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E. Patchogue Walmart Opinions Discussed at Town Planning Board

Supporters and Protesters present concerns over the proposed East Patchogue Walmart.

After of plans, studies, and meetings, the controversy over the of a 98,000 square foot Walmart on Hospital Road in East Patchogue, is still very much alive.

Residents got the chance to voice concerns Thursday at Brookhaven Town Hall on the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) submitted by Walmart, which is a traffic study regarding their perspective of the impact the store would have on the community. The study was initially accepted by the Town of Brookhaven Planning Board, and later rescinded, with the town requesting additional community input.

Among the chief concerns cited by residents were the impacts increased traffic would have in an already busy area, the effect on the quality of life a 24-hour store would have on nearby residents, the impact on emergency services located in close proximity to the proposed site, consequences to local businesses and possible environmental effects. Although some concerns were addressed in the DEIS, many argued the study had some serious flaws.

“The scope is both out of date and narrow,” said Freda Eisenberg, of the East Patchogue Walmart Free Coalition and the Local 1500 United Food and Commercial Workers Union. “It really needs to use current data and look at local conditions.”

Eisenberg, as well as several other speakers, mentioned the DEIS use of old information dating back to 1996, or in some cases, even 1983. Information, they say, that clearly does not take into account current conditions or newer construction in the area.  They say also missing from the study was a look at the impact of increased traffic on response times from the North Patchogue Fire Department substation located across from the proposed site, as well as from Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center.

A traffic handout issued on behalf of Walmart said the new DEIS will include a proposal to widen the Hospital Road bridge. It also said that it may allow for other changes--but it did little to ease the fears of residents. 

Walmart also issued a statement saying: "The proposed Walmart store has been
significantly reduced in size to under 100,000 square feet in order to address the concerns of the community and reduce traffic impacts. The most pressing issue for residents in Brookhaven is creating new jobs (including union construction jobs), and providing convenient access to low-cost goods and fresh produce." 

Supporters of the project said they agreed, because in this economy, the jobs that the proposal will bring are desperately needed.

“Jobs are the most important thing,” said Kevin Casey, a business representative for the Electricians Local 25. “I have 645 members in Brookhaven alone, and of those, 125 are not working. This could give a couple hundred guys work for six to ten months.”

Other local business owners say that temporary jobs do not justify possibly wiping out the many existing mom-and-pop stores.

“As many jobs as Walmart provides, it also takes away from locals,” Kathleen Quinn, a local business owner, said.

However, despite issues protestors have, most say they aren’t against Walmart itself—just the proposed location.

“They’re going to build that store someplace,” Bernadette Smith said. “But build smart, not stupid—cause this is a stupid place for it.”

The period for public comment ends July 5. Comments can be sent to Michael J. Albano, Division of Environmental Protection, One Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738 or at malbano@brookhaven.org. As per Albano, a new DEIS is to be completed, and once approved by the town board, a final vote on the proposal is to take place within 45 days.

Updated: June 27, 2011, 6:39 p.m.

