The Patchogue Village Planning Board approved a plan for construction of residential housing on Clare Rose Blvd., allowing the developer to build the 163-unit multi-family development on the vacated site of the former Clare Rose beverage distributor.
In other business, the planning board also approved development for new businesses at 272 E. Main St. and the board also heard from Michael Locantore, superintendent for the Patchogue-Medford School District, who spoke about traffic concerns near River Elementary School.
In approving the Clare Rose Blvd. project, the developer RAM Associates now has the green light to build the housing, which will include of sections of Clare Rose Boulevard, South Street and Railroad Avenue, as well as the addition of a walkway along the Patchogue River. The parcel of land had previously been home to Clare Rose, Inc., which called the village home for 74 years.
The elevation level for the new structure was previously approved by the architectural board; on Dec. 1 the Zoning Board approved the size of the parking lot and a permit was received for demolition of the existing structures to begin.
Michael F. Kelly, Esq. of Kelly Development, who addressed the board that evening, noted that demolition started earlier that week on the east side of the property, and that they are hoping to have occupancy by July. Demolition of the west side of the property should be completed by then.
Permits were granted by the DEC in October for a river walk.
"To the extent we're allowed we'll clean up as much as we can," Kelly said regarding Patchogue River. David Sloan, Esq. of RAM said that the walkway and lighting should be in place prior to the property's dedication to the village, and will be maintained by the Homeowner's Association.
Rocco said the Clare Rose project would be "cleaning up a good chunk of the village," and that it's an exciting project that's going to be integral to the revitalization of Patchogue.
"Homeownership is an important part of the American dream, and pretty much, the days of a lot of single family homes are coming to an end," Rocco said.
Also during the meeting, the board gave Capital Management Corp. its approval to demolish the existing buildings at 272 East Main St., and develop a site with a proposed retail store, bank and Checkers Drive-In Restaurant. At the previous meeting, the planning board had some concerns with the site plan, which was since rearranged by the applicant to improve traffic flow.
The changes include no parking behind the building, and outdoor seating was removed from Checkers Drive-In along with other precautions to ensure the safety of vehicles and pedestrians.
The construction schedule allows for demolition of existing structures in late January or early February, with construction starting in spring.
The planning board also heard from the school district superintendent about possible safety concerns about a potential addition of a convenience store to the car wash at 318 West Main St.
Locantore told the planning board that the school board had held a special meeting because many parents objected to a convenience store at this location, in part because of traffic concerns near River Elementary School.
He said parents also have issues about certain items they said would be sold at the establishment such as alcohol and cigarettes. Also, the addition of dumpsters containing debris that would attract seagulls near the school's playground is also raising concern, Locantore said.
The planning board's decision on this matter is pending until further evaluation.