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Brookhaven Planning Department

This sign outside of Bakewicz Farms caused some concern in the past month, though the planning board meeting was delayed. However property owners said they wouldn't move on any new development just yet. Photo by Kyle Barr

Landowners were unanimously granted approval of plans Aug. 17 by the Brookhaven Planning Board for a housing development on land in Wading River currently in use by the local Bakewicz Farms.

The preliminary plans revolve around 13 subdivisions for homes at the corner of Route 25A and Randall Road in Wading River. This is in addition to a recharge basin to be located at the westmost corner between the two roads. 

The Rocky Point-based Manzi family owns the property but is being represented by Rocky Point-based attorney Steven Losquadro. 

Losquadro said in a phone interview that the family is not immediately going with the housing development, but is instead “keeping their options open” regarding any future plans, whether or not it becomes a new housing development or something else. He did not wish to comment on the record about what future plans could be.

The site is currently being leased by Justin Bakewicz and his mother Marianne of Bakewicz Farms. The small 11-acre farm is active in the summer and autumn months supplying local produce, giving a place for children to pet a few farm animals and allowing children into their corn maze filled with cut out wood characters from pop culture such as Harry Potter and Buzz and Woody from “Toy Story.”  

Losquadro said the property owners are not at all immune to calls from the community for the farm’s preservation. Nothing has been officially determined yet.

“Many people in the community would like to see it preserved as a farm,” the attorney said.

Bakewicz did not wish to comment fully on the record about what could be happening in the future, but did mention there could be positive news coming down the pike.

“This is what I’ve been hoping for,” he said.

Last year property owners proposed putting down a large solar storage battery on an unused portion of the property. Those plans were opposed by the local civic groups, and Losquadro said at the time that without the solar battery the land could instead turn into a residential development. 

The preliminary plans themselves call for the creation of a new street that ends in a court called Dante Way. The road allows both a left and right turn onto Randall Road but no access onto Route 25A. Plans show the land redesigned for 13 single family homes, which would be located in the Shoreham-Wading River school district. The development also abuts the ongoing construction of the North Shore Rail Trail projects which when finished will create a 10-mile walking and bicycle path from Wading River to Mount Sinai.

Revised plans after comments from the planning board also maintain a 40-foot proposed buffer on the north end of the proposed development and a 75-foot buffer on the southern end. Both buffers would be granted to the town for open space purposes. In the proposed development, 10 feet off the western end would be left to the town for adding a real shoulder to the side of Randall Road.

Stakeholders gather to review documents at a meeting held last year in preparation for the 25A corridor land use study. File photo

The next phase of the Brookhaven Town Planning Department’s land use study for the Route 25A corridor from the Smithtown border heading east to the Village of Poquott is set to begin.

An invitation-only focus group for business owners and tenants of buildings along the corridor will be held Jan. 31, according to Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station). Letters were mailed previously to these stakeholders.

Community Visioning Meeting Schedule

•Stony Brook Community Vision Meeting:

Saturday Feb. 4, from 2 to 5 pm

•Setauket /East Setauket Community Vision Meeting:

Saturday Feb. 25, from 10 am to 1 pm

•All Hamlets Wrap Up Meeting:

Saturday March 4, from 2 to 4:30 pm

All meetings will be held at the Stony Brook School, 1 Chapman Parkway off Route 25A, opposite the Stony Brook railroad station. Groups will meet in the Kanas Commons.

Councilwoman Cartright requests community members wishing to attend any of the sessions RSVP by the Wednesday before the scheduled meeting.

Email [email protected] or telephone the office 631-451-6963.

Beginning Feb. 2 there will be community visioning meetings aimed specifically at interested parties in the Stony Brook and Setauket/East Setauket portions of the corridor. (See meeting schedule below.) A final meeting will provide a wrap up, including all hamlets along the corridor.

The community visioning meetings will be led by a consulting firm, BFJ Planning, hired by the town to facilitate the land use study.

A proposed shopping center in the vicinity of the Stony Brook railroad station will not be discussed in the land use study, Cartright said. It is scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Department Feb. 6. The developer, Parviz Farahzad, had previously presented a request for specific zoning variances to the Zoning Board of Appeals Dec. 14, 2016. The board has 62 days to render its decision.

According to Cartright, the business zone change for this property was made more than 10 years ago. More recently, public comment was heard at the zoning board meeting and, she said, changes based on community comments may have been made by the developer in response.

“One caveat,” Cartright said, “this is a long term plan. They’re building a shopping center there now, but the community would like [to revisit the site in the future] if there’s ever an opportunity [to do so].”   

The study was authorized by a town resolution Jan. 14, 2016, which included the establishment of a 20-member Citizen’s Advisory Committee including representatives of all identifiable stakeholder groups.