Hamlet study looks to  help shape Bayport’s future
A view of Montauk Highway in Bayport.

SCN/Perrotta

Hamlet study looks to help shape Bayport’s future

Story By: ANTHONY PERROTTA
8/8/2019


Future growth that meets local needs

 

BAYPORT—Islip Town recently completed a land-use and zoning study for three distinct areas in the hamlet of Bayport, including Montauk Highway, Middle Road, which is considered the hamlet’s historical center, and an industrial area located on Rajo Road, which is currently occupied by Wenner Bakery. 

The report, which was shared last week during the latest Bayport-Blue Point chamber meeting at JT’s on the Bay in Blue Point, took input from about 125 people who attended a workshop on Tuesday, April 30, at the Bayport Fire Department. 

The purpose of the study, according to the town, is to “develop a publicly supported vision for future growth” that meets local needs. It also looks to develop a set of “realistic development alternatives” and zoning recommendations that considers potential impacts on parking, traffic, safety, aesthetics, infrastructure, community facilities and other services. 

The current zoning in Bayport dates back to the 1970s and 1980s, according to the study. 

Ron Meyer, the town’s commissioner of planning and development, says the town doesn’t have “any preconceived notions” as to how the community will look in the future. “We want people to participate [in the process],” Meyer said, adding that the next phase of the project is to gather input from business owners and civic groups. 

Meyer also reminded attendees that the controversial QuickChek gas station, which was filed five years ago, is moving forward. 

Town officials previously rejected the plan, which resulted in a lawsuit from the developer against the township. QuickChek ultimately won the lawsuit and, last month, was granted a special permit to operate 24 hours. 

Carol Seitz Cusack, president of the Bayport-Blue Point chamber, says she would like to see more involvement from business owners. 

Those who are interested in meeting with the town to discuss the hamlet’s future are supposed to go through the chamber president first, and since last week, Cusack has only heard from about five or six individuals. 

“Community involvement is important,” Cusack said, adding that she hopes the study is completed soon. “If [the study] was completed five years go, we wouldn’t be having the problem we’re having with QuickChek.”

When asked what words come to mind when you think of Bayport, the most common were “community” and “small,” according to an information poll that was conducted. Others ranged from “historic,” “quaint” and “safe,” to “congested” and “overtaxed.” 

The majority of those who were polled, 56 percent, live in Bayport, south of Montauk Highway, while another 24 percent live in Bayport, but north of Montauk Highway. Another 13 percent of those polled live somewhere else in the Town of Islip, while 7 percent live outside the township. 

Thirty percent say redefining Main Street to mitigate fears over becoming a large downtown center is a top priority, while 25 percent hope to improve the streetscape and public amenities. When asked whether the western portion of Montauk Highway should continue to allow auto-related and/or industrial uses in the future, 77 percent said “no.” 

Regarding top priorities for Middle Road, 36 percent support retail uses that will serve local neighborhoods and are economically sustainable, while another 30 percent hope to maintain “attractive buildings “ at “appropriate” scales and height. 

Over 65 percent of those polled feel that mom-and-pop stores are the most appropriate types of businesses for Middle Road, while a little over 20 percent believe cafes and non-fast-food restaurants make a good fit. 

As for the Rajon Road area, 61 percent feel it should continue as an industrial park, while a little over 20 percent support commercial and other uses. n