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Rezoning of ‘Oki-Do’ property in East Marion could allow for a small hotel

An abandoned oyster farm in East Marion, known as the “Oki-Do” property, could be rezoned to allow for a small hotel.

At a town work session on Wednesday, the Town Board seemed to favor split-zoning the parcel as RR and R-80. RR, or resort residential, which allows “resort development in waterfront areas,” according to the town planning department. R-80 zoning would prioritize single-family homes.

“Basically, that would be consistent with the comp plan for East Marion right now,” Town Supervisor Scott Russell told The Suffolk Times. About six or seven acres by the waterfront of the 18.37 acre parcel would be zoned as resort residential, he said. 

He said the zoning there would allow for a small-scale hotel or resort area similar to the residential community Cleaves Point, which is across the street.

“Although it looks like and gets used as a condominium, it’s actually consistent with resort residential uses,” he added.

The revised zoning would allow for less intensive development than what could have been built before.

Under the proposal, the remaining ten or 12 acres would be zoned as R-80, or residential two-acre zoning. “It’s basically taking one zone on one piece of property and it’s still going to be one piece of property, but with two separate zones,” he said.

A planning board document from Wednesday’s work session notes the parcel includes 16.8 acres of buildable property, currently zoned as marine II, which allows “a wide range of water-dependent and water-related uses,” including commercial marinas, boatyards, restaurants, hotels and ferries. 

“The thing about M2, different than RR, is that you get a lot of commercial uses that are bigger and more intense and harder to sort of rein in for community character in that area, in terms of impact like traffic,” planning department director Heather Lanza said at the work session.

The planning board document notes that RR can potentially be just as intense as MII, “minus the boat retail and repair and boat storage and fish markets.”

The town’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan considered using the site for public water access in the early 2000s, but its restoration would have been beyond town means, according to a planning board analysis from this summer. The land has also been considered for a sustainable fishery and a resort and wellness center, neither of which panned out. 

In an email, Mr. Russell said the new proposal eliminates much of what might have been allowed under the Oki-Do proposal, which he said included “over 120 rooms, restaurants, an amphitheater and a marina on the entire property.”