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Feb 29, 2012 9:31 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Revamped Supermarket Development Proposed For Tuckahoe

Mar 1, 2012 4:55 PM

Revised plans for a King Kullen supermarket development in Tuckahoe have been presented to town officials by the owners of a several parcels of land on County Road 39, west of Southampton Village.

The new project, now called the Tuckahoe Center, calls for a 40,000-square-foot King Kullen, 15,000 square feet of retail storefronts, and a bank branch building, all on slightly more than 7 acres of land on the south side of County Road 39, just east of Magee Street. The project would require a change of zone, which must be approved by the Town Board.

The developer, Robert Morrow, and his partners, Lance Nil and Lyle Pike, have not filed a formal application with the town yet, but the plans will be reviewed—and open for public comment—at a Southampton Town Board work session on March 16 as part of the town’s pre-application process.

The proposal is a shadow of the nearly 120,000-square-foot development Mr. Morrow and his partners had proposed two years ago, which included more than 70,000 square feet of retail stores, restaurants and residential apartments, in addition to the supermarket. That project, dubbed Tuckahoe Main Street, died before the Town Board last year after staunch opposition from some Tuckahoe residents, as well as Southampton Village officials and business owners.

The revamped proposal still does not conform to the area’s highway business zoning, so the developers will need the Town Board to grant a change of zone, to a shopping center district, as well as a special exception permit from the Town Planning Board in order to proceed with their plans—both of which present significant regulatory and legal hurdles.

A shopping center district requires at least 5 acres of property and restricts development coverage to 20 percent of the property. It also requires 100-foot setbacks from the roadway, double what the property’s current zoning requires.

In an interview this week, Mr. Morrow said his project would meet the tougher setbacks and development restrictions, a fact he touted as a benefit, since it is less impactful than what would be allowed under current zoning. He also suggested that the highway business designation along the bulk of County Road 39 is outdated and detrimental to the aesthetic and economic characteristics of the region. The proposal, he said, could set the stage for a reconsideration of property development along the busy highway.

“This [project] should be the impetus for change along all of County Road 39,” Mr. Morrow said of the Tuckahoe Center proposal. “Somebody has to change it. Some of those buildings are vacant because of the economy, but most are vacant because they’re un-rentable. They’re a mess, and it’s getting worse. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the country, and to have this as your gateway is deplorable.”

According to the plans submitted to the town, a 100-foot-wide vegetated buffer would be largely recessed in a swale to capture rainwater runoff from the property and allow it to soak back into the ground. The project design sketches are available on the Southampton Town website. He also pledged to use solar panels on all buildings and light fixtures.

The highway business zone, of which much of the County Road 39 corridor was designated on the first zoning maps in 1976, allows for low-traffic businesses like car dealerships, appliance and furniture stores, and service supply businesses. The shopping center district is the only zoning designation that allows for supermarkets, with a maximum size of 40,000 square feet. Mr. Morrow acknowledged that the shopping center district designation has been applied only once before in the eastern portion of Southampton Town, to parts of the Bridgehampton Commons.

Mr. Morrow, Mr. Pike and Mr. Nil already own approximately 13 acres on four parcels north of the highway, about 8 acres of which is zoned only for residential development. The residential portion of the land is not part of the new proposal—portions of it had been used in the Tuckahoe Main Street plans—but the new proposal does include 1.7 acres that now houses a small motel and restaurant that the developers are in contract to buy if they are given the go-ahead for their plans.

Mr. Morrow said he has received favorable feedback from town officials and some residents since first introducing downsized plans in late 2010. But members of the Tuckahoe Citizens Advisory Committee panned the proposal, saying that the developers’ property was a poor site for a supermarket because it would add to already congested traffic along that stretch of highway.

Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley, who had been a vocal opponent of the Tuckahoe Main Street proposal because of the feared impact on village retail businesses, said the new version does lessen some of the concerns that he and other village officials had, and could serve to relieve some of the traffic issues in the village by providing another supermarket option for residents beyond the single Waldbaum’s in the heart of the village.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Dr. Yes, Southampton on Feb 29, 12 4:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ed: Thats the south side of CR 39 (article says north).
By zaz (197), East Hampton on Feb 29, 12 7:44 PM
Sorry for the error, the project is planned for the south side of County Road 39, not north. The article has been corrected.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (114), Westhampton Beach on Mar 1, 12 4:57 PM
Mayor Epley, how much did Morrow offer to give to your campaign?
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Feb 29, 12 9:20 PM

They buried the white elephant's head but the huge rump is still exposed. EVERY SINGLE CREDIBLE STUDY OF THE DANGEROUS CR 39 NOT FINANCED BY A DEVELOPER HAS PROHIBITED A HIGH TRAFFIC BUSINESS LIKE A 40k SF SUPERMARKET. ONLY HIGHWAY BUSINESS IS ALLOWED AND MORROW KNEW THIS BEFORE HE BOUGHT IT HOPING TO BUY HIS WAY THROUGH POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO A CHANGE OF ZONING THAT EXPERTS HAVE SAID IS ILL ADVISED FOR THE SAFETY AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE RESIDENTS!

In heavy traffic and intense ...more
By Obbservant (443), southampton on Mar 1, 12 8:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Obbservant (443), southampton on Mar 1, 12 8:45 AM
traffic and political concerns aside, who would want a King Kullen there? Their prices are the highest out here!! Waldbaums has the best prices, but the Southampton store is disgusting and cramped. Why not a Stop N Shop? They beat King Kullen and Waldbaums hands down in all categories.
By WhalerFanForLife (13), Southampton on Mar 1, 12 10:44 AM
2 members liked this comment
The prices in Waldbaums are better than King Kullen? Have you been to either of them? Stop and Shop will NEVER build out here again because of the extortion they had to endure to build the supermarket in Hampton Bays. They were forced to pay more in permits and "suggested charitable contributions" than it cost them to develop the site and build the structure. This town is to thank for them not wanting anything to do with another store.
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Mar 2, 12 6:09 PM
Yes, the prices are better in Waldbaums, do your homework!! Have YOU ever been to either of them??
By akfsalon (1), southampton on Mar 6, 12 12:08 PM
boston lettuce- kk - 1.59, waldbaums - 2.49
vidalia onions- kk - 1.19 waldbaums - 1.29
clementines - kk 1.80/lb waldbaums - 2.00/lb
These are the first three items I bought at king kullen the other day, I went online and here are their prices at waldbaums. Stop lying.
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Mar 7, 12 1:45 PM
king kullen already holds the lease on the property... so there goes that hope and dream. Couldn't agree more with how awful walbaums is though. i feel like im on an episode of hoarders!
By whambulance123 (9), Southampton on Mar 1, 12 2:08 PM
"who would want a King Kullen there?"

King Kullen wants a King Kullen there, and that's all that matters. Locals (and town officials) aren't able to pick and choose what company they want and where.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Mar 1, 12 2:25 PM
NO!!!
By bigfresh (4317), north sea on Mar 1, 12 2:35 PM
bigfresh: why? I'm not saying I support it but saying "NO!!" isn't the best way to get your point across
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Mar 1, 12 8:12 PM
Though it may not please him to hear it, I am with bigfresh - NO!!! This whole plan smells rotten.

Anyone who is interested in knowing how rotten, read an excellent letter to the editor in today's SH Press that clearly spells out the revolving-door, crony-capitalism relationship between Morrow, the Town Board, and former Head of the Town Planning Department, Jefferson Murphree, who now works for the very firm that Mr. Morrow hired to write the recently submitted "Tuckahoe Shopping Center" ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Mar 1, 12 8:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
I've been around long enough to know just how ignorant I am.

STOP TRYING TO PACK MORE SARDINES IN THE EAST END CAN.

