Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he is happy the zone change application for the Tuckahoe Center properties has been withdrawn, adding that he thinks there are better uses for the properties that don't include increased density or traffic.
Mr. Schneiderman has been in discussions with developers about the other uses, specifically the possibility of an assisted living center, a facility Mr. Schneiderman said the town really needs for its aging population. An assisted living center would not require a zone change to move forward. However, it would require the Town Board to define assisted living in the town code, a move that would still require at vote by the board.
Mr. Schneiderman added that he has not spoken with property owners today after receiving the withdrawal, but noted he is happy to work with them in the future.
"To me the news of them withdrawing the application is a positive turn of events and we will work with the property owner to find a better solution," he said. "We will find a better alternative use with community support."
A proposal for a change of zone along County Road 39 to allow for a new shopping complex, dubbed the Tuckahoe Center, has been withdrawn by the applicant this week, Southampton Town officials confirmed on Tuesday morning.
Town officials received a letter on behalf of the property owners, Southampton Venture LLC., dated Monday that pulls the application to change the zoning on three adjoining properties, totaling 7.26 acres, along the southeastern side of County Road 39 and Magee Street from highway business and 1-acre residential, to shopping center business.
The move kills the proposed construction of a 38,000-square-foot supermarket and an additional 14,500 square feet of commercial space in three additional buildings. No reason for the withdrawal was listed in the letter filed by attorney John Wagner of the law firm Certilman, Balin, Adler and Hyman, which has offices in Hauppauge and East Meadow.
Mr. Wagner was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.
The application has been before the Southampton Town Board, which must approve any zone change, for several years.
The proposal caused a deep divide, with many Tuckahoe residents opposing the zone change, saying traffic generated from a supermarket in an already congested area would be catastrophic. Supporters countered that the region needs another supermarket, and the growing Tuckahoe community was an appropriate place for it.
Last year, the application was vetted for a second time by the Suffolk County Planning Commission, which had previously failed to support the project. The commission signed off on a new version of the proposal, which included a few slight changes.
Town Board officials have been holding public hearings regarding the zone change in the past several months and were expected to make a decision in the next few months—though the board members’ public comments on the change of zone suggested it was unlikely to win the support of the majority.
Recently, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said he would like to see the properties developed in a different way; his idea was as an assisted living facility—a use that also would require a change of zone but might more easily win the Town Board’s support.
Mr. Schneiderman was not immediately available for comment.