Regardless of whether Strong’s Ocean Yachting Center expansion gets approval from the Southold City Planning Commission, it appears there will be no more broken fences in the community to mend. However, a driveway that the Strongs share with neighbors needs repairs.

“He got an offer,” Stephen Boscola said of his neighbor Jeff Strong. “It’s the busiest time of year for him, and he’s said about it, and I’ve said about it, ‘I totally understand.'” He’ll be talking to one of his contacts to see what he can get what kind of offer.

“He was very warm … we got along very well,” Mr Boscola continued. “We’re just neighbors to each other. Because regardless of this project … we’re still neighbors.”

When he’s not in town for work or visiting his parents, David and Donna Boscola, whose home overlooks the Yachting Center, Mr. Boscola is a Save Mattituck Inlet Co-chairman of , an organization formed in 2020 specifically against yachts in marinas. Storage expansion project.

The situation with this shared driveway highlights how, in the five years since the Strongs submitted their plan to expand the yacht center on the west side of Mattituck Bay, courtesy has persisted despite the divisions in the community. The proposal calls for two indoor heated storage facilities — 52,000 square feet and 49,000 square feet — at the yacht center on Matty Tuckermill Road. The 32.96-acre parcel is zoned Marine II and R-80, which allow for marine and low-density residential development, respectively. The new building will house up to 88 yachts ranging in length from 60 to 80 feet.

While many (possibly all) major developments in the area have encountered some resistance, few proposals have received as much attention or sparked as much debate as this proposal. On the one hand, construction will uproot 634 mature trees near the Roots Mill Road Conservation Area, which opponents say could affect wildlife, including box turtles and bats, and disrupt outdoor activities, particularly on West Mill Road, which Sand trucks will be transported to and from the construction site during construction. On the other hand, the Strong family has the right to develop a suitably zoned property to grow their business to meet the market demand for winter yacht storage in the area.

At many public meetings on the subject, speakers tended to split nearly 50/50 on both sides of the proposal, and their comments ranged from the casual to the emotional. Much of the debate about the extension has centered around the town hall and a letter to the editor published by the Suffolk Times.

The window for written public comments closed on Monday, and local officials must now prepare a final environmental impact statement addressing all relevant concerns and comments submitted at the public hearing or in writing. After FEIS is made public, there will be a 10-day comment period for additional comments. The Planning Commission will then assess the project and issue a statement of its findings.

At first glance, the very existence of Saving Mattituck Bay might seem to indicate a deep division within the community. During a public hearing in May, members of the group parked a large dump truck outside City Hall with a sign that read “9,000 trucks” and “every seven minutes,” referring to the trucks coming from A hotly contested plan by City Hall to haul sand and other debris dug up. Place.

But beyond these colorful demonstrations and public meeting commentary, the group isn’t exactly hostile. Anne Sherwood Pundyk, the group’s other co-chair, said Save Mattituck Inlet allowed her and her husband, Jeff Pundyk, to strengthen their relationship with some Neighborhood connections and friendships with residents they may never have met. She added that their focus is on making information about the scope of the Strong project easily accessible, and that they are particularly opposed to any unkind behavior or malicious intent by members.

“We have absolutely no malice, we are interested in building community, we don’t feel like we ever want to divide,” Ms Pondik said. “The outreach we do is really just providing information about the project so people can make their own decisions about what they’re seeing and inviting people to learn as much as possible.”

Mr Strong himself stated that he and his family had not encountered any incivility in the years since the Save Mattituck Bay members or any of the neighbors made the proposal. He said he typically meets residents who either already support the project or want to start a conversation and understand his motivations, which he says is to meet market demand and ensure the property remains a viable one for future generations. Commercial marine installations.

“We have also been approached by quite a few people who were opposed to the project recently, and then took the time to visit me in person to get a deeper understanding of the facts,” Mr Strong said. “It’s not that these people generally turn into fanatical supporters, but when they take the time to hear the facts in full detail, they gain a better understanding of why we’re trying to achieve our goals [with the expansion]”.

Mattituck Bay forms a network through which Mr Boscola and Ms Pondik can share information about the project with neighbors who live near the Yachting Center and Reserve and along West Mill Road, the trucks will use The road to transport sand from the site. The group’s website provides links to project documents, including the latest version of a draft environmental impact report, and lays out their concerns, which include tree felling and potential negative impacts on ecosystems, as well as construction noise and movement, Ms Pondik said. Sand truck traffic disrupts the daily round trip bike rides on West Mill Road, as well as hikes through the town’s 27-acre Mill Road Preserve.

“You live in the North Fork so you can enjoy the outdoors, the beautiful scenery and the waterways,” said Ms. Pundyk, who has lived in her Mattituck home for 10 years. “We walk along Simmel Road, go to Breakwater Beach, ride bikes on either side of the entrance. It’s just part of our lives.”

Mr Strong said he recognized the importance of community attention.

“We do think people’s concerns about wildlife are absolutely legitimate … and we think we’ve taken reasonable steps to remedy that. That doesn’t mean there won’t be an impact, but ultimately it comes down to, you want businesses to be able to scale up and keep pace with the times. Are you advancing?”

Mr. Strong also said he remained open to meeting “anyone, regardless of their views, no matter how strongly they oppose the project. We will meet anyone in person and share views in a reasonable, respectful manner.”

The Boscolla and Strong families have been Mattituck residents for decades. Boscola said he went to school with Mr. Strong’s sons, whom his father met through his own shipping business.

When Mr. Strong first proposed the project, he met with Mr. Boscola and his parents to discuss the expansion. The Boscollas expressed concern, and at a later meeting Mr. Strong offered to buy their home so they could relocate. They did not accept the offer.

“It’s just a gesture of goodwill. It’s nothing more than that,” Mr. Strong said. Comfortable…… [it was] Make a genuine effort to say, ‘let’s do three appraisals and we’ll pay the average of the three appraisals’ and hope everyone is happy with that. “

Goodwill still exists between the Strong family and the Boscolla family. After all, neither side wants their driveway or neighborhood to deteriorate.

“If I saw Jeff Strong in town tomorrow, I’d say, ‘Hey, Jeff,’ and when I walked past him, if he said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ I’d stop Chat.” I’m not going to … yell at him or laugh at him,” Mr. Boscola said. “We’re human, he’s a businessman, he has a project he wants to propose, and we’re a Target homeowners directly. “

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