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Developer to pay fee instead of building affordable housing in Mattituck

The developers of a 12-lot subdivision on 36 acres Mattituck won’t have to create any affordable housing in connection with that project, despite a Southold Town requirement that residential subdivisions of more than five units allocate 20 percent of their lots toward such a use.

Instead, The Estates at Royalton is taking advantage of another town law that allows residential developers to pay a fee into a town housing fund instead of providing affordable housing. In this case, the fee, which is fixed at twice the median income for Nassau and Suffolk counties, comes to $424,750.

While that law has been on the books since 2004, town officials said they believe this is the first time a developer has put it to use.

The money the town is expected to receive will be used for affordable housing initiatives elsewhere in town, said planning director Heather Lanza.

The applicant will need to submit that payment to the town before any work can begin, town planner Mark Terry said Monday, when the Royalton application came before the Planning Board. It received a conditional approval, with the requirement that construction material be removed from the open space area before final approval.

The Estates at Royalton is located at 55 Cox Neck Road in Mattituck and the application seeks to subdivide 37 acres into 12 lots, including a previously approved 12-acre indoor equestrian center.

Royalton property manager Steve Libretto said the conditions can be easily met. The Planning Board also agreed to accept a $314,870 bond for the project.

In November the town required Heritage at Cutchogue to pay a $2 million fee for park and playground use and for affordable housing buyout fees, but that was part of a stipulation in the settlement of a lawsuit between the town and Heritage.

That project, located on 46 acres just north of Cutchogue Pharmacy, calls for 124 condominium units and a 6,188-square-foot community center with a 1,125-square-foot swimming pool and one tennis court.

It received conditional site plan approval from the Planning Board in November. On Monday, the Planning Board voted to allow Heritage to begin clearing trees before receiving final site plan approval.

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File courtesy photo: An indoor horse riding ring is planned for this Mattituck estate. (Credit: The Corcoran Group)