On Thursday, July 15, the Town of Brookhaven approved a zoning change to J5 in a 7-0 vote to allow Dunkin’ Donuts to have drive-through service at the parcel of land on the southwest corner of Blue Point Avenue and Montauk Highway.
Councilman Neil Foley (R-5th District) said, “Dunkin’ Donuts needed a change of zone to develop a blighted property. Dunkin’ Donuts spoke to the Blue Point Civic Association and the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce, who supported the project.”
Foley went on to say that it was the right decision to change the zone to clean up the property on such a high-profile parcel of land in the Blue Point area.
The Blue Point Civic Association had previously hosted Douglas Hynes, the expediter for the Dunkin’ Donuts project, as part of their June general membership meeting.
During the meeting, Hynes addressed the civic group’s concerns and inquiries about the proposal.
Hynes presented the proposed site plan and walked through the redevelopment, highlighting the increased green space at the southern border of the property, and thus creating a community focal point on the corner of Montauk Highway and Blue Point Avenue.
He addressed a variety of questions related to operations, including hours of operation, trash removal frequency and time of removal, and even shared parking accommodations of Cavanaugh’s restaurant (located across Blue Point Avenue from the former bank property), which made use of the parking lot even when the bank was still in operation.
While civic association president Jason Borowski confirms there are still concerns regarding increased traffic, “the general consensus among the present members at the June meeting both in person and online was that in spite of the potential traffic issues, the proposed redevelopment would be welcomed when compared to [the] prospect of the building continuing to remain vacant.”
Edward Silsbe, who heads another Blue Point civic group, the Blue Point Community Civic Association, had a less enthusiastic view of the zone change and said, “The thought of a donut and coffee shop is generally welcomed, but we found numerous concerns and addressed them in a six-page letter [to the Town of Brookhaven], with a full traffic analysis… They could have added one more variance for a drive-through; in J-2, it would have been easily granted. The change of zone serves no community purpose.”
According to Foley, the J-2 with variance solution proposed by Silsbe is not the correct code for a drive-through (which is J-5); furthermore, such an agreement would not be proper code for the land use of the property.
Carol Seitz Cusack, president of the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce, said, “The chamber is delighted that the new proposed Dunkin’ Donuts will be moving into the old Capital One building… we had the privilege of meeting with the owner of this project before he met with the town, to show us the zone changes and building and grounds plans. He has worked consistently with Neil Foley in order to get all necessary changes needed and completed through the Town of Brookhaven. The BBP Chamber is happy to see the building not be empty any longer! Now that all zone changes have been approved, we are excited to see them move forward with this new location.”