Plans for a 37,000+ sq. ft. shopping mall where the Sound Avenue historic rural corridor meets 25A (map) in Wading River were approved on December 15, 2011 by the Riverhead Planning Board. The project would include 24-29 stores plus a food court and a tourist information center, leaving no doubt that Knightland is intended to attract tourists and other visitors (site plan). Yet its Business CR zoning is supposed to be for stores, “geared primarily toward providing daily services to residents in adjacent residential areas” (according to Riverhead Town Code) and clearly does permit destination retail. Two are planned for the tiny stretch of Sound Avenue between the light and Fairway Drive in an already congested and dangerous area.
The Planning Board approved the site plan without evaluated the cumulative impacts this project would have along with others proposed on this small Wading River corridor, which violates New York State environmental law. For these two primary reasons, the RNPC filed suit the day after the approval. Unfortunately, the courts threw the RNPC (and neighbor) lawsuit out for what they deemed was a lack of legal standing. Within weeks, the Town approved a land clearing permit and the project appears to be moving forward. (1/14)
No Land Clearing Yet on Controversial Wading River Development (8/20/13)
Planning Board Will Not Study Impact of Development (1/11)
Knightland Plan Goes to Planning Board; Civics Protest (7/21/11)
New Study to Begin but ‘Knightland’ Plan about to Cross Finish Line… (7/22/11)
Civic Group Sues Riverhead Town Over Knightland Approval (12/16/12)
News Release: Community Group Sues Riverhead… (12/16/12)
A Case Study
For additional information on the history of the Save Wading River Campaign, the WR 25A Corridor Study, and what was achieved through the efforts of RNPC and the neighboring community to oppose the proposed commercial/retail development.... Click here to read more.