When it comes to parking near Love Lane, Southold Town planning board chairman Donald Wilcenski said the board is drawing a “line in the sand.”
And apparently, developer Ed Broidy’s latest bid to demolish a two-story house on Pike Street and build a 5,600-square-foot commercial building in its place has fallen on the wrong side of that line.
After a back-and-forth discussion between Mr. Broidy and the board that lasted nearly 45 minutes Monday evening, the board unanimously agreed to require Mr. Broidy’s building to have its parking on-site.
The board won’t allow Mr. Broidy — whose proposed development called “Olde Colonial Place” would be built next to another of his commercial projects — to count municipal public spaces as his own to fulfill the town’s code requirements. In its most recent version, the development would need 34 parking stalls on its site; Mr. Broidy’s plan calls for 23, according to the board.
“Everybody had concerns on parking so I think that the only way to downsize the number of parking stalls on site is to downsize the number of buildings,” Mr. Wilcenski said.
But that requirement upset Mr. Broidy, who attended the meeting and asked the board why other businesses before his were allowed to use the lots.
“I have the opportunity and the right to use the [municipal] parking lot,” he said, speaking specifically about additional parking west of Love Lane a few blocks away. “There’s plenty of parking there … This little hamlet has all the necessary facilities to accommodate.”
The board disagreed, citing town planning reports and community feedback and studies as recent as this summer that showed parking in Mattituck was a growing problem.
Mr. Broidy countered, saying it was a good problem to have and that the board should encourage more business in town.
“Why am I being asked to do this?” he asked. “Because I’m building a new building and improving the town?”
Mr. Broidy also said his project couldn’t work if it was any smaller.
“It doesn’t become feasible,” he said. “Basically, what I submitted is what I want.”
The board members and Mr. Broidy went back and forth, with Mr. Broidy interrupting the board and claiming they were an “advisory” board that needed to tell him what they were looking for.
He asked whether he could resubmit his plan with a note saying it would meet the code. But board members said he couldn’t just promise to meet the town’s parking codes; he’d have to prove it.
“We can’t design your building,” Mr. Wilcenski said.
The board ultimately told Mr. Broidy to set up a meeting with the town planning department where he could learn about the codes he’d need to abide by to get his development approved.
After the meeting, Mr. Broidy said didn’t believe the parking studies — he called those with concerns “Mickey Mouse groups” — and asserted that there was enough space throughout town. If his customers got to the parking lots first and took the spaces, the other businesses’ customers would just have to park elsewhere, he said. First come, first served.
“I’m not here to hurt anybody,” he added. “I’m here to do what’s best for me and what’s best for the community.”