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Patchogue residents upset over waterfront apartment proposal

Before the decision on the proposal goes to the mayor and trustees, the Patchogue planning board must issue a recommendation letter.

A portion of a property at the end

A portion of a property at the end of Mulford Street, in between West Avenue and the Patchogue River, seen on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Danielle Silverman

Several Patchogue residents say they are concerned a proposed 50-unit development will disrupt their neighborhood, but the owner of the property disagrees. 

More than a dozen people gathered at the village board of trustees meeting last week to oppose the $16 million apartment complex which, if approved, would sit along the Patchogue River at the west end of Mulford Street near West Avenue.

The Cornerstone Waterfront at Patchogue, a four-story complex that would largely consist of one-bedroom units, would be in an industrial zoned area; however, residential housing is allowed if village board members grant a special permit.

Before the decision goes to the mayor and trustees, the Patchogue planning board must issue a recommendation letter.

Planning board members scheduled a public hearing on the application last month but adjourned it until a later date.

Residents opposed to the project instead took their case to the Feb. 11 village board meeting.

“We ask you to please re-evaluate a project of this nature,” village resident Kathleen Biggs, 27, told the board. “As a neighborhood and a community our concerns continue to mount … we continue to come to the same conclusion, this in no way will benefit the existing hardworking individuals and families.”

Farmingdale developer Anthony Bartone said his property was approved for condominiums several years ago under a different owner, but that he’s taking the complaints seriously.

“We’re not trying to steamroll the community by any stretch,” Bartone, 45, said. “Something is going to be developed there or built there. The owner of the property does have the right to develop it because what we’re proposing is a permitted use.”

The complex would be on a vacant lot less than a block away from several homes on Mulford Street and West Avenue. 

Mulford Street resident Regina Bykov said she is strongly against the construction.

“I and so many of my neighbors believe that this project has significant potential to negatively impact our neighborhood,” Bykov told the trustee board at the Feb. 11 meeting. “The proposed development does not fit into this predominantly residential neighborhood.”

She said drivers will cut through the neighborhood to avoid traffic and that smart development is a better fit. Bartone said he doubts traffic would significantly increase.

Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri said nothing can be done until the letter arrives.

“It’s before the planning board right now and we’re waiting on their recommendation,” Pontieri said.

Planning board members said they will look at all aspects of the project in considering the recommendation.

“We’re looking to see if it meets the code, if it would be good for the neighborhood and if it’s good for the village,” Patchogue planning board chairman John Rocco said.

It’s not guaranteed that the village trustee board will follow the recommendation.

“Our decision will be based on whether the property can be used for residential” the mayor said. “We don’t always go with the planning board’s recommendations. We just want to make sure whatever is put there is compatible.”

The next planning board meeting is on Tuesday; however officials could again adjourn the hearing.

Next steps: 

The location is zoned industrial but residential use is allowed with a special permit.

The project first needs a recommendation from the planning board.

The village board then decides on the permit.

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