Developer of proposed medical offices and apartments in Greenport withdraws applications pending before Planning Board, ZBA
The application for the proposed development of medical offices and affordable housing units at the intersection of Route 25 and County Road 48 in Greenport has been withdrawn, according to a letter submitted last week to both Southold Town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.
The letter, submitted on March 2 by attorney Martin Finnegan, on behalf of developer Paul Pawlowski, states that “due to the failure of the Village of Greenport to commit to a sewer connection to the subject premises and the extreme opposition to the project from Town and Village residents, the applicant, 160 Route 25 LLC, is constrained to withdrawal its pending site plan and special exception application at this time.”
The proposed development, on a 4.7-acre parcel at the junction of County Road 48 and State Route 25, would be comprised of four campus-style buildings with 12 offices, 40 affordable housing units and 120 parking spaces. The parcel abuts a residential neighborhood.
Since the application was submitted in April of 2021, the project has seen opposition from residents and environmental groups who were concerned about the impact on traffic safety, the environment, noise, and community character. The proposed project inspired the creation of the Greenport North Neighborhood Association, a group of more than 35 families concerned about the development. They hired Schneider Engineering PLLC of Miller Place to conduct a traffic study, which they presented to the planning board Feb. 3.
Until the withdrawal of the applications, the Southold planning board had been considering a conditional negative declaration on the project, a State Environmental Quality Review determination, meant to mitigate potential impacts through a specific set of conditions rather than go through an arduous Environmental Impact Statement process.
That consideration was questioned, including by Marina DeLuca, environmental associate for The Group for East End.
“The way in which this board chooses to utilize SEQRA is going to set a precedent for how other projects are handled down the line,” she stated at a Feb 6 planning board public hearing. Ms. DeLuca was one of more than a dozen residents and representatives who spoke against the project at that meeting.
Mr. Pawlowski also spoke at the planning board public hearing, telling the crowded room and the board how hard he has worked to address residents’ concerns and mitigate potential impacts.
“We’re doing everything we can to make this property work for the comprehensive plan, work for the Planning Board, work for the need [for affordable housing and medical office space],” he said.
This is the second project within Southold Town that Mr. Pawlowski has dropped recently. In December, he withdrew his application for Sports East, an athletic facility with a pool he proposed to build on a to-be subdivided property purchased from the town on Carroll Avenue in Peconic. While dropping Sports East, Mr. Pawlowski is proceeding with Peconic Cottages, workforce housing on five-acres at the site in Peconic. A public hearing to amend the town zoning map from Agricultural Conservation to Affordable Housing District for the subdivided parcel is scheduled for March 14.
Mr. Pawlowski said in a statement to The Suffolk Times that it “became obvious the neighborhood didn’t want the project and it didn’t help,” that a majority on the village board didn’t want to enter into contract for a sewer connection.
“[That] was in stark contrast to when they agreed to sewer availability and unanimously agreed to a letter of sewer availability for the project and property roughly 17 months ago,” Mr. Pawlowski said.
The developer said he remains committed to the project in Peconic.
“Our goal is to offer affordable housing however support is needed,” he said.