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New Village Plan Clears Final Hurdle, ZBA Approves Parking Variance

The parking spot size variance holding Tritec back from starting construction was approved with six votes and one abstention.

The Patchogue Village Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved the final parking variance necessary for Tritec Real Estate Company to proceed with its to replace the vacated Swezey’s department store with 291 apartments, 46,000 square feet of retail and 18,000 square feet of office space on Wednesday.

The variance passed with six votes in approval and one abstention.

Despite being in a contentious 4-3 vote in March, the company needed approval for a parking spot size of 9 feet by 18 feet, which is considered substandard according to the village code’s standard size of 9 feet by 20 feet.

“The board’s decision was limited to the size of the parking spaces only, and the board has granted the same relief in the past,” ZBA chairperson Nicholas Fuccillo said.

Discussion of the final decision was held behind closed doors as per standard procedure for the ZBA, and was announced into the public record after it was made.

Four residents stayed until the end of the meeting for the announcement.

The New Village plan has been a controversial issue with split opinions among residents. Discussion in and on Patch have shown residents concerned over issues such as whether renters would be invested in the community, whether or not low-income Section 8 housing may appear and parking.

At the March ZBA meeting, co-owner Tom Keegan commented that now might not be the time for this project, referencing how the sluggish economy removed an .

“If we have to wait two more years, the economy’s gonna turn around someday, then maybe the hotel comes and that’s what’s when we spend $20 million to build the parking facility that we need,” Keegan said.

However, at the following April 7 ZBA meeting, Medford resident Brian Cruz said that the would be affordable enough for him to move out of his parents house, where he currently resides.

Patch has reached out to Tritec officials and will update upon receiving comment.

