Additionally, the docks that are proposed for three of the seven buildable parcels would be subject to Southold Town Board of Trustee approval.