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After site plan deemed complete, Greenport affordable housing units take a step forward

The Southold Planning Board found the site plan complete for a new mixed-use development in Greenport with medical offices and 40 affordable apartments at a meeting last Monday. 

The site plan packet is now fully engineered, the Planning Board said, and will be sent to other coordinating agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, Suffolk County Water Authority and the town engineers. The application will also move to part two of the State Environmental Quality Review assessment to evaluate any potential moderate to large impacts of the project.

The 4.7-acre development at 160 Route 25 in Greenport would have four campus-style buildings with three medical office units on the first floor and 10 affordable apartments on the second floor in each structure. Altogether, there would be 12 offices and 40 housing units, with 120 parking spaces. 

Each building is planned to house four 350-square-foot studio apartments and six one-bedroom apartments between 411 and 545 gross square feet.

The parcel is located at the confluence of county Route 48, state Route 25 and the town-owned Main Street, which may be reconfigured as a roundabout. Engineered plans for the reconfiguration would likely not be completed or available until later this year, with a bid planned for 2023, according to the Planning Board.

Except for driveway access points, there will be a 50-foot setback for the development. 

The application needs review from the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant special exception use for the apartments, which are allowed with ZBA approval in the Residential Office zone. In an interview a few weeks ago, developer Paul Pawlowski said the project is privately funded and hopes “a very high percentage” of the affordable units will go to Southold residents.

“There’s not a lot of opportunity for medical office space in and around the hospital,” Mr. Pawlowski said, referring to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, and the affordable housing is meant to fulfill a need within the community, he emphasized. 

Mr. Pawlowski said he would like to see more support for affordable housing projects in town, especially those that meet code requirements and are supported by the affordable housing committee. 

Mr. Pawlowski has emphasized there is a “vital need” for affordable housing in town. He also plans to build 24 cottage-style affordable rental units with one or two bedrooms on Carroll Avenue in Peconic. 

There would be a natural landscape buffer neighboring all properties and the development would follow Housing and Urban Development guidelines for workforce housing. The development would remain affordable in perpetuity. 

Mr. Pawlowski said there will be zero emissions from the units and all stormwater will be collected on site, which will have “new advanced septic systems.” He’s also exploring the use of solar energy for the cottages. The development would be privately managed on site.

He has signed a contract with the town that is subject to approvals and permits to purchase the property and plans to start the planning process and submit applications in March.

“Maintenance of these properties will be pristine and upkeep will be pristine,” he said. Both affordable housing sites would have on-site managers and Mr. Pawlowski said there would be “substantial investment” into local contractors.

Mr. Pawlowski also owns a condominium at 123 Sterling Ave. in Greenport that will sell five price-controlled units. These are not technically affordable apartments and may be sold in the future at market rates.