Travis April 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM
Congrats to Patchogue Village!!!!!
Susan Jepson-Zaffrano April 21, 2011 at 11:54 AM
I hope this does not resemble the hideous building recently erected on Terry Street. I would like to know who approved that monstrosity. Some one must have received a nice paycheck under the table for that.... For sure!!! Such a shame than an historical village is being destroyed by greedy bureaucrats.
Jane April 21, 2011 at 03:46 PM
I agree, Susan, the colors alone are just hideous. We live near the Sea, why not shades of grey and blue? No, instead poop brown and pee yellow. Or why not just a nice brick building to match the other buildings around? I'm glad it's artist housing, but they just missed the mark big time, hopefully a less tacky choice will be made for this new building.
Lisa Kreamer April 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM
Lisa I absolutly love the building! Time for change and change is good. Patchogue needed revamping. Would you prefer that dreary parking lot instead. Lets all grow up.
Travis April 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM
I also like the building. Cant wait for the pigeon coop on Main and Ocean to come down.btw why is that guy from the Brick house not complaining about the old folks home thats gonna be built on east Main? Go on the builders web site (which I don't have handy) , It's a giant box. If you ask me thats the last thing Main St. needs.
Through the Looking Glass April 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM
I can't wait for the parking problems once the new building is up and occupied. I was leaving Reeses last night around 11PM and drove past that lot. It was almost completely full with cars, presumably from the Brick House as well as a good 10-12 taxi cabs from the office on Havens. (Great idea, that. Allowing a commercial operation use the village lots for vehicle storage.) The lot is already near capacity and we going to get a few hundred more vehicles from an apartment complex? When is the village going to start charging the restaurants for parking? Better yet, when is the village going to tell them that they need to have their own lots and stop using public lots? Can't wait for the first "Alive After Five" once that building is constructed. Gonna be fun fun fun. On the other hand the lot on the other side of the street, the one behind Bobbi Cue and J & R's is probably rather empty most of the time although I don't know for sure since I haven't been in that area in many years. I have nothing to draw me there. The lot isn't huge, but it has a fair amount of room. Is the catering hall still open back there, the old roller rink/K of C?
D.J. Sevigny April 22, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Why is no one concerned about preserving this structure? It's a pivotal building on the four corners representing Patchogue's early commercial wealth. How many more buildings does the village need to lose before it's identity is lost?
tiph April 22, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Really, Lisa? Obviously, they are not longing for the parking lot, just wishing that the structure was more aesthetically pleasing. Why not let people voice their opinions without you making unnecessary, condescending, personal digs?
Jonathan April 22, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Looking Glass, if the lot behind J&R's (the Church Street lot) is not being fully utilized, wouldn't you expect that as the Lake Street fills up people will simply park across the street in the Church lot? After all, it's not any further to Main Street. DJ - ordinarily I would agree with you re: preservation, but I think it's a pretty tough case to make that the old Swezey's building merits saving. Even if from an aesthetic standpoint there were elements that stood out (which I personally don't believe there are), structurally one would have to image it is in pretty bad shape. My guess is it would be prohibitively costly to renovate it and put it towards a higher use. It's a shame to look at pictures all the old buildings on Main, most of which were victimized by fire at one time or another. My heart breaks whenever I see pictures of the mansions on East Main Street (only one of which survives!) which were all torn down and replaced with single-story strip malls.
Maria April 22, 2011 at 06:36 PM
I agree, it would be nice to preserve the building, but perhaps it is in too bad of shape, as stated before. I am just so excited for new stores etc... in that spot! Hopefully the designers will keep the look, or go with something to flow with the other buildings. That building on Terry is the ugliest eyesore/ sore thumb ever. Yes, I would rather have a parking lot than that monstrosity. Excuse me while I go grow up...
John Bogack April 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Just a quick question here. Is this the final vote or does the variance that was granted by the Zoning Board still have to go to the Trustees for real final approval?
D.J. Sevigny April 22, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Jonathan: I totally agree with you that this building is a shadow of it's former self, and the cost of rehabilitation would be great. Perhaps Patchogue could begin to implement a main street program or put the area on the National Register of Historic Places. Once this is done, a 20% Federal rehabilitation tax credit could be applied to any contributing building within the district. I remember reading over the summer Patchogue wants to implement Smart Growth, and preservation is a key component to that planning approach.
Travis April 23, 2011 at 09:59 AM
Growing pains and what comes with it.You just can't please everyone. Stay positive!!!
mike April 24, 2011 at 08:17 PM
I believe that should be it the trustees approved the plans already when i was reading the original article it sounded like the only way it would have to go back to the trustees is if the zoning board disapproved of the variance because than they would of had to completely change the plans
mike April 24, 2011 at 08:40 PM
the new plans are absolutely beautiful i don't understand why people dont like them that area where the building is now looks horrible i am so happy that they are finally doing something with this area. parking: the parking situation will be fine there making approx. 500 spaces which is a lot more than there is now there still is plenty of parking behind main strret
Damina Townes April 25, 2011 at 07:44 AM
I couldn't agree with you more!! There so much history to Patchogue and people don't even realize it. Everything they are trying to develop it into is taking away from what the town used to be.
Michelle April 27, 2011 at 04:16 PM
A "big box" for senior citizens, that's a no no?!?! But a grotesque box for artists that's just plain awful, we should "stay positive" over?! This is exactly why Patchogue is becoming a hodgepodge of cheap and tackiness. I am staying positive that SOMEONE, ANYONE on the Village Board has a sense of taste and will not make that Terror on Terry St. mistake again. Keep the historic and classic feel to ALL of these buildings!
concerned wife and mother August 11, 2011 at 11:29 AM
the catering hall in the former Knights of columbs is open and is a beautiful place to have an type of event...my hubby and i had our engagement party there....had i been aware of jst how lovely an event they were capable i would have had the wedding there and held the engagement party in a less plush establishment...they have their own parking lot/./// in regard to the publick parking lot that is behind J & r steak house...it is nearly alost always darned near emty.....even on occassions when the village is hosting alive after five and the visitors are choosing to block the driveways of the homowners....that parking lot is seldom used.....I have been tempted to go and post directionsw to PUBLIC PARKING to these seldom used parking areas basically the entire southern side of main street parking area is seldom used....there are only 2-3 places to scoot through to main street which may be the reason that people seldom use the sounthern lots..... i was surprised to see that the village turned Terry stree into a one way street in front of those new artist housing buildings....i suppose that it was necessary for the expected parking that would be necessary for the clients for the artists????...
Elizabeth K February 09, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Look on the Trtirec website, they said the parking would be under residential parking? Does anyone know what that means?

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