Northside Beverage seeking building permit before approval

An attorney representing Northside Beverage in Laurel has requested permission to begin interior work on a proposed renovation before receiving final approval from the Southold Town Planning Board.

The proposed conversion calls for an existing two-story, 5,100-square-foot building on Old Main Road to be turned into a wholesale/retail beverage distributor. Attorney Richard Searles spoke at Monday night’s Planning Board meeting.

“My impulse is to let you proceed but my only concern is that we have had some people with comments; it almost seems tantamount to an approval,” Planning Board member James Rich said.

At a Nov. 6 public hearing, two residents raised concerns about traffic in the area, citing Bray Avenue as a particularly dangerous intersection that could be worsened by large delivery trucks and an increase in cars driving to the business.

The building sits on 1.1 acres in the General Business zoning district.

Planning Board members said Northside Beverage is allowed to start getting work permits and begin work on the interior of the building, but would proceed at its own risk if the proposal doesn’t ultimately receive formal approval.

“It’s not any type of approval from [the town]; they’re doing this at their own risk,” Southold town attorney Bill Duffy said.

The proposal, which does not yet have approval from the county health department, does not call for any structural changes to the building. Interior work will include sanding down the floors as well as installing refrigerators and other structures necessary to running the business.

The Planning Board also asked Northside Beverage to provide more specific plans for the interior renovation.

Fifteen parking stalls are proposed out the 35 required, but the remaining stalls will be available on grass, not actual pavement. The applicant also plans to retain existing trees and add others to meet landscaping requirements. The application was originally found incomplete in July.

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