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Southold Town eyes extension of Main Road moratorium in Mattituck

One year after instituting a building moratorium along Main Road in Mattituck, officials are eyeing a second six-month expansion.

Town attorney Bill Duffy said Tuesday that consultants are still working on zoning and traffic studies, as well as completing survey work related to plans for a traffic circle at the intersection of Route 25, Love Lane and Old Sound Avenue.

“[The New York State Department of Transportation] wanted it a little wider than what we thought was necessary, so, they are getting a survey to see exactly which plan we approve,” Mr. Duffy said in an interview. 

Officials have cited the ongoing traffic study as its justification to implement the moratorium, which halted the issuance of permits along Main Road between Bay Avenue and Pike Street.

It directly thwarted plans to construct a 20,000-square-foot hardware store on the corner of Main Road and New Suffolk Avenue, but town officials say the moratorium provides a chance to step back and think about how that project — paired with any traffic improvements made to the intersection — could impact the overall area.

Consultants were hired to prepare a second Love Lane traffic study after the Town Board deemed a previous study inadequate in 2018. The new study, being done by engineers from AKRF, has an expanded scope and includes the eight arterial roads that feed into Route 25 within the impact area.

“That’s a much broader view,” Supervisor Scott Russell said in an interview. “There’s several different components to it. One of the components is a land use component…We’re anticipating the approval will be extended to give [the consultant] time to finish up his work.”

One property owner, represented by attorney Stephen Kiely, is seeking a variance from the moratorium in order to make site improvements there.

The Town Board set a pair of public hearings on the project. A March 10 hearing at 7 p.m. on the variance will be followed by a March 24 hearing at 4:30 p.m. on extending the moratorium.

WITH MAHREEN KHAN