Council denies Holland Road restaurant proposal

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2005

Citing public safety concerns, Suffolk City Council on Wednesday denied a rezoning request that would have permitted a 100-seat restaurant in a shopping center on Holland Road.

Developer Scott Tompkins is planning to build a 21,000 square foot shopping center on property he owns at the intersection of Route 58 and Barrett Road, adjacent to Hillcrest Baptist Church.

While the property is zoned to allow a shopping center, Tompkins was seeking an amendment to proffers establishd in 1988 which stipulated that businesses would not operate there between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. and that a restaurant would not be located there. He wanted the hours of operation extended to 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.

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The planning commission had narrowly recommended last month that the request be denied.

The amount of traffic on that stretch of Route 58 has long been problematic. Attorney Whitney G. Saunders, who represented Tompkins, noted that the restaurant’s impact on the traffic situation would be negligible.

&uot;We’ll have to deal with this for the next several years,&uot; Saunders told council members. &uot;We’re going to have growth like this in Suffolk.&uot;

Councilman Calvin Jones, who represents the Holy Neck Borough, where the shopping center would be located, said it was a difficult decision for him but he opposed the request.

&uot;We do deal with a difficult traffic situation already,&uot; Jones said. &uot;It’s been a difficult decision for me but I do have to support the wishes of the community.&uot;

Councilwoman Linda Johnson said she visited the area at three different times of day over the past week to observe the traffic situation.

&uot;It was really a disaster,&uot; she said. &uot;At 9 a.m. yesterday morning I almost got rear-ended by a tractor trailer.&uot;