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Parking concerns remain over proposed Greenporter hotel expansion

06/11/2019 5:55 AM |

Concerns over parking were once again aired Thursday during a Greenport Planning Board work session discussion of a proposal to add a third floor to the Greenporter Hotel on Front Street.

Architects Hideaki Ariizumi and Glynis Berry of Studio A/B Architects in Riverhead presented a revised site plan that shows widened access to the property from Front Street, new decking and setbacks for the proposed third floor.

“It feels like it’s two stories … I think you’ll find that it doesn’t have that bulky sense,” Glynis Berry said, presenting the updated plans to the board.

The proposal would connect the hotel’s two existing buildings to create a lobby space and add 20 new guest rooms on a new third floor, which would also feature a communal library space. The hotel currently has 30 guest rooms.

A review of the plan prepared by AMP Architects of Mattituck found it would require 55 parking spaces — none are currently proposed aside from the 33 existing spaces.

“We’re not going to resolve that here,” Planning Board chair Walter Foote said, noting that the matter would be referred to the building department and Zoning Board of Appeals.

“We haven’t done a full analysis on what the variance is, but it certainly needs one in our opinion,” village administrator Paul Pallas said at the meeting.

It would also likely require a variance due to the height of the proposed building.

Though some Planning Board members had raised concerns about traffic impacts at a previous meeting, Ms. Berry said her correspondence with the state Department of Transportation indicated otherwise. “The existing curb cuts are both in good condition and are located where they would want them,” she said.

Hotel owner Deborah Rivera-Pittorino has said that many of her guests arrive via public transportation, but board members spoke out about potential traffic impacts again at last week’s meeting.

“It’s great that you encourage people to walk, but I don’t think you can say that it has no impact on traffic in the village,” board member Patricia Hammes told the applicants. She noted that traffic generated by the hotel could be people on their way to points east, such as Orient Beach State Park.

Ms. Hammes said she’d like an uninvolved third party to weigh in on their traffic concerns.

Some of the building elevations, mainly new decking on the upper floors, also elicited criticism from the board. “The deck outside, out front. It just gives the look almost like a hotel you’d see off the interstate,” Mr. Foote said.

Ms. Rivera-Pittorino said they’d be willing to address the style and design of the decking, but she’d like to have the additional outdoor space for guests, who typically come from Manhattan.

“It brings that building that much closer to the street,” Mr. Foote said. “It’s going to really stand out one way or another.”

Mr. Foote said that while he likes other parts of the design plan, he’d like to see revisions made to the deck and guidelines for what could be kept outside, to avoid a “cluttered” look.

The discussion was tabled until the next meeting on June 27, at which time the board may adopt lead agency status under the State Environmental Quality Review Act for the proposal. The application will also be referred to the ZBA, officials said.

“It is a big project,” Ms. Hammes said. “We’re still struggling with the size, as you come into the village. I recognize that other hotels in town have a third floor, but they’re smaller overall in terms of footprint.”

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