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'Rural' Aquebogue weighs development

A windmill on Main Road in Aquebogue.

A windmill on Main Road in Aquebogue. Credit: James Carbone

THE SCOOP Aquebogue is one of the last communities on Long Island that has maintained its rural character, says William C. Van Helmond, president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association. “I would consider it a hidden gem,” says Van Helmond, adding that Route 25, the main road, is a historic district. “It’s a farming area, and there’s garden centers and farm stands.”

A hamlet in the Town of Riverhead, Aquebogue is “really a rural corridor with residential homes and very limited professional uses,” says Jodi Giglio, Riverhead Town council member.

Recently, the Riverhead Town Board blocked a 7-Eleven from coming into the community by enacting legislation prohibiting any 24-hour businesses, “because we’re trying to keep our rural hamlets rural and not too commercialized,” says Giglio.

The community has a considerable amount of open space and it’s right on the Great Peconic Bay, says Tom Scalia, broker/owner of Century 21 Albertson Realty in Southold. “You get second homeowners who want to be down on the water and you get primary owners that just love the wide open space and the agricultural feel of the place,” says Scalia. Much of Aquebogue’s land has been preserved by the town and Suffolk County and can only be used for agricultural purposes, he adds.

“There’s virtually no co-ops, condos or apartments. It’s all single-family homes,” Scalia says, adding that there are a few great restaurants, including one waterfront establishment, as well as farm stands, vineyards, a golf course and parks. “There’s not too many clubs or nightlife or anything like that,” adds Scalia. 

The town board recently voted to update the master plan.

The updated master plan, says Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, could include a provision known as transferable development rights, which would give farmers the financial means to stay on their property and  forgo any future development of the land. Developers can purchase the development rights from the farmers and then transfer those rights to their new developments in more densely populated areas, she says.

"Part of the master plan," she adds, "is a transportation plan to help alleviate traffic during the busy seasons."

Agribusiness, including vineyards, pumpkin farms and breweries, is booming in Aquebogue, says Van Helmond, noting that some vineyards have outdoor music and breweries host car shows and other events.

“We have too much, but we’re working on the quality of life issues and the traffic issues, and it’s improving,” Van Helmond says. “I think in time the balance will be created.”


There is one condo on the market for $445,000.


Between Oct. 1, 2018, and Oct. 18, 2019, there were 42 home sales with a median sale price of $472,500, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. The low price for that period was $325,000 and the high was $1,155,000. During that time period a year earlier, there were 26 home sales with a median sale price of $475,300. The price range was $255,000 to $975,000.


Town: Riverhead

Area: 3.8 square miles

ZIP code: 11931

Population: 1,635 

Median age: 48.8

Median household income: $64,172

Median home value: $425,900

LIRR time from Riverhead to NYC: 137 minutes, one train at peak

Monthly ticket: $500

School district: Riverhead

SOURCES: U.S. Census, 2017 American Community Survey, LIRR



This four-bedroom, 3½-bathroom home on Peconic Bay is on a .5-acre lot. The master bedroom suite contains glass doors that lead to a balcony overlooking the water. The 1948 house has solar panels. Taxes are $23,704. Gayle Marriner-Smith, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, 631-734-5439


There are three bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms in this 2004 Postmodern on a 2.07-acre lot. The first floor contains a master-bedroom suite. There are stainless steel appliances and granite countertop in the kitchen. Taxes are $12,996. Thomas Mangel, Saunders & Associates, 631-283-5050


On a .1-acre lot, this house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The house was built in 1930. Taxes are $5,775. Patricia Shackel, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-298-8000



Heritage Lane

Style: Contemporary

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Built: 1989

Lot size: .99 acres

Taxes: $9,104

Reduced $16,000

Days on market 127


Sun Up Trail

Style: Cape

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3 ½

Built: 2000

Lot Size: .53 acres

Taxes: $11,615

Reduced: $15,000

Days on market: 132


Willow Street

Style: Ranch

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Built: 2019

Lot Size: .16 acres

Taxes: $12,000

Reduced: $25,000

Days on market: 65

On Multiple Listings

Number of homes 35

Price range $82,000 to $29 million

Tax range $4,742 to $120,000

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