&$$*$$!(@.
By Mr. Z (11289), North Sea on Mar 1, 12 9:32 PM
Thanks for your comment progressnow, doesn't make me unhappy at all! I oppose this plan because we have more than enough traffic and development in our beautiful area as it is. Enough is enough. The developer is just a land speculator, as I have stated before, I hope the Town refuses this change of zone and proves that he's speculated incorrectly. There's no guarantee of a zone change.
By bigfresh (4317), north sea on Mar 1, 12 10:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By AFB (31), NYC/SH on Mar 2, 12 2:06 PM
Who does this guy think he is building what he wants on property he owns!? He only cares about eeeeevil profit and not the common good. Did this morrow guy have any outsourcing in his backround by any chance?
By Krispy (5), Southampton on Mar 2, 12 7:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hey, krispy, yeah he owns the property. When he bought it it was zoned hwy business. Still is. He can build whatever he wants, as long as it conforms to existing zoning. Smarminess is always cute, but facts is facts, dude, and the rules shouldn't change just because one developer wants them to
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Mar 2, 12 7:54 PM
While the rules might make you feel all warm, fuzzy and secure, being told what to eat, what to drive and what you can do with your own property is not the way it should be. I would bet you don't live within 5 miles of this place but you are all uptight about it and the rules being followed. You wouldn't want the pool upsetting the superfund site under the oil wells and the glass place? You don't want a pool screwing with the charm and quaintness of the garbage bins behind citarella? I bet a ...more
By Krispy (5), Southampton on Mar 3, 12 7:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
Wow, Krispy, maybe you should try just a little harder to misrepresent the facts. Who is telling this guy what to do? He knowingly bought land zoned HWY business thinking that he could do whatever he pleases. But he cannot.

If I buy a house next door to you zoned residential and then tried to change the zoning to build a night club would you be happy with that?

Facts are facts, dude. Try using them.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Mar 3, 12 12:30 PM
If the property is already zoned some sort of commercial use, then why not ask to change the zone to something the community will actually use - like a grocery store? And the rules should change to accommodate a best use scenario - there are laws to change that in place. Listen, I remember a lady from Hampton Bays who fought and fought Stop and Shop. She literally all but laid her body in front of the bulldozers to stop it. We all heard "we don't want it", "we all hate the thought of it" on ...more
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Mar 2, 12 10:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thank you BIGjimbo12. That is exactly how ALL of these stories end. And how this and the Glennon property will conclude. A vocal minority and some biz owners who cannot bare the thought of competition raise a stink until they lose. Then, it becomes all about getting the closest parking space. Fickle with a side order of short attention span.
By Krispy (5), Southampton on Mar 3, 12 8:00 AM
And now the lady shops there
By They call me (2674), southampton on Mar 6, 12 3:57 AM
Perhaps that indoor pool we've always wanted would be a nice fit?
By Mr. Z (11289), North Sea on Mar 2, 12 11:30 PM
BIGjimbo, I think you may be wrong on this one. Yes, the traffic around the HB Stop and Shop moves fine and the same may be the case for the Southampton Village proposal at flying point road, but the Tuckahoe project is different. Co Road 39 is a dangerous road and there are serious accidents there all the time, unlike Hampton Bays and the Southampton Village project which are not particularly dangerous, just congested. I think the traffic issues are ligament. I hate to disagree with you BIGjimbo ...more
By Sug Tonmi (25), southampton on Mar 3, 12 9:48 AM
Do we have to let Southampton look like every almost every Town in Nassau County..........
By DJ9222 (85), southampton on Mar 3, 12 2:02 PM
Some of the folks posting here simply don't care what becomes of the town. They care only about convenience and are more than willing to encourage the town to change zoning to satisfy their wants.

Morrow would only be the beginning. Once you open the flood gates, you won't be able to hold back the tide.

And this has nothing to do with any nonsense about the free market or government telling a land owner what he can or cannot do. When you buy a piece of land you are agreeing ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Mar 3, 12 3:21 PM
How much did this UTI LAND SPECULATOR contributr to Queen Anna's last campaign??!!
By bigfresh (4317), north sea on Mar 4, 12 9:57 AM
Big fresh, I cannot remember the exact amount he gave ( it was in the thousands) but the worst part is that it was given after she was elected. Before the election he spread it around to everyone, then he targeted his pay-offs. The donation should never have been accepted
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Mar 4, 12 11:46 AM
If your favored grocer isn't in the immediate area, but on LI, you most likely can get them delivered to your home.
By Duckbornandraised (182), Eastport on Mar 5, 12 12:10 PM
only revisted due to the Glennon project
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Mar 5, 12 5:56 PM
only revisitted due to the Glennon project
By xtiego (696), bridgehampton on Mar 5, 12 6:38 PM
and rightfully so, xtiego. The only difference in the two projects is that Glennon is apparently paid up to the right politicians, and those behind the tuckahoe site are not. It's all about cronyism and crooked lawmakers at this point, NOT about whats best for the community.
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Mar 7, 12 2:01 PM
bay street, sag harbor,