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New Village site plan reviewer won’t attend planning meetings, officials say

The Greenport Village Board voted to hire a Mattituck-based architectural firm Monday to act as a site plan reviewer for the village Planning Board.

Anthony Portillo, the principal of AMP Architecture, has a bachelor of science degree in architecture from the University of Buffalo and has experience as a construction manager, according to his web site. Kyle Edstrom and Brooke Epperson are senior architects with the firm. AMP will no longer be allowed to represent applicants proposing site plans to the Planning Board, officials said.

The salary will come from fees paid by applicants and will be paid on an hourly basis, officials said.

Village Administrator Paul Pallas said officials don’t anticipate having AMP representatives attend Planning Board meetings, as predecessor Glynis Berry did.

Ms. Berry is no longer in the site plan reviewer position.

“We had somebody in the position before, but due to difference of opinion, we decided to move on and look to hire somebody else,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said.

John Saladino, the chairman of the village Zoning Board of Appeals, said his only objection to not having the site plan reviewer at the meetings is that “applicants often see things that planners or board members don’t.”

Mr. Pallas said that if there are questions, the board can relay them back to the site plan reviewer. He said the Planning Board could also request the site plan reviewer attend the meeting.

“This is just to help streamline the process for the Planning Board to take the burden off the village administrator,” Mr. Hubbard said. “A professional that should give us input on plans that are going before the planning board. The intention is to have the planner review everything ahead of time, so when the board comes to the meeting, any questions they had should be taken care of beforehand, so there’s not things that pop up and surprise them … There shouldn’t be any surprises.”

Trustee Julia Robins said she felt that having the site plan reviewer attend the Planning Board meetings often added to the confusion.

“You see it as streamlining, I see it as laborious,” Mr. Saladino said.

Mr. Hubbard said the Village Board could always go back to having the site plan reviewer at the meeting if need be.

“The Planning Board reached out to us and said they needed some help with some of these applications,” he said. “They want to have the answers they need beforehand so there are no surprises.”

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Photo caption: Kyle Edstrom (from left), Brooke Epperson and Anthony Portillo at their office in Mattituck. (Credit: Kelly Zegers, file photo)

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