Battle brewing in Wading River over retail space plans

Residents of rural Wading River are speaking out against plans to build retail shops and a restaurant in their quiet community. A 1.5-mile stretch of

WADING RIVER - Residents of rural Wading River are speaking out against plans to build retail shops and a restaurant in their quiet community. A 1.5-mile stretch of land by the East Wind Catering Hall on Route 25-A has been divided into six parcels, all zoned for retail space. Last month, the Town of Riverhead Planning Board approved a proposal for one of those parcels that calls for 32,000 square feet of retail space and a 5,000 square-foot restaurant. Dominique Mendez, president of the Riverhead Neighborhood Association, calls the proposal illegal. Her group has filed a lawsuit to block the construction. Some residents say the demand for more shops just isn't there. They say they favor multi-family housing, like condos, or professional office space for the land. Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter says the town is looking into zoning some of the remaining parcels for multi-family and senior housing, but says the area also needs retail space. Shoreham and Wading River, he says, need the growth and the tax base.

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