A plan which has been in the works for over 15 years to get a YMCA on the North Fork could be taking root in Aquebogue within a few weeks.
Brian Stark, a member of the Peconic YMCA's board of directors, said on Thursday that the Peconic Y has found a willing seller on an 8.8-acre parcel on Route 25, across from
The organization had flirted with building a Y at Stotzky Park and Enterprise Park in Calverton in the past, though the most recent development would have a better chance at funneling in kids from the North Fork, and in addition to other things, seems like a good fit.
"Number one, it's on a main road," Stark said. "Number two, the price is right. And number three, there aren't that many neighbors around."
Riverhead Town Councilman George Gabrielsen, the town board's liaison to the recreation committee, said that a stop light at the location would likely be necessary, though since Route 25 is a state road the final determination would fall upon their shoulders. Of other parcels the Y has looked at in the past, Gabrielsen called this one "the least burdensome" in terms of taking land off the tax rolls.
Before that becomes a reality, however, an approval permitting the use of a YMCA on the property would be necessary, and will likely be a condition in the terms of the contract, Stark said.
The parcel is zoned Residential B-80, which allows for one of its special uses - with a special permit - "educational institution without boarding facilities or dormitories, private."
"Next, we'll design a layout with the uses and construction on the site," said Peter Danowski, who has volunteered with the YMCA committee and is a land-use lawyer in Riverhead. "We'll get enough detail to give the town a first presentation and then we'll let them react to the application."
Stark said that considering the scope and public benefit of the project, he doesn't foresee too much of an obstacle in getting the proper approvals.
"Given the fact that this is a good project that's been floating around for a long time, they will probably look favorably upon it."
The Peconic YMCA states on its website that it has raised over $6 million, with an ultimate goal of $8 million to get up and running.