The Village of Westhampton Beach has decided to hold off on a master plan update that could potentially bring a new supermarket to the Village of Westhampton Beach.
According to Trustee Patricia DiBenedetto, board members have decided that costs associated with a study of the 16-year-old village master plan are just too much for the village right now.
However, DiBenedetto said, a budget line could be added into the village's next budget cycle to fund the study.
The next budget is set to be examined in March with an April adoption date.
The idea to conduct a master plan update was broached earlier this year with board members agreeing in June via a resolution that the master plan must be studied in order to consider a proposal by developer Andrew Mendelson to build a 40,000-square-foot supermarket on 4.2 acres of land he owns on Old Riverhead Road.
Under current zoning, a supermarket is not a permitted use on Mendelson's property, which sits in the village's B3 and industrial zones.
Mendelson has requested that the words, "grocery store," be added to the village's zoning for those districts; however, the village's attorney Richard Haefeli, has stated that it isn't as easy of just adding words to the village's zoning code — a master plan update would be necessary.
"We have to look at the whole plan," said DiBenedetto, "not just a piece of it and there is a cost associated with that. We don't have the money to pay for that. We don't have a spare pot."
DiBenedetto said Mendelson can expedite the process by filing a petition, which he has been asked to do in the past; however, Mendelson has argued that an application is not necessary as the master plan already supports the idea of a supermarket on his property — a notion that has been argued against by the village's planner Kyle Collins.
"If people don't agree with what we are doing, there is an election in June. Two trustee seats and the mayor seat are up," said DiBenedetto. "We encourage people to get involved."