Patchogue Village trustees have unanimously approved a change of zone for a proposed $25 million senior assisted-living complex downtown on East Main Street.
The 5-0 Monday-night vote to change the vacant lot at 130 Main St. from retail-commercial to health care-residential was the first of many steps for applicant D&F Patchogue to have the proposed 87,000-square-foot project realized.
Village attorney Brian Egan said the applicant must win site plan approval from the planning board and parking and other variances from the zoning board before construction begins. Several trustees supported the project.
"It's really fulfilling all of the needs of the village," said Mayor Paul Pontieri during a break at the village meeting.
Trustee Thomas Ferb said it would meet the needs of village residents. "This is fabulous," he said.
The five-story center would have 128 units. Village officials say they aren't sure how much it will cost to live there.
The average resident would be 85 years old, and their needs would range from assistance with getting dressed to medication management to using the restroom, said Uniondale attorney William Bonesso, who represents D&F.
The addition of the senior facility should help the village's effort to revitalize the downtown district, making it more attractive for younger families and businesses.
The vacant property is in the heart of downtown.
Many of roughly 20 residents at the meeting seemed in favor of the project, but some raised questions about employee work shifts at the proposed facility and increased traffic.
Resident Dennis Ross, 49, said he worried about emergency vehicles entering and exiting the site, but supports the project.
"We don't do enough for the seniors nationwide, so I would never do anything to impede on the seniors," Ross said after the meeting. "As a society, we drop the ball hard on our seniors, and anything we can do to help is well needed and well deserved."
Parking was also another matter of concern. While trustee Joseph Keyes acknowledged the issue, he described the project as "good . . . The overall project is fantastic," he said.