Cromer’s Country Market has petitioned Southampton Town for a change of zoning to legalize parking on what is technically a residential lot behind the Noyac Road store, and the Southampton Town Board has scheduled an August 14 public hearing on the matter.
The hearing, planned for 1 p.m. at Southampton Town Hall at 116 Hampton Road, will allow community members to share opinions on the proposed change from residential zoning (R-40) to hamlet/commercial zoning (HC) of the .1-acre property right behind Cromer’s, known as 5 Cedar Lane. In addition to legalizing the parking there, a small cottage on the property would be converted to an office for the market’s employees.
Tony Lawless, who has owned Cromer’s for the last 13 years and worked there for 16 years before taking over, said by phone on Tuesday he doesn’t anticipate any issues because he is not planning to add any new structures or expand parking. He said he simply wants to legalize a practice that has been in place for nearly 20 years.
“It’s not going to change anything that we’re doing now,” he said. “If something happened and they told us we can’t use it anymore for parking … it would be very hard to operate. The place is going to remain exactly as it is now. I’m not asking for anything other than what I have.”
In the proposed local law outlined by the Southampton Town Board on July 24, it is noted that if the rezoning is approved, there are potential benefits besides legalizing parking located off of Noyac Road, where there is a steep curve that was redeveloped in 2014.
“By extending the boundary of the HC district, the town can work with the applicant to … formalize the parking, add landscaping and configure the site plan elements to be most conducive to the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding neighbors as well as patrons of the market,” the local law reads.