Southold Town Hall in 2018. The town board is considering...

Southold Town Hall in 2018. The town board is considering a downsized proposal for an affordable housing project in Cutchogue. Credit: Randee Daddona

A proposed affordable housing development in Southold that was rejected two years ago over concerns it was too large has been downsized and is back before town officials.

William Goggins, a Cutchogue-based attorney representing the applicant, seeks a zoning change for a proposed 12-unit project at 2050 Depot Lane in Cutchogue. The zoning change from residential low-density, or R-80 zoning, to affordable housing district would allow the development to be built on the 2-acre former Knights of Columbus property.

"At this stage, we are merely seeking a zone change to an affordable housing zoning district," Goggins said in a statement to Newsday on Feb. 24.

The project’s original size was 16 units when it came before the Southold Town Board in November 2020 and was denied in a 4-1 vote. The board rejected a zoning change application for the property, with some board members citing concerns that the size and scope of the project was too large for the area.

Goggins presented a smaller-scale proposal before the board at its Feb. 15 work session and also requested a public hearing so the development can be brought before the Planning Board. Town Supervisor Scott Russell recused himself from the meeting and told Newsday he could not comment on the matter.

Councilman Greg Doroski told Newsday he wants more details on income level targets for potential renters.

"Personally, I would like to see something closer to the AMI (Area Median Income) in the 80%, 100% or even 110% [range] because when you look at the AMI, that really is the middle class of an area," Doroski said. "When we look at affordable housing, this is really housing for the community and it’s important to have a strong middle class."

Councilwoman Sarah Nappa, who voted against the original project, also said at the meeting that she wants to know more about the project’s income requirements to see whether they line up with the town’s affordable housing needs.

Councilwoman Louisa Evans said she wants to know more about how the property would be managed once built.

Goggins is expected to discuss more details with the board at its March 1 work session.

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