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Mar 4, 2016 10:50 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Village Board Paves The Way For A CVS

Rose Loos, left, John Comba and Jean Tocko were honored with keys to the village and proclomations for turning 100 years old at the Westhampton Beach Village Board meeting on Thursday, March 3. GREG WEHNER
Mar 9, 2016 10:01 AM

Westhampton Beach Village Board members approved a special exception application last week that could pave the way for a CVS to open in the old bowling alley building on Sunset Avenue.

The application, which was filed by Manhattan-based Sunset West LLC, sought permission for the developer to build a 10,000-square-foot store inside the currently gutted and vacant 20,000-square-foot building.

The special exception permit—approved last Thursday, March 3—was needed from the Village Board because 3,000 square feet is the limit on the space that can be occupied by a single business on the property, which falls within the village’s Main Street business district. That zoning was approved several years ago, but plans for the almost 2-acre property date back nearly a decade.

According to Village Board member Ralph Urban, last week’s action was a conditional approval, and the new store is not to exceed 10,000 square feet. The applicants are also required to submit a trash disposal plan, ensure that there is a 10-foot transitional area between the parking lot and nearby residential neighborhood, get approval of any material changes throughout the process, and ensure that six planned storefronts—three on each side of the main entrance to the CVS—have access to a loading and dumpster area.

Multiple calls this week to the developer and to CVS Pharmacy inquiring about the timeline for the conversion of the old bowling alley were not returned.

Don Jewell, the architect for Sunset West LLC, this week submitted an application to renovate the old bowling alley building, according to Westhampton Beach Village Building and
Zoning Administrator Paul Houlihan. The Westhampton Beach Planning Board is expected to review the document at its meeting on Thursday, April 14.

According to documentation, board members found that the special exception use would not hinder use of nearby properties, or diminish the value of those properties. They also determined that although some members of the community expressed concerns about competition and a “perceived lack of need for a drugstore,” there was no reason to reject the application. Two other drugstores—including Barth’s Pharmacy that sits almost directly across the street, as well as a Rite Aid—already operate in the village.

Westhampton Beach residents were offered two chances to attend public hearings, the first in December and the second in January, to share their concerns about the special exception application. Most who spoke at both hearings were opposed to allowing a special exception. Some felt that there was no need for a third pharmacy. Others stated that their opposition was grounded in the fact that current zoning, which was updated in 2007, prohibits stores larger than 3,000 square feet in that part of the village.

The original goal of the change in zoning was to prevent chains from opening large stores within the municipality’s main business district, which spans all of Main Street and most of Sunset Avenue.

Westhampton Beach Village Attorney Stephen Angel told the nearly three dozen residents at the second hearing that the 2006 Business Districts Comprehensive Plan Update, approved in April 2007, allows applicants—in this instance, the property owner and not CVS Pharmacy, the potential lessee—to apply for a special exception even though zoning caps the size of retail stores in the district.

To apply for such a permit, the applicant needed to provide an impact study that evaluated whether the proposed use would hurt existing businesses. That study was completed and, according to the decision made by the Village Board, did not show enough evidence of a negative impact to warrant denying the exemption.

Any changes that the developer wants to make will need to go through the Westhampton Beach Village Planning Board and Architectural Review Board.

Peddling And Soliciting

Village Board members also made a change to the village’s peddling and soliciting law. The new law makes it illegal for solicitors to step foot onto a property if a “No Soliciting” sign is placed in a visible location on the property.

“As a convenience for our residents, we are having those signs made up and they’ll be available at Village Hall for free,” Mr. Urban said.

Centenarians Honored

Village Mayor Maria Moore also honored three of Westhampton Beach’s senior residents by giving each of them a proclamation and a key to the village. Those residents were Jean Tocko, who turned 100 years old on August 31, John Comba, who will turn 100 on March 18, and Rose Loos, who turned 100 on March 3.

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We have no need whatsoever for a CVS.
By KarenFar (5), Westhampton on Mar 5, 16 5:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Don't use it if you don't like it. They will pull out in 2 years like Starbucks did on CR 39 and the landlord will be left with an empty property.
By tenn tom (227), remsenburg on Mar 6, 16 7:46 AM
Picture unrelated.
By Pacman (241), East Quogue on Mar 7, 16 2:11 PM
It is! pictured from L to R: Claire, Victor, Sarah..CVS, LOL :D
By Jaws (240), Amity Island on Mar 16, 16 11:58 PM
I agree with Karen, no need for cvs at all. Rite aid and barths works fine. Put the bowling alley back. Or rec center for kids!!
By taylorjj143 (3), westhampton on Mar 9, 16 11:29 AM
I agree. No need for CVS. But they didn't approve a CVS. And if a CVS is crazy enough to put a store in where they will destroy competition all around than thats their choice. Of course anyone who opposes the whole deal and wants to put in a bowling ally of rec center should make the owners of the property an offer to buy the land. Ill bet the owners have a price in mind they would sell for.
By realistic (463), westhampton on Mar 9, 16 6:12 PM
Boo hiss! This get an exemption but a supermarket in town doesn't? We don't need large chain stores (but than again, maybe we'll end up buying groceries here). The town really needs to have a long-term plan on what will make WH into a sustainable, resident-friendly community. If that means a 10,000 sq ft drugstore then I'm for it. But I'm betting a third drugstore in town is not going to make WH into a year-round, quaint village.
By nycleo (5), Westhampton Beach on Mar 10, 16 1:57 PM
The Villages "long term plan" is a sewer system. Build a sewer and they will come. Ok ok I agree a sewer is a good idea for the Village- but- for the whole Village not just the developers who support the Mayor. Like I said if the Govt pays the bill for the small sewer then why not apply for the whole Village. Its not just Main street polluting out bays its the everyone bordering and discharging on or near the bay. Bottom line for business on main street is (and lets be Realistic) we are a summer ...more
By realistic (463), westhampton on Mar 10, 16 7:05 PM