The 18 month moratorium has been sent by Town Officials to the Suffolk County Planning Department for a review and recommendation.
After a hearing on Monday evening attended by many Patchogue citizens who gave their input on a proposed moratorium, The Village Board has reserved its decision until further notice. Many showed their support for the moratorium at the public hearing and Town Officials led by Mayor Pontieri will move forward with presenting the proposed 18 month moratorium on restaurants, bars, and nightclubs to the Suffolk County Planning Board. The proposal must follow formal process and go before the Suffolk County Planning Commission before the Village can move forward with any final decision.
The moratorium would temporarily suspend new applications for these types of businesses and reject any submissions for major improvements that would improve occupancy for existing locations. If imposed, the hope is that this suspension will give the Village time to develop new parking solutions, such as expanded parking fields and new garages, before new restaurants and bars open in town.
This plan stems from an outcry from restaurant owners and citizens of Patchogue regarding the lack of parking. Businesses are concerned that if patrons can not find a place to park, they will go elsewhere losing customers and income through no fault of their own. As reported in fall of 2019, there are already a few million dollars earmarked for the development of a multi level garage in a county owned lot located off West Main Street. In order to move forward with the plan and redevelopment to add additional parking the Village needs the support of the County.
Mayor Pontieri reiterated throughout the hearing that the moratorium would be a “pause” and that they “needed to make sure they support current restaurant owners.”
David Kennedy, Executive Director for the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, voiced the Chamber’s full support of the proposed plan. “It is a tool to promote sustained business growth,” Kennedy said.
Eric Miller, Director of Operations at Rhum, said the moratorium “should’ve happened six months ago.” He added that his customers are constantly calling and looking for parking to no avail.
The majority agrees that a moratorium is necessary so that Patchogue can plan so they can continue to support existing business and add additional capacity for future growth. Town officials advised that the hope is that a full 18 months will not be required and that they will work to resolve the parking issue as soon as possible.
Until a final decision is made and plan in place, Village Officials will continue to look for opportunities to add additional parking areas and reconfigure existing lots to maximize parking throughout the Village.