Environmentalists: Riverhead wetlands should not be cleared for retail space

Excavation has begun on a sensitive wetlands area, which has some Riverhead residents upset.

News 12 Staff

Apr 16, 2019, 9:37 PM

Updated 1,886 days ago

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Excavation has begun on a sensitive wetlands area, which has some Riverhead residents upset.
In just a matter of days, 12 acres of woods along Route 58 in Riverhead was cleared by Garsten developers.
After years of revisions, Garsten has moved ahead with its plan to build a 60,000-square-foot retail space on the land.
Diane Tucci is a lifelong Riverhead resident. She says cutting down the woods is one thing, but that building more retail space when several big box stores on Route 58 have been boarded up doesn't make sense.
"We certainly want development and progress in Riverhead, but it's got to be done smartly that preserves our quality of life," Tucci says.
Besides clearing the woods, environmentalists are concerned about the wetlands that sit right next to the planned retail space and serve as a habit for wildlife.
Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith says her administration is working on a new master plan for the town and the busy Route 58 corridor.
News 12 contacted the attorneys for the developer for comment but has not heard back. Tenants for the retail space have not yet been announced.


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