Town may require outside agency conduct environmental review of Strong’s Marine expansion

The Southold Town Planning Board is considering hiring a consultant to conduct an environmental review of a plan to construct two new storage buildings at Strong’s Marine on Mill Road in Mattituck.

According to a site plan application, two new boat storage buildings are planned for the property. One is 52,500 square feet and the other is 49,000 square feet and would be located behind the existing boatyard buildings.

In a staff report dated May 6, 2019, town planners determined that the proposal is a “major project” in an environmentally sensitive area.

“This requires a lot of earthwork and a lot of cut to the site itself,” town planner Brian Cummings explained at a work session Monday. The proposed area of disturbance impacts 171,929 square feet and 493 trees in the area, Mr. Cummings said.

He said the planning department was still working on reviewing the application, first submitted in July 2018, and finding it complete.

In the meantime, due to the size and scope of the proposal, the Planning Board is considering hiring an outside agency to review the project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Planning Board chair Don Wilcenski said the consultant could also determine if the board’s Environmental Assessment Forms required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation contains sufficient information.

Town planning director Heather Lanza explained that if the board chooses to hire a consultant, they would have to issue a Request for Proposals. “It would probably be a month before we get proposals [back],” she said.

In response to concerns raised by the applicant’s attorney, Charles Cuddy, over the cost of completing such a review privately, Ms. Lanza said that the reviews could be done in phases as the application is completed.

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