Group for Cutchogue

Alternative Plans

Group for Cutchogue does not have a planner, landscape designer, or architect on staff (we don't even have a staff!). As citizens with imagination we believe that there are development alternatives which would have positive impacts on Cutchogue and the North Fork.

The question is can we identify positive alternatives and convince the Town government and the developer to support them?

An example of organizations dedicated to planning for healthy, wealthy and beautiful places can be visited at
*•* and U.S. Green Building Council *•*

New communities worth comparing are:
Prairie Crossing *•* and Tryon Farm *•*

“Public space is for living, doing business, kissing, and playing. Its value can't be measured with economics or mathematics;
  it must be felt with the soul.”— Enrique Peñalosa

A Place for Everybody
The proposed Heritage at Cutchogue development is a response to public planning and zoning focused on automobile transportation. Southold Town needs to build a future for people of all ages (seniors, adults and children) not just a future for cars. The suitability of a place for children is especially important. A place suitable for children is suitable for all people. — Benja

Southold Town Planning Board included the following alternatives in the scope for the Environmental Impact Statement:

  1. No Action Alternative (Alternative whereby the site remains in its current condition).*
  2. Alternative Design, including but not limited to clustering of detached and attached units to create meaningful open space and maximize vegetative buffers along the perimeter of the property.
  3. Reduce existing number of units.
  4. Partial or full preservation of the property.
  5. Alternative design for wastewater treatment.

*This is an alternative which is by law always required to be included ,and is not usually taken seriously.

The developer's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) doesn’t address required alternatives and therefore is legally inadequate. Citizens of Southold Town and residents of Cutchogue will find this DEIS insulting.

Southold Town Board included the following alternatives in a discussion of a potential moratorium:

  1. Reduce proposed number of units.
  2. Create meaningful open space.
  3. Provide direct access to Depot Lane.

While these are respectable alternatives, so far the statements and failure to take effective actions of the Town Board are not promising.

Cutchogroup is NOT opposed to including residential housing on the site.

  1. Attach and reduce the size of the units, rather than building smaller versions of big houses. If high density housing is permitted, it should not be an inferior imitation of currently available or already existing developments.*
  2. Cluster the units to fit on less than half the property.
  3. Through dedication or sale provide public spaces also known as common areas.**
  4. If Southold Town is serious about supporting sustainable affordable housing, affordability should be integral to the design. 10% subsidized housing is not enough to tread water.

*  Southold Town Zoning law provides that “The purpose of the Hamlet Density (HD) Residential District is to permit a mix of housing types and level of residential density ...” ARTICLE V Hamlet Density (HD) Residential District [added 1/10/89 by LL No 1-1989]

** A walking trail around the entire perimeter of the property would be a good start. The fact that the property is centrally located makes it a good place for a town wide public facility. If it does become an age restricted community, a playground might not be an appropriate use. If there is going to be an indoor pool, why can't it be a public one? Farmers markets are succeeding in cities all around the country, why not on the sub-sub-urban North Fork? Other public facilities which would be of great benefit to Southold Town and are not getting any easier to site are a North Fork Community Garden and a research and demonstration Town Farm.