Planning consultants presented the Route 25A Draft Land Use Plan to the public at North Shore Public Library in Shoreham Monday, a proposal that would dramatically rezone the thoroughfare.
The plan, which was put together by Manhattan-based BFJ Planning, suggests new zoning districts along 25A from Mt. Sinai to Wading River, mapping out five business centers, including a Miller Place commercial center, Rocky Point commercial center and the Rocky Point main street district.
The only rezoning in the Miller Place commercial center, at the intersection of Miller Place Road and Route 25A, would be a small rezoning in the back of to neighborhood business zone, or J2. The 300-acre DeLea Sod Farm was also included, and plans involve either preservation or, if that is not possible, conservation development that, according to developers, would "preserve scenic visits and be tax neutral or tax positive to the school district."
In the Rocky Point commercial center, a small spot in the northeast corner of the plaza at the intersection of 25A and Rocky Point-Yaphank Road would be rezoned, but it's the Rocky Point Main Street District that has the most rezonings. This part of the plan includes the rezoning of business that front Main Street and Broadway from the neighborhood zoning to main street business zones, or J6.
"The J2 district allows larger, 'big box' stores and we're suggesting these wouldn't be very appropriate for Main Street," BFJ Planning associate Todd Okolichany said at the meeting. "The height is more restrictive, J2 can go up to 50 feet, J6 is 35 feet. J6 also currently allows residential uses on top of commercial retail on the first level."
With concerns of high density development at the forefront with residents at the meeting, BFJ Planning associate Frank Fish insisted that density would not increase.
"None of this provides for any increase in density," he said. "We're maintaining the current coverage, current heights ... the density should remain the same."
With the zoning that would take place, big-box stores could not exceed 75,000 square feet, which was not a sufficient restriction for some residents.
"All the focus seems to be retail, retail, retail," said Rocky Point resident Peter Oleschuck. "Sixty to 75,000, I can't think of anything that currently exists in this region that's 75,000 square feet, so setting a restriciton for something that doesn't exist hoping it doesn't happen isn't giving us any assurance at all."
The entire plan can be found on the town's website. A second community forum will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Rose Caracappa Center in Mt. Sinai.