Diane June 25, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Build it in the Bellport Outlet closed stores property!!!!!
Christopher Mancini June 25, 2011 at 09:14 PM
As my friend, Bernadette Smith said (at the meeting) the proposed location is a STUPID one!! Hospital rd and Sipp Ave were never meant to handle the traffic that a store like that will generate. PUT IT at the closed outlets. If Arnold Wolinski wants to develop that land so BADLY, THEN PUT UP MORE APARTMENTS!!!! This is ABSURD to even consider this location. My gut feeling is tha PALMS HAVE BEEN GREASED at Brookhaven Town Hall and this is going to happen no matter what residents say!!! Arnold Wolinski and MOST of the TOWN POLITICIANS don't live near the proposed location and THEY DON'T care what the out come of this is!!!
Theresa Skelaney June 26, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Diane is correct. Right down the road is an abandoned outlet area. Build on that property! This area is SO congested as it is. Forget about getting over that bridge near BMH after 3 pm! Buildng more apartments, why not? If this guy has the yearning for more money in his pocket, throw up some more Villas and charge an arm and a leg like he is doing already to these poor seniors. Lower the rent to these poor folks for gosh sakes. Do you REALLY need to be a billionnaire? You can't take it with you my friend!
Diane June 26, 2011 at 08:26 PM
DITTO!!!
annette kattau July 09, 2011 at 12:53 AM
BACK ROOM DEAL, WHEN WILL OUR POLITICIANS DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THE COMMUNITY AND NOT FOR THEIR OWN GAINS???????
annette kattau July 09, 2011 at 01:10 AM
AUGUST 8, 2011 OUR NEXT CHANCE TO SHOW THE PLANNING BOARD WE WILL NOT GIVE UP, SHOW UP AT THE PLANNING BOARD MEETING AUG 8 AND LET THEM KNOW HOW WE FEEL THIS IS OUR TIME TO VOICE OUR OPINIONS TO THE PLANNING BOARD PLEASE BE THERE WE MUST NOT GIVE UP OR GIVE IN TO A WALMART BIG BOX STORE!!! THIS IS OUR NEIGHBORHOOD LETS TAKE CONTROL, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE IF WE STAND TOGHETHER. BE THERE AUG 8, 2011. tHEY CANNOT IGNORE THE FACTS.
annette kattau July 30, 2011 at 03:56 AM
AUGUST 8 LAST CHANCE TO COMMENT TO OUT PLANNING BOARD MEMBERS RE WALMART BE THERE, BRING A NEIGHBOR REMIND YOUR NEIGHBORS.
Christopher Mancini July 31, 2011 at 01:07 AM
As I have said before, I am not against Walmart. I am against the location that Walmart has chosen to build this store. I am giving the TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN FAIR WARNING!!!!!....... If this is approved, YOU GUYS will have to deal with the traffic nightmare that will come with your decision to approve this. I have already resigned myself to the fact that this WILL HAPPEN!!! Palms have been GREASED and too much planning has already been made. Too much money has been spent by Walmart and by Arnold Wolinski for it NOT TO HAPPEN!!!! I am just a little surprised that Brookhaven Memorial Hospital has NOT been vocal at all about these plans.
maria mezzatesta August 08, 2011 at 06:14 PM
I agree 100% -- we are not opposed having a Walmart in our community, we just want a sensible location. Building the Walmart on the closed Bellport Outlet property kills two birds with one stone; the area gets valued retail store and we eliminate the eyesore of the abandoned storefronts! It's an easy on and off with Sunrise Hwy right there and the retailer still benefits from being visible to highway traffic.
Diane August 08, 2011 at 06:49 PM
So true!! Arnold is not thinking about what is good for his tenants who will have to deal with the traffic coming in the complex. People will use our community as a short -cut to Walmart. We could use more senior housing.
bob August 09, 2011 at 10:56 PM
whats the matter with the old drive in movie theater thats off of sunrise hwy? all you got to do is put up a light. at least that is on a main street. where all the cars are. and not in peoples back yard.
Christopher Mancini August 10, 2011 at 01:31 AM
I am just a little surprised why Brookhaven Memorial Hospital is so quiet about this. WHY??? Why are they not even just a little bit opposed to this. I'm sure that the increase in traffic will make it harder for emergency vehicles to get to the hospital. BMH, WHAT is your opinion on this whole debacle???
Ronald P. Matonti September 29, 2011 at 11:34 AM
build it in china where all the products come from and where they are used to working for coolie wages and the abuse and non-union shops
Richard Kemp February 04, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Yes I agree that the bridge to the hospital will need to be addressed soon walmart or no walmart. I am for the construction of a walmart store because all of you small mom and pop stores have never been able to cope with the fact that money talks and people walk. In these times we have had it with small merchants with BIG PRICES. I have lived all of my life in Patchogue Village and I have seen all of the schemes and tricks Patchogue Village Merchants have used like sidewalk sales in the summer,sure it you like polka-dot shorts with a 63 inch waist.You'll find it at these sales.The Alive at Five is another tactic to lure people in,then get people drunk so they will spend money......It is time to realize that people want to patronize where they can get more for their MONEY. As far as the enviromental issues like rain water run off, septic tanks,traffic flow,potential traffic jams at the bridge,etc,etc,etc this is where you professionals at the planning board and or zoning board should do you job to figure what will work out best for ALL the people of Brookhaven Town not just a handful of disgruntled area residents,including Thomas Keegan Esq.
Christopher Mancini February 05, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Sorry Richard, No matter what you say or how you feel about the local merchants, THAT location is a STUPID place to consider putting up a Walmart. NO COMMON SENSE is being used with all of this at all. THE ONLY THING that I see being considered is DOLLAR SIGNS!!!!!! That is THE WRONG place for a Walmart.
Richard Kemp February 05, 2012 at 11:59 PM
To ALL ,guess what like it or not ,the owner of the property in question has the right to do something with their property,including development. The real issue that the planning board and or the zoning board must deal with is what is in the best interest of ALL Brookhaven Town residents............. Also anyone who has the philosophy of the Joanne Mitchell song "We paved over paradise" should think twice every time they visit Brookhaven Town Hall,formerly the Allstate Insurance Building.No developement at the "HILL" and everyone would be in the blueberry bushes and scrub pines.
Theresa Skelaney February 08, 2012 at 10:43 PM
It is going to be a nightmare in this area. I live right here in his apartments, and the traffic on Sipp Avenue OMG ... just walking my dog on Sipp or in the apartments is a treacherous thing to do. Plus all the litter that is here already - everywhere matter of fact. What is wrong with everyone? Do they really not care about their environments at all? Do they enjoy looking at all the junk in the gutters? Garbage cans I guess are things of the past. I do not want to renew my lease...let's see if something is decided by lease renewal time.

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