Anne Murray, of East Marion, representing the North Fork Environmental...

Anne Murray, of East Marion, representing the North Fork Environmental Council, speaks at a public hearing at Southold Town Hall on Tuesday. Credit: Randee Daddona

There are 337 hotel rooms between Laurel and Orient in the Town of Southold. Now, with five new hotels proposed for the area, officials last week put a temporary pause on new construction amid a zoning overhaul.

The town board on June 18 voted 6-0 to enact a 12-month moratorium.

The freeze allows more time to study impacts of potential hotel development and possibly revise zoning to strike a better balance for residents, resources and the hospitality industry. Current town zoning includes 83 acres zoned for resorts and hotels, according to Southold's comprehensive plan. Hotel room density can impact water use, among other resources.

The North Fork accounts for about 4% of tourism on Long Island, according to the data firm Zartico.

Supervisor Al Krupski said one goal is to ensure town infrastructure can handle the development. Residents' top concerns are traffic, water quality and noise.

“It’s all about scale,” Krupski said. “These are big commercial developments that have to be right for our community.”

Two hotels seeking expansions, as well as the 44-room luxury Enclaves under construction in Southold, are exempt from the moratorium. Proposals in Greenport Village also are exempt.

Two pending applications will be paused, including an 81-room hotel in a vacant bank on Main Road in Mattituck. Developers first proposed 121 rooms in 2021 and filed scaled-back plans on June 6, according to town planning documents.

The other is a nine-cottage creek-side hotel pitched in April for Mill Road in Mattituck, town records show.

Three other hotel concepts were floated to town officials between 2022 and 2024, though no applications have been filed. They include a 40-room hotel at Peconic Bay Vineyard in Cutchogue, a 20-room inn at the Old Field Vineyard in Southold and 35 rooms at Brick Cove Marina in Greenport, according to a Suffolk County Planning Commission report.

John Armentano, an attorney from Farrell Fritz representing D'Wayne Prieto, the developer behind the 81-room Mattituck hotel, said the property should be excluded.

“Redevelopment is very different from new development … and does not have the same impacts on infrastructure,” he said.

Prieto said Wednesday they plan to appeal.

Residents and environmental advocates applauded the moratorium move as development pressures escalate.

Anne Murray, of East Marion, urged the town to “Save What’s Left,” a slogan used by the North Fork Environmental Council, which she represents.

She said a hotel-motel moratorium was too limited and urged the board to consider how many acres can be developed townwide.

Civic groups previously asked the board to limit all development while the zoning project is underway.

“We were hoping for more,” said Jennifer Hartnagel, director of conservation for the Group for the East End. “We need to reexamine all of these large-scale developments that are popping up,” she said.

Councilman Greg Doroski said a total development ban could have a “detrimental” impact on the local economy. 

“This moratorium, as we've crafted it, really addresses a threat that our community is facing,” Doroski said.

There are 337 hotel rooms between Laurel and Orient in the Town of Southold. Now, with five new hotels proposed for the area, officials last week put a temporary pause on new construction amid a zoning overhaul.

The town board on June 18 voted 6-0 to enact a 12-month moratorium.

The freeze allows more time to study impacts of potential hotel development and possibly revise zoning to strike a better balance for residents, resources and the hospitality industry. Current town zoning includes 83 acres zoned for resorts and hotels, according to Southold's comprehensive plan. Hotel room density can impact water use, among other resources.

The North Fork accounts for about 4% of tourism on Long Island, according to the data firm Zartico.

Supervisor Al Krupski said one goal is to ensure town infrastructure can handle the development. Residents' top concerns are traffic, water quality and noise.

“It’s all about scale,” Krupski said. “These are big commercial developments that have to be right for our community.”

Two hotels seeking expansions, as well as the 44-room luxury Enclaves under construction in Southold, are exempt from the moratorium. Proposals in Greenport Village also are exempt.

Two pending applications will be paused, including an 81-room hotel in a vacant bank on Main Road in Mattituck. Developers first proposed 121 rooms in 2021 and filed scaled-back plans on June 6, according to town planning documents.

The other is a nine-cottage creek-side hotel pitched in April for Mill Road in Mattituck, town records show.

Three other hotel concepts were floated to town officials between 2022 and 2024, though no applications have been filed. They include a 40-room hotel at Peconic Bay Vineyard in Cutchogue, a 20-room inn at the Old Field Vineyard in Southold and 35 rooms at Brick Cove Marina in Greenport, according to a Suffolk County Planning Commission report.

John Armentano, an attorney from Farrell Fritz representing D'Wayne Prieto, the developer behind the 81-room Mattituck hotel, said the property should be excluded.

“Redevelopment is very different from new development … and does not have the same impacts on infrastructure,” he said.

Prieto said Wednesday they plan to appeal.

Residents and environmental advocates applauded the moratorium move as development pressures escalate.

Anne Murray, of East Marion, urged the town to “Save What’s Left,” a slogan used by the North Fork Environmental Council, which she represents.

She said a hotel-motel moratorium was too limited and urged the board to consider how many acres can be developed townwide.

Civic groups previously asked the board to limit all development while the zoning project is underway.

“We were hoping for more,” said Jennifer Hartnagel, director of conservation for the Group for the East End. “We need to reexamine all of these large-scale developments that are popping up,” she said.

Councilman Greg Doroski said a total development ban could have a “detrimental” impact on the local economy. 

“This moratorium, as we've crafted it, really addresses a threat that our community is facing,” Doroski said.

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