At the November and December Board of Trustees meetings, the main topics of discussion were the highway zoning amendment which could permit a Fresh Market grocery store at the former Glennon Cadillac site in the village and the town proposal to grant a variance for the construction of a King Kullen shopping center on County Road 39 in Tuckahoe.
The village board acknowledged that the engineering study completed by Nelson, Pope and Voorhis was inadequate. The board discussed the cost of a more comprehensive study ($50,000 to $80,000). Since the zoning change was mainly intended to allow what is now a non-confirming use on the Glennon site, many questioned the fairness of the village paying for this study. At the December meeting, the issue was again raised with opposition continuing to be expressed.
The village board approved an additional study of retailing and grocery needs by Robert Gibbs Consulting. The Southampton Association introduced Mr. Gibbs to both the village and the town last spring based on our concern over the vacancy rate in the village. This second $15,000 study will review grocery and retailing options for the village and the potential impact of the Fresh Market project at the Glennon site and the King Kullen project in Tuckahoe. It is hoped that this study will provide additional guidance for both village and town officials in reviewing these projects. The Southampton Association again let the effort by donating $5,000 to partially underwrite the study.
In December, the Southampton Association submitted a list of its concerns regarding the Tuckahoe shopping complex. The project is slated to include a 40,000 square foot King Kullen and over 20,000 square feet of additional retail space on County Road 39. We are most concerned with the precedent-setting nature of this variance which could open the door to big box development along the entrance to Southampton Village. While an additional grocery option is needed for Southampton, this project would likely negatively impact retailing in the village center.
January 22, 2012