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.
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