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Dec 19, 2014 3:42 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tuckahoe King Kullen Back On Agenda In January

Dec 23, 2014 10:18 AM

The developers of a proposed King Kullen shopping center on County Road 39 in Tuckahoe have asked that the official review of the project, dormant for nearly two years, be officially taken up by the Southampton Town Board again next month.

On January 27, the Town Board will hold a public hearing at which the developers will present their responses to the extensive list of concerns raised by residents at public scoping sessions on the proposal back in late 2012.

The project, known as the Tuckahoe Center, proposes the construction of three buildings: a 40,000-square-foot King Kullen supermarket, a 15,000-square-foot cluster of small retail and food stores, and a 3,500-square-foot bank building.

The shopping center would be built on approximately 7 acres of land on the south side of County Road 39, immediately east of Magee Street. The development would be accessed primarily from Magee Street, but there would also be an entrance and exit on County Road 39 that would be accessible from the eastbound traffic lanes only.

The proposal was brought to the Town Board by local businessmen Lyle Pike and Lance Nil and their partner, commercial developer Robert Morrow. Mr. Morrow also led the development of the King Kullen shopping center on Main Street in Hampton Bays.

Much of the land, comprising four lots, is currently vacant, but the grouping includes a parcel with a small motel and restaurant that the developers have a contract to purchase if the project is approved by the Town Board.

Most of it is currently zoned highway business, which allows retail uses seen as being low-level traffic generators, such as car dealerships and furniture stores. One small portion of the 7-acre cluster is zoned residential.

The developers have asked the Town Board to rezone the entire property to allow for a shopping center, which is not permitted in a highway business zone, because it is considered a high-traffic use. The current application is for a simple change of zone; the project had been the subject of an earlier application, which proposed 100,000 square feet of retail space, plus a dozen apartments, in addition to the King Kullen. Because of the range of uses, the developers had asked the board to create a planned development district, which is a type of overlay zoning allowing various uses otherwise excluded by zoning.

Opponents have decried the proposal as ill-advised, saying the traffic generated by the supermarket will worsen conditions on already chronically congested County Road 39. Officials of Southampton Village say that the project would also cause a spike in traffic, including delivery trucks, on quiet residential back roads in the village’s northeastern neighborhoods.

Supporters of the project have echoed some town officials’ position that a supermarket is sorely needed in the Southampton region, since the nearest large grocers are in Hampton Bays and Bridgehampton, with only a single small grocery store and a pair of high-end specialty markets between—all in Southampton Village, which can be congested in summer.

“Obviously, the biggest issue is the traffic,” Mr. Morrow said this week. “Our EIS shows the carbon footprint of the project, which shows that by putting a supermarket in this location there will be 700,000 fewer miles driven in the Town of Southampton. A local supermarket doesn’t bring any more traffic to a community.”

The Tuckahoe Center application has been shelved since the final scoping document was approved by the Town Board in January 2013, as the developers awaited the completion of the six-year County Road 39 corridor planning study. The study, which focuses primarily on design guidelines for redevelopment of commercial land in the corridor, was presented to the board this fall but has yet to be officially adopted.

The study’s recommendations offer no specific guidance to the Town Board about whether the Tuckahoe Center proposal would fit into the planning vision of the corridor. The study recommended that most of the commercial land in the corridor remain highway business-type uses, though it acknowledged that the Town Board would have to pass judgment on whether the needs for additional supermarket shopping centers would be needed as populations grew.

The Tuckahoe region is in the midst of a growth spurt, one that is expected to accelerate in coming years as several new large residential developments are constructed. Mr. Morrow said that a looming population boom means a Tuckahoe supermarket actually would further reduce traffic on County Road 39 in the long term by giving residents of the new developments a place to shop rather than forcing them to trek into downtown Southampton or points east and west.

“There’s a lot of development going up around this site … and the more houses they put there, the more traffic will be on the roads,” Mr. Morrow said. “I think when the public sees what we’re really presenting, there will be additional support for it.”

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Area is saturated with (expensive) King Kullens, and proposed location should not even be considered. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
By June Bug (2605), SOUTHAMPTON on Dec 19, 14 7:31 PM
sometimes expensive markets and property taxes are good keeps out the rif raff
By joe hampton (3429), southampton on Jan 3, 15 12:36 PM
Town board will pass anything for the right price
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Dec 20, 14 12:08 AM
They just want a little more money. It's a mere inconvenience for those of us that live here and hopefully fatalities are minimal.
By Killerfrog (38), Southampton on Dec 20, 14 10:18 AM
Southampton needs a larger, affordable market, but the question is where. The town should be working with land owners to figure out suitable locations. Find a spot, let food markets bid for it. Local chatter favors a Stop and Shop over King Kullen.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Dec 20, 14 1:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Wayy to many questions on this development. In my opinion, it should be denied and I assure you that a better plan will come up in a better location.
By Summer Resident (250), Southampton N.Y. on Dec 20, 14 1:30 PM
"The developers have asked the Town Board to rezone the entire property to allow for a shopping center, which is not permitted in the highway business zone because it is considered a high-traffic use. "
By Mr. Z (11693), North Sea on Dec 23, 14 10:16 AM
Where the heck would you put a shopping center in a low traffic area? How about a King Kullen on Robbins Island genius? Lol
By chief1 (2790), southampton on Jan 3, 15 11:32 AM