New Brookhaven Overlay District Paves the Way for More Affordable Housing in Bellport
February 22, 2022
On January 13, 2022, the Brookhaven Town Board voted unanimously to adopt new legislation that creates the Greater Bellport Overlay District. The law aims to foster redevelopment in the hamlet of Bellport and encourages the creation of more affordable housing in the area. The new legislation creates four distinct overlay sub-districts that are designed to implement the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan that was completed in 2014.
According to the law’s legislative intent, the overlay district seeks to revitalize the areas within the sub-districts by encouraging and promoting redevelopment patterns that are civic-oriented, pedestrian-friendly, economically vibrant, environmentally sustainable, and that evoke a unique sense of place. It is also intended to be a planning tool that will foster the creation of a linear park or esplanade adjacent to the Long Island Railroad tracks, as recommended in the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan.
The four overlay sub-districts are the Bellport Hamlet Center Overlay, the Greater Bellport Opportunity Overlay, the Hagerman Hamlet Center Overlay, and the Bellport Esplanade and Greenway Overlay.
The Bellport Hamlet Center Overlay sub-district is located between Montauk Highway and Atlantic Avenue, south of the Boys and Girls Club, and allows for multi-family residential developments. This sub-district has a residential base density of 7 units per acre, but offers density bonuses for developments providing extra sanitary capacity, 100% affordable units, construction of a service or use identified as being underserved within the community, use of high-quality, fire-resistant structural materials, green energy technologies and housing for those with special needs. The maximum residential density in this sub-district is 25 units per acre.
The Greater Bellport Opportunity Overlay sub-district is located north of Montauk Highway. The regulations in this sub-district aim to bring a greater variety of housing options to Bellport, where single-family residential structures currently dominate. As recommended by the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan, the sub-district allows for 2, 3 and 4-unit multi-family structures with a special permit from the Planning Board. This sub-district has a residential base density of 2 units per acre, but allows for density bonuses for developments providing 100% affordability, the dedication of parcels within the Bellport Esplanade and Greenway Overlay sub-district, use of quality, fire-resistant materials and green energy technologies, and housing for those with special needs. The maximum residential density in this sub-district is 8 units per acre.
Hagerman Hamlet Center Overlay sub-district covers a stretch of Montauk Highway that is home to many automotive-related businesses. As recommended by the Greater Bellport Land Use Plan, this area is currently zoned J-6 Main Street Business District, which permits first-floor commercial, second-floor office or residential use and third-floor residential use. This new sub-district now authorizes the Town Board to permit residential uses on the first, second and third floors of a building, provided that at least fifty percent of the first-floor frontage along Montauk Highway is devoted to commercial uses. Developers in this area may increase the 5 units per acre residential base density by providing the same benefits that allow for increased density in the Bellport Hamlet Center Overlay and Greater Bellport Opportunity Overlay sub-districts, up to a maximum residential density of 20 units per acre.
The Bellport Esplanade and Greenway Overlay sub-district includes a blighted area located between Montauk Highway and the Long Island Railroad tracks. The lots in this area are small and narrow and were developed without the benefit of landscaping and adequate parking. This sub-district incentivizes the creation of the esplanade by providing opportunities to increase the residential base density of developments within the Greater Bellport Opportunity Overlay and Hagerman Hamlet Center Overlay sub-districts by dedication of parcels needed to create this future recreational amenity for the residents of Greater Bellport.
All developments located with the Greater Bellport Overlay District are subject to a number of general design regulations.
The maximum permitted height is 50 feet within the Bellport Hamlet Center and Hagerman Hamlet Center Overlays sub-districts, and 2½ stories and 35 feet within the Greater Bellport Opportunity Overlay sub-district. No more than 30 percent of the residential units can exceed 1,200 square feet, and a minimum of 30 percent of the residential units shall be no larger than 800 square feet. No residential unit may be less than 400 square feet.
All development proposals must provide civic space and recreational areas, such as squares, private plazas, greens, and public parks, intermixed throughout the development for social activity, recreation, and visual enjoyment. At least one civic space location must be devoted to the creation of a focal point that advances the arts or the historic or cultural significance of the community. Bike paths must be provided along roadways that connect the development to the street, and pedestrian walkways must connect all buildings to sidewalks in public streets.
The new legislation is part of the Town’s long-term strategy for revitalizing the Bellport community by removing commercial blight, encouraging new affordable housing projects and providing a new recreational amenity for the residents of Greater Bellport.