The Southold Planning Board ruled site plans for the proposed Mattituck Hotel on Main Road in Mattituck incomplete at a meeting Monday. Members plan to send a letter or memorandum to the project applicants outlining needed materials.
According to the updated site plan, the facility would include a 125-room hotel, 275-seat restaurant and bar, and 300-seat catering facility. The Planning Board noted at its Monday meeting that the current site plan application has some inconsistencies and is missing some information.
“In essence, we do have a very large and detailed application but it is still quite incomplete at this time. There’s a bit of older information that needs to be updated and then there’s more details that kind of need to be provided throughout,” said town planner Brian Cummings.
The Building Department issued an amended notice of disapproval to the 2018 hotel application on Dec. 3, noting that bulk schedule limits buildings to two stories — the proposed hotel building is three — and the proposed hotel construction requires special exception approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and site plan approval from the Planning Board. The notice indicates the applicant may apply directly to those agencies.
Consulting group Nelson Pope Voorhis, LLC was hired by the town to help with review of the project, which includes variance applications. The consulting group submitted a memo outlining concerns with current site plans to the Planning Board on Dec. 16.
The updated project application includes a proposal for workforce housing and a sewage treatment plant on site. Proposed amenities for the project include a “wine cave,” a hotel spa, fitness area, retail space, children’s recreation area and outdoor swimming pool. The memo notes that it’s not clear if some of the amenities are included in the construction breakdown or how they fit with land use classifications. Conflicting information on the application makes it “unclear whether the retail space is still proposed,” it says.
The parcel, which would be redeveloped, is currently home to a vacant one-story commercial building and surface parking lot used originally as a shopping center and then a bank office. The applicants have proposed to merge the nearly 7.5-acre parcel with a neighboring 4.36-acre parcel to the west also owned by the applicant. The smaller parcel would contain an employee parking lot, according to the memo.
The applicant needs to submit a deed proving ownership of the adjacent property, according to the Planning Board. If merged, the facility would total about 11.8 acres in the general business district.
Mr. Cummings said at Monday’s meeting that Hobson Drive, which is adjacent to the parcel and leads to residential homes, is owned by the applicant.
“These residents, these three parcels have access over Hobson Drive. That’s something that we’ll need to verify to make sure either by easement or however that’s deeded to make sure that continues to exist through the application,” he said.
The Planning Board also noted that there are freshwater wetland areas on the property, under the jurisdiction of either the town Trustees or Department of Environmental Conservation, depending on size. Wetlands are “considered unbuildable and must be subtracted from the total land area of the site for the purposes of determining yield, development density or in this case the number of hotel rooms,” according to the memo.
D’wayne Pietro, who is part of the project’s development team, said the team was not aware of those limitations.
“I’m a little confused about the wetlands being not part of the calculations for FAR [floor area ratio]. I’ve never heard that before, so it’s something that I’ve got to go back and look into carefully because it does probably affect our application tremendously,” he said. “Other than that, I think that everything that was presented here was accurate and we look forward to keep working this process and clean up these documents.”
Workforce housing is a “relatively new addition to the plan,” Mr. Cummings said. The building department needs to review it for zoning compliance. It also impacts the yield of the overall site. A Dec. 1 memorandum estimates that the proposal will create more than 250 jobs.
NPV has emphasized that State Environmental Quality Review must be considered between both the Planning Board and ZBA, according to Mr. Cummings.
“The entire action must be considered between both boards,” he said. “You basically can’t segment the two, the special exception from our site plan review, so it’s paramount that a thorough, complete and accurate submission is provided so that the requirements of SEQRA and application review can be completed satisfactorily.”
The memo says site plans need to be printed to scale and the Planning Board has requested more information on outdoor signage. The memo also questions whether the restaurant, catering hall, potential retail and other proposed amenities will be open to the general public or only hotel guests. If retail spaces are still proposed, the applicant needs to “indicate what the general nature or use of [the] space is.”
The applicant needs to more specifically indicate the purposes and functions of other spaces on the parcel, including a “service area” and “entry pre-function” space. The simulation on the cover of the site plans is also misleading, the memo says, depicting woodlands northwest and southeast of the property where there are single-family homes.
“The simulation does not accurately reflect the project setting, relative scale of the building and its adjacency to residential land uses which may be affected by this project,” the memo says.
The memo says the project needs to recount the number of parking spaces on the plan and questions the efficiency of the satellite employee parking lot, which is likely too big for just employee use.
The memo notes that the project will potentially impact noise and quality of life in the area, and could pose “significant traffic impacts on an already busy road having just one lane in each direction.”
“The scale, density and level of activity of the project and features such as palm trees are out of character for the Town of Southold which is a small coastal and agrarian community,” the memo says.
Mr. Pietro said the applicants are aware of the issues raised and will meet the Planning Board’s requests.
“We are fully aware of all the different things that you have brought up and we are able to provide you with the details necessary to get a short order to comply with your remarks,” he said at Monday’s meeting.
If approved, the applicant anticipates the $50 million investment would be completed two years from building permit approval. The applicants are projecting a grand opening in the summer of 2024.