Plans for Riverhead Shopping Center in NY Deadlocked Over Noise

Plans for a shopping center at Route 58 and Mill Road in Riverhead were first proposed in 2019, but the project remains frozen in the planning stage as residents and developers collide over whether the proposed shopping center would bring too much noise to nearby residents. 

On January 21, 2021, the Riverhead Planning Board discussed whether a sound wall should be built around the proposed shopping center to block loud noises from nearby residents.

What Are the Details of the Proposed Shopping Center?

Original plans of the proposed shopping center call for 45,487 total square feet of development on Route 58 and Mill Road in Riverhead, NY. This plot of land is adjacent to the Riverhead Centre complex. There would be three one-story buildings in total: one with a size of 17,922 square feet, one of 10,904 square feet, and one of 13,232 feet, all of the retail storefronts. There are plans for another building, a 4,935-square foot fast food restaurant with a drive-thru window. 

These businesses are permissible per Riverhead zoning laws as the plot of land is zoned within the business district. The Long Island Cauliflower Association owns the land, and Richmond Realty will complete development. 

Why Is There a Proposed Sound Wall?

Nearby businesses, such as Stop & Shop, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Shops at Riverhead, have built sound walls during development because of noise concerns. The proposed Route 58 and Mill Road development project is close to Millbrook Communities, a gated community, and neighbors are worried about noise.

The Riverhead town code also requires a 50-foot non-disturbed transitional yard to buffer between commercial and residential zones. However, this does not necessarily describe a sound wall per se. Board members discussed the issue but did not come to a clear conclusion over what a solution may be. A traffic study noted that there would be no significant traffic issues caused by the Route 58 and Mill Road development. 

The board members did not decide on the sound wall. Developer Richard Israel from Richmond Realty was present at the meeting and agreed to amend plans but did not necessarily agree to build a sturdy wall. 

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